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© RIA Novosti. Said Tzarnaev

Putin limits sick pay after Zenit scandal

by R-Sport at 08/04/2013 12:55

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a measure limiting incapacity benefit after a scandal in which injured footballers drained half of St. Petersburg’s social insurance budget, the administration said Monday.

The social security system pays out benefits corresponding to a percentage of a sick worker’s usual salary and allowed just 12 Zenit St. Petersburg players to claim $5.2 million from city coffers in 2011.

The new rules aim to stop wealthy sports stars and corporate high-flyers claiming large sums while unfit for work.

“It is anticipated that in 2013 the restriction will affect no more than 90 highly paid insured citizens, people like professional sportsmen and the management staff of major companies,” the presidential administration said in a website statement.

The monthly limit for a person’s incapacity benefit will be set at four times the usual monthly social security contribution from their paycheck, the administration said.

In October, the head of the St. Petersburg fund that paid out the controversial benefits said Zenit had agreed to stop registering players for incapacity benefit.

At the time of the Zenit scandal, a leading Russian senator said a clinic used by the club had been ordered to return 18 million rubles ($570,000) to the city after two injury claims were found to be baseless.

It is not clear whether the Sogaz clinic returned the money.

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