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Global Benefit Insights - September 2021


Czech Republic Medical Insurance Restrictions

On 2nd August 2021, an amendment to the Residence of Foreign Nationals Act was passed which reduces the number of insurers that non-locals can use for their private medical insurance requirements.

In the Czech Republic, foreign nationals are required to obtain valid health insurance for their stay. For trips up to 90 days, this can be through basic emergency healthcare provided through a travel insurance plan; for periods over 3 months, comprehensive health insurance plans are required.

Previously individuals had a choice of which insurer they used for their healthcare plan. Due to the changes implemented on the 2nd August 2021, individuals are now only allowed to contract with Pojišťovna VZP (PZVP) for their health insurance, for a period of 5 years from their date of entry. After the 5 year period ends, individuals can again choose which insurer they would prefer to use for their healthcare needs. If an individual is in the Czech Republic and already has an insurance plan with a different insurer, they will be required to move providers to PZVP if they apply for an extension of their permit or if they submit a new residence permit.

Some foreign nationals are exempt if they are covered under an international agreement with the Czech Republic, if they hold a valid EHIC or GHIC health insurance card, or if they qualify as a close family member to an EU citizen. Individuals should check their eligibility prior to entry into the Czech Republic to ensure they have the correct healthcare plan with PZVP, if required.

Additional changes are also effective 2nd August 2021, including new administrative fees, registration certificates, newborn baby health insurance for children born in country, and more. Please review the full legislation changes for further details. Czech Republic Medical Insurance Restrictions.

Paid COVID19 Vaccination Leave in Peru

Effective 7th August 2021, employees in Peru are entitled to up to 4 hours paid leave to obtain their COVID19 vaccination. As an attempt to encourage employees to obtain their COVID vaccination in Peru, the Peruvian Government introduced a law (Law 31334) to allow employees up to 4 hours paid leave to obtain their COVID vaccination.

Employees must notify their employer at least 48 hours prior to their time off for the vaccine. If their vaccination appointment needs to be rescheduled due to the vaccination centre no longer operating at the time of the original appointment, the employee is entitled to re-request the time for the new appointment.

Colombian Parental Leave Changes

Effective 29th July 2021, Colombian law No. 2114/2021 introduced paid shared parental leave, flexible parttime leave arrangements, and extended paid paternity leave.

The law change allows female employees to share the final 6 weeks of maternity leave with the child’s father. Employers must receive a signed written agreement between the parents, within 30 days of the child’s birth/adoption, confirming the leave distribution between both parents. Some parents may not be entitled to shared leave so employees need to review their eligibility based on the list of excluded situations. Shared parental leave is paid by the government.

Parents can also opt for part-time/flexible parental leave in order to extend the period of their maternity/paternity leave by working part-time. This can also be requested in the period of shared parental leave. Father’s can apply from the second week of paternity leave and mother’s can apply from week 13 of their maternity allowance. Employers have 5 days to review and respond to flexible working arrangement requests.

Paid paternity leave has increased from 8 working days to 2 weeks for new parents through birth or adoption. The Government is also expecting to increase this by 5 further weeks, on a sliding scale of 1 additional week per year for the following 5 years, subject to a review of the rate of unemployment each December. If the unemployment rate has decreased by at least 1%, an additional week will be added.
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