Progressive digitization in 2023 vis-à-vis authorities and social insurance carriers
Electronic certificate of incapacity for work(eAU)
The certificate of incapacity for work will become electronic from January 1, 2023 - one year later than originally planned. The "yellow slip" is thus to become a thing of the past. From 2023, the electronic certificate of incapacity for work (eAU) will be mandatory for those with statutory health insurance. But the classic paper sick note in the HR department will not disappear completely. In fact, the certificate of incapacity for work should have become digital earlier. Since October 2021, contract physicians and dentists can send the AU data electronically to the health insurance companies. Since January 2022, employers and tax consultants have been able to request work incapacity data from the health insurers. The pilot phase was then supposed to end at the end of June 2022. However, this did not work out that way, as not all practices were equipped for the eAU procedure. In some cases, the technical infrastructure was lacking. The pilot phase of the eAU was therefore extended until the end of December 2022.
Until now, employees themselves submitted the paper certificate of incapacity for work determined by a doctor to the employer. In the future, too, the employee will have to inform the employer immediately about the incapacity for work. However, he will no longer hand over the certificate in paper form. Instead, the employer will call it up independently from the employee's health insurance fund. While the obligation for employees to report their incapacity to work remains, the obligation to present the certificate will no longer apply in the future.
However, implementation in the company involves a few imponderables. Cases still arise in which practices must continue as before, for example in the case of privately insured employees. The procedures for reporting sickness in employment contracts should also be adapted, as these also frequently require the submission of an AU certificate, which will no longer generally apply from 2023.
Electronic certificates for the employment agency
The exchange with the employment agency will also become more digital. As of January 1, 2023, certain certificates can generally only be sent to the authorities digitally and no longer in paper form. These include the certificate of employment, the EU certificate of employment and the secondary income certificate.
According to the Federal Employment Agency, this obligation applies regardless of company size or industry. Employers will also no longer have to inform their employees about the electronic transmission of their data as of 2023, unlike in the past. However, for employment relationships ending on December 31, 2022, or supplementary income to be certified for 2022, the certificates can still be submitted in paper or machine-readable form.
From 2023, the pension insurance company audit (euBP) will also be mandatory electronically. To do this, companies will need appropriate programs with a so-called euBP module, with which the data can be transmitted electronically to the pension insurance company. Up to now, the use of euBP has been voluntary. Although it will now be mandatory from 2023, companies can apply for an exemption until the end of 2026.
Home office flat rate and inflation compensation bonus
The state wants to make it easier to work in inflation- and crisis-ridden years in 2023 as well by offering various incentives. Among other things, the home office allowance will be raised from five to six euros per day, and the maximum deductible days will also be increased to 210. As early as October 26, 2022, employers will be able to grant their employees the so-called inflation compensation bonus - in other words, pay an additional benefit of up to 3,000 euros free of tax and duties. The payment is possible, also in partial amounts, until December 31, 2024. Some caution is also required when implementing this additional benefit. It is up to the employer to decide whether to pay a corresponding bonus, as the benefit is voluntary. However, this also means that the additional premium will not be granted instead of another benefit. Feel free to contact us if you want to pay an inflation bonus to the workforce and need a suitable and legally secure written basis for this.
Author of this article and
Attorney at Law | Labor Law Specialist