The number of sick leave in France jumped by 8% in 2022. A phenomenon, which leads the government to strengthen controls through two measures: the limitation of sick leave given via teleconsultation and a strengthening of controls by the employer.
The famous “sick leave”, these leaves which take place when the state of health of an employee forces him to be absent, continue to multiply in HR offices. An update on this resurgence and the potential reasons that can explain it.
A cost for health insurance of 14.6 billion euros
The increase in sick leave, both in the private and public sectors, would have led the government to propose two measures included in the social security financing bill (PLFSS) which parliamentarians are preparing to examine.
According to the Ministry of Health, these shutdowns jumped 8% last year (a total of nine million stops) which brings the cost for health insurance to 14.6 billion euros. A sum which does not take into account stoppages linked to Covid.
The government’s objective is therefore clear: to stop sick leave deemed abusive, by strengthening controls by companies. To do this, the State wishes to step up “upstream” controls, by reducing the conditions imposed on companies to strengthen checks. The two measures announced are:
- The limitation of sick leave decided by teleconsultation which cannot exceed three days. Prolonged downtime will require a physical examination;
- The second plans to strengthen controls with a possible suspension of compensation.automatically from the report of the medical examiner delegated by the employer and concluding that the stoppage is unjustified, while leaving the insured persons concerned with an appeal to the medical service“. An avenue which is already criticized, calling into question the independence of the doctors who work for the employer. Before, there was an automatic appeal before the medical inspectors of the health insurance funds when a doctor mandated by the employer considered that the work stoppage was unjustified. From now on, it will be up to the patient to appeal, a much more difficult situation.
To hunt down abusive work stoppages, the Ministry of Health is also calling for “collective responsibility” and that of doctors.
A feeling of “general malaise”
But for Dr Kierzek, if it is obvious to stop abusive stoppages “facilitated by teleworking“or those”lasting more than 3 days“, these measures reinforce the suspicions that hover around “patients and doctors“.
“These controls lead to a feeling of general unease. We are calling into question the work stoppage issued by the general practitioner, when, on the contrary, we should give him power back. I also believe that it would be better to stop the abuse of teleconsulation before slapping the fingers of general practitioners, who know their patients.“, concludes the medical director of TipsForWomens.
Note also that these budgetary measures do not address the increasing arduousness of the work highlighted by several studies or the difficulty of access to health professionals (apart from teleconsultations) in certain areas for people who do not have a treating doctor.