Z-3 certificate when continuing sick leave - is it necessary?


For several years, it has become common for doctors to issue sick leave to insured persons in electronic form, and from December 1, 2018, it is even an obligation. Paper sick leave is forgotten, but still - at the employee's request - they can also take this form. Electronic exemption, i.e. e-ZLA, after being issued by a doctor, is automatically transferred to ZUS. However, this fact does not exempt payers from the obligation to issue and provide ZUS with Z-3 certificates, if the insured person is entitled to sickness benefit due to incapacity for work. Is the payer obliged to issue a Z-3 each time when the employee's sick leave is continued? Or maybe ZUS does not require the payer to submit additional documentation in the event of an uninterrupted illness of the insured? You will find the answers to the above questions in the article!

The right to insurance and sickness benefits

Pursuant to the Act on the Social Insurance System, obligatory sickness insurance should cover:

  • workers;
  • members of agricultural production cooperatives and cooperatives of agricultural circles;
  • persons on alternative service.

You can read more about the rights regarding voluntary sickness insurance in the articles:
Contractor's voluntary sickness insurance
Business sickness insurance - what is worth knowing!

The above-mentioned groups of people are covered by sickness insurance from the date of reporting them to ZUS by contribution payers, however, they acquire the right to benefits in this respect only with time.

Persons covered by sickness insurance acquire the mandatory rights to benefits due to incapacity for work after passing the waiting period, which in this case amounts to 30 days.

Those who have been voluntarily registered for sick leave acquire the right to benefits in this respect only after 90 days of timely payment of contributions. The waiting period may include previous periods of employment of an employee, if the break between the employment relationships was not longer than 30 days. In this case, there is insurance continuity.

However, not every group of the insured is subject to the waiting period. Graduates of schools or universities and persons who completed their education at a doctoral school (those covered by sickness insurance or who joined sickness insurance within 90 days from the date of graduation or graduation), persons with at least 10 years of compulsory sickness insurance , as well as the deputies and senators (who joined the sickness insurance within 90 days from the end of their term of office) were not covered by the compulsory waiting period.

The waiting period also does not apply to the insured who have suffered an accident at work or an accident on the way to or from work.

Z-3 certificate

Due to incapacity for work, the sickness insured person is first entitled to sick pay for the first time:

  • 33 days of incapacity for work (employees under 50);
  • 14 days of incapacity for work (employees aged 50 and over).

Sick pay is financed and paid by the employer, i.e. the contribution payer.

After the above-mentioned periods, the insured person who is still unable to work may be entitled to a sickness benefit. It is financed by the Social Insurance Institution, but who pays it depends on who has the status of the benefit payer in a given case. The employer becomes a payer of social security benefits if, as of November 30 of the previous year, he employs more than 20 people who are registered for sickness insurance (obligatorily or voluntarily). The status of the benefit payer is established annually.

To sum up, benefits are always financed by ZUS, while benefits are paid out:

  • the contribution payer, i.e. the employer, if he has the status of the benefit payer or
  • ZUS, if the employer is not a benefit payer.

In a situation where the employer is not a benefit payer, and his employee is incapable of work within a given calendar year for more than 33 or 14 days, then in order to pay the benefit to the employee by ZUS, the employer is obliged to provide this institution with a Z-3 certificate. Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!

The Z-3 certificate is a form used to establish the right to sickness benefit and calculate its amount. This form includes data such as:

  • registration data of the contribution payer;
  • employee's registration data;
  • period of insurance;
  • periods of inability to work, including information on incapacity for work resulting from an occupational disease, accident at work, on the way to work or from work;
  • information about ZUS e-ZLA, if it is attached to ZUS Z-3;
  • the number of the insured reported for sickness insurance at the workplace;
  • other information that may affect your entitlement to benefits.

Form Z-3, the contribution payer is obliged to submit to ZUS:

  • personally;
  • by letter;
  • electronically - by exporting the certificate to PUE ZUS.

Z-3 certificate on continuation of the sick leave

As already indicated in the article, the current regulations impose on doctors the obligation to issue sick leaves in electronic form, thanks to which data on the diseases of insured persons is automatically transferred to the ZUS systems. In connection with the above, does an employer who has already submitted a contribution payer certificate to ZUS, must submit another Z-3 when continuing the sick leave?

According to the regulations currently in force, the contribution payer, which is an employer who is not also a benefit payer, is obliged to re-issue a Z-3 certificate while continuing the employee's sick leave. Instruction for the ZUS Z-3 certificate:
"If ZUS is to establish the right to an allowance for a further uninterrupted period of illness or care, the application is:
- Z-3 contribution payer certificate completed to item 1 and item 5 of section Information about the employee [...] ”.

Z-3 when the sick leave is continued - summary

A contribution payer who is not also a benefit payer is obliged to issue a Z-3 certificate for his employee who is unable to work for more than 33 or 14 days. Despite the fact that the ZUS systems receive new e-ZLA assigned to a given insured on an ongoing basis, the payer is still obliged to issue another Z-3 when the sick leave is continued by a given person.