Government is reducing bureaucracy: no more sick leave notes


WIf he signs himself off as an employee, he soon no longer has to submit his employer a “yellow slip”: an electronic notification procedure is to replace the certificate of incapacity for work in paper form – the employer then receives the necessary data on call from the health insurance company. The Federal Government intends to implement this with its planned “Bureaucracy Relief Act III”, whose draft has been submitted to F.A.Z. is present. Together with other changes in the law, including a switch to electronic registration forms for hotel guests and simplified filing provisions for tax documents, this is expected to relieve the economy by 1.1 billion euros per annum.

Dietrich Creutzburg

With the bill drafted under the leadership of Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU), the government intends to implement an agreement on the reduction of bureaucracy agreed by the Union and the SPD in the coalition agreement and at a coalition summit in May. In return, the Union had promised the SPD to impose on parcel services a tightened subcontractor liability for social contributions from their contractors. For this social minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) has prepared a law. Indirectly, he is also involved in the planned reduction of bureaucracy due to the new regulation on sick leave.

Half a billion less effort

In this regard, the new bill relies on figures from the health insurance funds, according to which nearly 80 million incapacity certificates are created and processed annually. Now employers should not be informed about the medical sick leave by the fact that the employees submit yellow notes.

Instead, the fund, which receives the data anyway, should create an electronic message that the employer can retrieve. This would also avoid the occasional conflicts in everyday life about whether the yellow note was on time or not, it says in the bill, for the economy, the bureaucracy is reduced by 549 million euros.

Fewer tax documents

Another major component of the relief package is that companies no longer need to maintain old electronic tax records in different variants in order to be prepared for a possible tax audit. Previously, they had to ensure that the data was still up to date even after ten years Computer system can be evaluated – which meant a high overhead in a system conversion.

In the future, according to the bill, it should always be sufficient to have the data available on suitable data carriers, but companies no longer have to take the “machine evaluation” of the data themselves from the examiners. “In addition to relieving companies, this also creates incentives for the tax authorities to take timely tax audits,” states the draft.

Relief for 70,000 taxpayers

Another change in tax law concerns the small business owners in VAT law: It is expected to increase from 17,500 to 22,000 euros a year. Anyone who has a lower turnover as a self-employed person – for example as a sideline – will be exempted from the obligation to pay sales tax on request and thus also saves on the expense of the quarterly VAT returns. The border had not been raised for more than 20 years. According to the bill, the planned increase will relieve almost 70,000 taxpayers.

Overall, the bill includes a dozen amendments, including the increase and alignment of several marginal tax and revenue thresholds. In addition, hotels are to be given the option of no longer registering their guests with the traditional registration form, but optionally digitally. At least a part of the annually 150 million registration papers can be saved with this, so the hope. The bureaucracy dismantling law, like the parcel delivery law, will be decided by the federal cabinet in September.

(Alt.) (Alt.) (alt.) Hubertus Heil (t) SPD (t) Federal Government (t) F.A.Z. (t) CDU (t) Sick


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