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Managing a family is not work: court

Managing a family is not work: court

Published: 05 Dec 2009 11:01 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Dec 2009 11:01 GMT+01:00

A stay-at-home parent’s activities are not classified as ‘work’, according to the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court (Regeringsrätten).

The Court refused to award a Malmö woman unemployment insurance benefits (a-kassa), after the Administrative Court of Appeal (Kammarrätten) had considered that she had no right to receive social benefits, according to the news agency Siren.

Even if the children have special needs that prevent the parent from working outside of the home, the parent is still not entitled to receive unemployment benefits.

The same principle applies to workers in shelter homes. A woman in Sölvesborg was left without benefits, as she was also not considered to satisfy the working conditions stipulated under the a-kassa unemployment insurance scheme.

This was despite the fact that the emergency shelter work demanded that she was on duty throughout the entire day.

The woman had been employed for the past five years, with a specified period of notice of termination, a salary that was equivalent to a treatment assistant’s, and she had paid regular premiums to a-kassa since 1997.

Stuart Roberts (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:05 December 5, 2009 by lingonberrie
The woman who was employed in the shelter deserves benefits just as does any person who works a normal shift, receives an income and pays into the system.

The larger claim that managing a family is not work is pure bunk.

I have managed a family, and done house-work both--while married and single--and doing those jobs right, that is: recycling, and doing all of the indoor household cleaning, and doing the laundry:sorting, drying and washing and folding, and putting the same away, and planning and doing the cooking, and cleaning-up after the meal, and doing the dishes and the pots and pans, and putting away the same, among myriad other bedroom and bathroom and pantry chores, is definitely work. Those who have children could expand this list five fold.

I have had jobs that were a vacation compared to the work that is required in a household.

The only people who think that managing a household is not work are the royals and the super rich, because they are exempt from the labors of mere mortals. The other 99% of humanity must work.
19:30 December 5, 2009 by anticommie
So I should pay you because you chose to lay around and breed. No thanks! If you wanna choose having kids and not working, then find a way to finance it without using others money. What a disgusting idea that you should steal the money others have to work for because your selfish and lazy.
22:02 December 5, 2009 by Zoolander428
I'm with anticommie on this one.

Then again, I'm against any gov't welfare programs. I can understand helping those who can not physically work. But not being able to find a job, is not justification for stealing money I earn.

I'm all for charity, and donated a decent amount to charities of my choosing when in the US. But I refuse to accept that taking money against one's will does any 'greater good.'

There is no difference between the thief who breaks into your home while you're gone, and theif who passes a law saying you have to give the x% of the money you EARN.
23:43 December 5, 2009 by wotist
I have read this article several times and I'm still not sure what it says. I do "get" what is meant by "Managing a family is not work". I don't think Lingonberrie does. Sure, managing a family is a lot of work, but it's not "work". This is as far as I understand though. If the court had ruled that what she did was "work", wouldn't they have also then ruled that she wasn't unemployed? But the court didn't consider it work so...key ingredients are missing from this story. Is there some original Swedish story that's been botched up in translation here? Did the court rule that the woman was unable to accept jobs offered and therefor was not eligible for unemployment benefits?

The second story here doesn't seem like a botch job. It does seem like bastardly bureaucrats though. She did a job. She was on call 24/7, she was payed a monthly (set) salary - but she didn't work a set amount of hours? I'm guessing - even though it's not mentioned in the story - that the woman was deemed to have worked less than the stipulated minimum amount of hours required to be eligible for unemployment benefits. It would be nice if stories on the local actually contained these details though.

Anticommie and Zoolander428:

I'm all for temporary unemployment benefits. I think that most people here can accept those. By far the majority of people (even in Sweden) hate being unemployed and not being able to supporting themselves. Yea, really. What I have a problem with is people who refuse to ever work or who outright defraud the system. Don't you have unemployment benefits in the good ol' USA? In fact, I'm pretty sure I've even read about how those benefits are being extended now.
05:53 December 6, 2009 by Greg in Canada
It's a lot of "work" to raise kids. As a parent and single dad I did that with two of them. But I never asked anybody else to pay the bill.

However, I agree that this story seems to be lacking details.
09:59 December 6, 2009 by Rick Methven
"Even if the children have special needs that prevent the parent from working outside of the home, the parent is still not entitled to receive unemployment benefits"

So a woman has to give up work to care for a special needs child and gets no benefit. She must have paid her unemployment insurance at some stage else she could not go to A-kassan anyway.

This is a catch 22 situation. If she goes to work and leaves her special needs child at home, Social Services would most probably prosecute her for child neglect.

As for anticommie, he is a redneck american who is not in Sweden so just ignore him.
12:32 December 6, 2009 by Twiceshy
I don't understand the article either. Bear with me for a minute here. Either managing a family is work, or it is not work.

If it is work, and you're still managing your family, you're still working so you aren't entitled to unemployment benefits.

If it is not work, you aren't entitled to unemployment benefits as you were never employed.

Either way, you aren't to unemployment benefits. What's the story here?
18:45 December 6, 2009 by Hairdont
Oh my fellow Americans:

A-Kassa is a form of insurance which you pay for out of your pocket just like health insurance, auto insurance or life insurance. I've been paying this insurance for 3 years and now that I'm out of work I receive money to live on until I find another job. It is not welfare. It is not free. It is a service which I have chosen to purchase with my own, earned money. Had I not had this insurance I would have had to turn to the local government for help. After thoroughly checking out my personal finances they would have come to my apartment and pointed out all the nice things I could sell on E-bay for cash and then after I was sitting there on my chair in the middle of a mostly empty room, then, they'd start helping with rent and other expenses. Rush Limbaugh has never lived in Sweden. FYI.
19:55 December 6, 2009 by lingonberrie
So, now you know what A-Kassa is so the welfare and lazy remarks can stop.

I have a problem with the title given here, that "Managing a family is not work," and the caption has a woman pushing a sweeper, so I assume that she is doing housework, and since she is in a bath-robe and slippers, I assume that she is in her own home, thus: this is an article about managing a house-hold, and house-work is part of what must be managed, and house-work to the average family wife or dad or single woman or male entails all of which I have outlined, and then some, in my first comment.

I arrived at that conclusion by employing a faculty that is entirely missing in the United States, that is, critical thinking.
21:05 December 6, 2009 by wotist
The woman in that picture is wearing 3/4 shorts, not a bath robe. But I guess that's really beside the point. I will admit that my original remark to you was unnecessary - but you did get all riles up about a claim that noone made. We don't even know what words (in Swedish) Regeringrätten used in their verdict.

Your remark about people from the United States doesn't really impress me either.
22:03 December 6, 2009 by lingonberrie
You can be assured that I am not posting to impress you, wotist.

Yes, but whatever she is wearing that is almost most certainly the garb of someone who is at home doing housework.

I sometimes do post again in the same thread, but rarely three times, and when I do that is to bring out the worms in the wood-work.
01:12 December 7, 2009 by Ahavah
So, if I hire someone else to do it, THEY are working, THEY get benefits through this program if they are ill or injured, and THEY receive unemployment if need be, but if I do it myself, it's NOT work? Is this somebody's idea of logical? Or intelligent? How does having some third world brown woman do it for me suddenly make it work?
13:43 December 7, 2009 by Streja
Hmmm ahavah, you're not making any sense. So if I hire a nanny she is a mother?

Plus, you should read Hairdont's post. it's an insurance, so if the brown woman you hire have paid into the a-kassa insurance then she will get it if she ever becomes unemployed.
01:05 December 8, 2009 by Jon in KC
First, I am amazed at all the US bashing and Redneck comments on this post. What does any of that have to do with the topic?

Let's look at the 2 women separately.

First you have the woman who is manages a family(what we call a home-maker in the US). The story claims that she had not worked, and by work I assume they mean to perform a service for a fee. Let's face it, its a lot of physical and mental labor to raise a family, but you don't receive a monetary payment. So no taxable income or income to pay toward unemployment insurance. Now the question is, did she at any time pay into an a-kassa program? At that time was she employed and receiving income? These are things we don't know from the story, so we can't really discuss. If she did at one time pay into a-kassa, then she should receive benefits, if she did so while not employed, then that is like buying car insurance and not having a car.

Now the second woman had a job for which she received a set income. I fail to understand how someone can work the entire day(not sure if that means 24/7 or just the 8 hours a day in this case) Now, if I understand it correctly, she worked at an emergency shelter, so something that is not in use all the time, however she was still technically employed. As such she is now un-employed and should be able to claim her benefits. Again, I read that she had been paying into the plan since 1997. If so she has about 12 years of money she should be able to recoup. If the plan says her job status did not apply then she should not have had the plan. I understand this to be separate from government assistance, so voluntary and therefore something she could have opted out of had she known that her job did not meet a-kassa's definition of employment.

So for the second woman, is it merely a case of an insurance company taking her money and then when she makes a claim telling her that her job didn't meet the requirements of being employed so she didn't really lose a income amount large enough for them to pay out.? So did she know her job didn't meet the requirements and she opted in anyway, did it just slip her mind and she didn't read the fine print, or did the insurance company mislead her? Again, we don't have the facts to make a judgment call.
01:52 December 8, 2009 by Twiceshy
Ahavah if I hire someone to wipe my ass, that's work. If I do it myself, it's not.
02:48 December 8, 2009 by anticommie
I guess if I said obama is a dumb n1gger from america, that would have been edited. But using slurs toward white people are ok in this forum.
10:23 December 8, 2009 by wifey
Hmmm... so if I work AND do house work I'm doing overtime??

I'm not working at the moment, learning Swedish and planning on furthuring my education. I don't receive any benefits as I have never worked in Sweden and that's just fair. BUT- there are a LOT of people at my sfi course (about 90%) who I know DO receive befnefits and it's not just your basic unemployment benefit, it's EVERYTHING. They have their housing and bills paid for by the government, they get money every month to dress and feed themselves and their children, and as I can see, they are breeding (a LOT of the women at the course are pregnent) which means the government will soon be dishing out more money.... so in all fairness, I believe the headline should be 'learning Swedish and breeding like rabbits is not work'.

n.b the above mentioned, I know some who have been here for up to 4 years and NEVER worked and the govt is paying their way. I would much prefer my future taxes to be going elsewhere....
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