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Sweden pledges billions to tackle sick leave lists

Published: 04 Sep 2009 10:44 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Sep 2009 10:44 GMT+02:00

The Swedish government has announced the allocation of 17 billion kronor ($2.36 billion) in the autumn budget for initiatives to prepare the long-term sick for a return to the workplace.

According to the government, around 50,000 people claiming long-term sickness benefits stand to fall out of the system next year. This group has now been targeted with extra labour market measures, such as subsidized employment positions or practical occupational experience.

The Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) will be given an extra 1.5 billion kronor to administer the new groups of applicants.

Even the group classified as disability pensioners are affected by the measures, according to labour market minister Sven Otto Littorin.

"It is a question of building bridges," he said.

Benefit payments for people occupied within the programmes would range from 223-680 kronor per day.

"This would depend on entitlement to unemployment insurance benefits," Littorin said.

But the government is not completely closing the door on the possibility of remaining on sickness benefits if the individual concerned is unable to participate in the Employment Service's programmes.

"There will be some flexibility within the system," Littorin assured.

Those that lose their rights to sickness benefits will at first undergo a three-month evaluation to establish their capacity for work.

They would then be forwarded to the Employment Service which will present alternatives from the portfolio of labour market training measures on offer.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:33 September 4, 2009 by Luckystrike
How the hell can it cost 16 Billion kronor to affectively "F"up 50,000 peoples recovery ??? It does not even create jobs or increase recovery programs, it just puts these people out on the streets with no money and no capacity to work. This is insane. Personally, if people are still stupid enough, Yes YOU!, to vote Fredrik Reinfeldt's Government in next year, Good-Bye Sweden.
14:32 September 4, 2009 by justanotherexpat
Pathetic. It'll just start a witchhunt against people who are genuinely sick. Nice move. Bye-bye caring society - hello the true face of right wing politics.
16:28 September 4, 2009 by LenaNYC
unemployment hits 9.1% and Sweden's export manufacturing is in crisis. what jobs are the longterm unemployed training for? and now this idiocy to get people off disabilty by training them for what? berry-harvest jobs?
17:59 September 4, 2009 by skane refugee
There are parts of Skåne, notably beautiful Österlän in the south east corner, that are absolutely teeming with relatively young Stockholmers on long term paid 'stress' leave from work ...

They potter around beautiful gardens, dabbling in art to exhibit at the next 'konstrunda' ... and/or trade unofficial odd jobs in a complex local quasi-barter economy involving the local farming community ...

Thought this was a very bizarre way of running a national economy ... not a single 'stress ledig' person I've met appeared the slightest bit stressed ... quite the contrary ... they all seemed to think they had life sorted ... difficult to argue otherwise! ;o)
20:31 September 4, 2009 by justanotherexpat
Err.....so what exactly is a stressed person supposed to look like then? Scruffy, unkempt, twitching, dribbling in the corner perhaps? Whatever damned stereotypical view of them you have? Are you an expert on pyschoses and their visual manifestations? Do you even know what criteria should be filled in order for someone to be termed "stress ledig"?

Do you think your over-simplistic accusation will make them acknowledge that they are cheats or will tip them over the edge perhaps? Maybe the latter is your intention - after all, suicides don't cost the taxpayer as much as f-kassa payments.

Typical amateur, knee-jerk judgmentalism that confirms the right wing view.

LenahNYC had the perfect response to this article - but skane refugee confirms what the average, uneducated, inexperienced, amateurish moronic tabloid-headliner will think in connection to this witchhunt.

Pathetic. Pat yourself on the back. I'm sure Reinfeldt would be proud.

Yes, there will be cheats out there but your reaction serves to 'justify' the lable that the tabloid want us to believe.
23:30 September 4, 2009 by skane refugee
take care with those stress levels ;o) ;o)

suggest relaxation ... it's the weekend :-)
02:18 September 5, 2009 by here for the summer
Given a limited pool of money and the need to pay for really sick and injured workers .. it always amazes me to hear otherwise sane Swedes defend the payment of funds to people who are "burned out" .. this would be laughable if it wasn't so detrimental to the Swedish economy in this world recession. it is possible the recession will never end and the jobs will not return ..
21:32 September 5, 2009 by justanotherexpat
Tosser or troll? Let the nation decide.
22:10 September 6, 2009 by skane refugee
'the nation' may decide you're both ;o) :-)
00:52 September 8, 2009 by jack sprat
Truly amazing, looking at the sort of hours most people "work" and the somewhat less than frenetic pace at which they operate, how on earth do they manage to get "burned out"?

Maybe its down to running back and forth to all these pointless meetings and coffee breaks.
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