EU - report from the EU negotiating delegation, January 2011
Report from the EU negotiating delegation on Mandatory insurance, age limit, professional domicile.
1. Mandatory insurance
As a result of two recent claims, an unrecognised effect of the mandatory insurance policy has become apparent. The insurers argue that it is a basic rule of insurance that a policy can not provide cover under two different headings for the same adverse event. The result is that when temporary total incapacity becomes permanent total invalidity, compensation is affected. See para.31 of the policy specification.
What does this mean in practice?
You make a claim, notifying the insurer that you are unable to work and providing supporting documents. The insurer, if satisfied with the evidence, makes payments – your daily remuneration for three weeks and 35% of daily remuneration for a further 49 weeks. To make the sums easy, let’s say that amounts in total to €35,000.
This compensation is payable for a period of twelve months maximum.
At the 12-month point, as a result of the same accident or illness, you are still unable to work and now have medical certificates in support of a permanent total invalidity claim. It is accepted, and so the insurers agree to pay 30% for life of your annual remuneration. Again, to keep calculations easy, let’s say that amounts to €30,000 per annum, or €2,500 monthly.
So they pay €35,000 in the first year, and €30,000 per annum after that?
No. Because of the basic insurance rule mentioned above, they say they can not start paying the €30,000 per annum until they have recovered the €35,000 paid in the first year for temporary total incapacity. So instead of immediately starting monthly payments of €2,500, they wait 14 months, by which time they have recovered the €35,000 paid in the first year.
This means they pay €35,000 for the first 26 months?
Please note that the figures above have been chosen solely to illustrate the mechanics of the policy’s effects.
The Commission, which negotiated the insurance contract, has consulted its Legal Service which confirmed this interpretation of the policy. One colleague affected has challenged the insurer’s interpretation and applied for arbitration under para.32 of the policy. This arbitration procedure is ongoing.
The Delegation has been in touch with colleagues affected and with the SCIC about the matter. Its representations also covered apparent shortcomings in claims handling by Van Breda, and it has urged SCIC to address these with the broker.
We will keep you informed of developments.
2. Application of the Agreement – flat-rate travel allowance, loyalty cards etc.
Alerted by a colleague to a seeming anomaly in the interpretation and application of article 7, the Delegation raised the issue of non-payment of a travel allowance. The grounds for non-payment were that it was not due if the return journey was not to the place of the professional domicile. As a result of our representations, SCIC has now stated that from 30 Nov. 2010 it will pay the allowance, if due, even when the ACI does not return to the place of the professional domicile, thus applying article 7 in the same way as the EP.
An AIIC-member has asked us to ensure colleagues realise that when a contract is changed from a non-local contract to a local one (i.e. the ACI is reassigned to the place of the professional domicile), the flat-rate travel allowance is no longer due.
The Delegation has objected to the recent change in the practice of reimbursing the purchase of loyalty cards, reimbursing only once they had expired, rather that as soon as the savings engendered matched the purchase price. Our arguments have been accepted by the Institutions, which are now exploring how to revert to the original practice while accommodating their own accounting requirements.
We will keep you informed.
3. Interpreters’ data shared by international organisations
The scheme of which you were informed in our last report became operational on 1 Oct. 2010. The German Bundestag and Bundeswehr have now asked to become part of the scheme. Very few colleagues have opted out of the scheme.
4. Professional domicile
At the Delegation’s insistence, before the data sharing in 3 above went ahead, AIIC and the Institutions checked their respective data bases to ensure the professional domiciles matched. This exercise has been completed. The Institutions declared it useful, and agreed to repeat it at intervals.
5. Age limit
The Delegation once again questioned the maximum age limit of 65 applied by SCIC when recruiting ACI, on the basis of a statement in a DG Human Resources paper on an unrelated subject which caught our attention. The substance of the statement was that ACI are subject exclusively to the EU-AIIC Agreement and not to the CEOS (Conditions of Employment of Other Servants). In other words, it indicated that ACI are not subject to the age limit, in contrast to DG SCIC’s position. Since then, DG HR seems to have done a U-turn and retracted that statement. As we were promised a copy of the revised position by DG HR’s legal advisers, we look forward to examining it and to reporting further on these twists and turns.
Recommended citation format:European Union Negotiating Delegation. "EU - report from the EU negotiating delegation, January 2011". aiic.net February 2, 2011. Accessed June 1, 2020. <http://aiic.net/p/3567>.
Anything to say?
You must be logged in to comment. Sign-in