Case of Asymptomatic, COVID 19
I would like to share my opinion about the system of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
Originally, injury and sickness allowance was under the former Ministry of Health and Welfare, while Employment Adjustment Subsidy and Leave Support Payment were under the former Ministry of Labor.
In 2001, the former Ministry of Health and Welfare and the former Ministry of Labor merged, but it seems that the two organizations still continue to survive after the merger.
Within each small world, a detailed and elaborate organization has been completed, but when viewed in One Big World, it appears inconsistent and disjointed.
As you know, it is not uncommon for people to be asymptomatic when infected with COVID 19.
According to the WHO, about 40% of infected people are asymptomatic, and it is believed that the presence of asymptomatic people who are healthy and not affected by the disease is one of the reasons why the infection cannot be controlled.
Now, here’s the problem.
An employee informed to HR, “The PCR test came back positive, but I am asymptomatic.” How should the company respond?
1. In the case of the employee says he is asymptomatic but wants to take a day off from work because he is worried about when he will get sick.
Let her take a day off.
Proceed with the procedures for the sickness allowance for national health insurance program.
However, there is a 3-day waiting period for the sickness allowance, and the allowance amount is 2/3 of the average standard monthly remuneration.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) issued a letter to the National Health Insurance Association (NHI) on May 15 last year, stating that the sickness allowance will be paid to those who “have no subjective symptoms but are judged as “positive” as a result of examination and are unable to work due to medical treatment.
Even if you do not have a doctor’s note, the insurer (health insurance association, etc.) can calculate the amount.
2. In the case the employee is asymptomatic and healthy, but does not want to take time off from work.
(1) From the perspective of health management and the risk of not anticipating when the disease will occur, it is recommended that the employee take time off from work.
In this case, the leave of absence will be for the company’s convenience, and the company will be obligated to compensate for the absence as stipulated in the Labor Standards Law.
– In order to get up to 100% of the leave allowance subsidized by the Special governmental program for Employment Adjustment Subsidy, the business environment must have deteriorated due to Corona, and sales or production in a month must have decreased by 5% or more compared to the same month of the previous year.
– If your company is a small or medium-sized enterprise and there is no decrease in sales or production volume, you still have the option of another governmental program ; issuing a leave of absence order and not paying compensation for the absence.
The Absence Support Payment Program, so called, (equivalent to 80% of the wages before the absence) will be paid directly to the employee.
– If your company is a small or medium-sized enterprise but does not have worker’s compensation insurance, please be careful.
It is safe to say that the company does not provide leave compensation, but it may be required to pay premiums for workers’ compensation retroactively.
It is important to be aware of this. If the employer does not take the necessary procedures, the government will take the necessary procedures on its own authority.
– If your company is a large corporation and there is no decrease in sales or production volume, sorry, there is no governmental assistance.
You should issue an order for absence from work and ask for compensation for absence from work in excess of 60% of the average wage as stipulated in the Labor Standards Law. There is no subsidy from the government at all.
In this case, rather than the company issuing an order for the employee to take time off, I think it would be a strange system to ask the employee to tell us that he or she wants to take time off and that it would help if the employee used the sickness allowance provided by the health insurance…
(2) If the company wants to let the employee work as long as he or she is healthy because the job he or she is in charge of is important and there is no one to replace him or her, make sure that the following conditions are at least met.
1) Work from home only.
2) Require daily health monitoring and reporting. (Body temperature measurement is common, but we have seen cases where pulse oximeters were used to measure blood oxygen levels.
3) Regular interview by the industrial physicians via online.
If the industrial physician is not able to respond online, use phone.
4) In addition, all communication between the employee and the public health center should be reported in a timely manner.