• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Stupid' to keep sick pay rule: Christian Democrats

23 Feb 2013, 15:37

Published: 23 Feb 2013 15:37 GMT+01:00

The Centre Party and the Christian Democrats are pushing to scrap the second sick week pay obligation for employers, which would mean that the state would step in to cover a worker's benefits already after the first week of sick leave.

The Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) is hesitant about changing the rules and the Moderate Party wants an inquiry before taking any decisions.

Christian Democrat Mats Odell, the former financial markets minister and current chairman of the Riksdag's Committee on Finance (Näringsutskottet) said it would be "stupid" not to change the rules.

Referring to a study by the Swedish Federation of Business Owners (Företagarna), Odell told Sveriges Radio (SR) that the reform could help generate jobs.

"Between 25,000 and 55,000 job opportunities have been missed because of the rules that are in place today," Odell claimed.

But the Liberal Party's finance policy spokesman, Carl B. Hamilton, was not convinced.

"It is very important for employers to have a clear motive, an incentive, for handling health issues in the workplace," said Hamilton.

Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven has said that it would cost the Swedish state around 1.5 billion kronor ($233 million) per year to take over responsibility for covering the second sick week pay.

Odell put the figure at 1.3 billion kronor and said the reform must be implemented as soon as possible.

"We have formulated a proposal which is entirely feasible. Youth unemployment is such a scourge that we can't wait indefinitely to take concrete measures," said Odell.

Elisabeth Thand Ringqvist, CEO of the Swedish Federation of Business Owners, said she believes a change is imminent.

"The reason why so many parties are shifting on this issue is because it is something that businesses often bring up. The sick pay obligation is causing a lot of trouble for them," said Thand Ringqvist.

According to the Federation of Business Owners, the sick pay obligation rules have not had any effect on sick leave rates since they were introduced in 1992.

Story continues below…

At the time, the general payroll tax was lowered as a compensation for employers but Thand Ringqvist said that raising that tax is out of the question.

She also admitted that scrapping the sick pay obligation is not a guarantee for creating more jobs.

"No, we cannot draw that conclusion," she said.

TT/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

19:30 February 23, 2013 by old git
lots of new jobs, just like when they reduced the moms on restaurants...is 1.3 billion the final cost to the state ie our taxes, or the cost of paying the extra week, from which we could extract the extra taxes paid by the 25-55000 new jobs, which would make sense...more info needed(as often the case on here unfortunately)
13:49 February 24, 2013 by Twiceshy
The most amazing rule, to me, is that you can take vacation, get sick, call in, go on sick time, so you don't miss your vacation time. Wow!
Today's headlines
Joe Biden to arrive in Sweden for refugee talks
Stefan Löfven meets Joe Biden during a visit to Washington in March 2015. Photo: Monica Enqvist/Government Offices of Sweden

US Vice President Joe Biden will arrive in Stockholm on Wednesday evening ahead of talks with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that are expected to focus on migration and refugees.

Boy who attacked goalkeeper 'bet thousands' on game
Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

A 17-year-old boy who stormed the pitch and attacked a goalkeeper in Sweden’s top division earlier this month has claimed he had placed a large bet on the result.

Furious fireman lashes out at Malmö car arsonists
Firefighters battle a blaze in Malmö earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A fireman in Malmö has won praise across Sweden for calling out arsonists on the “bullshit” reasons behind a spate of car fires in the southern city.

See Stockholm spectacularly change through the seasons
A bright autumn day in Stockholm. Photo: Delphine Fortin

In order to help her long-distance relationship, one Stockholm-based blogger produced a fascinating visual illustration of the Swedish capital throughout the seasons.

Groped woman had 'gigantic breasts' - player cleared
File image (2010) of Björklöven players in a huddle. Photo: public domain

A former prosector said the reasoning was "absurd" and "illegitimate".

Sweden’s high-speed trains the least punctual in Europe
One of Sweden's high-speed trains during a delay in Stockholm. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

It seems the Swedes are not quite so efficient after all.

Refugee crisis
Asylum seekers leaving Sweden in record numbers
The Swedish Migration Agency offices in Solna. Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

The large number of asylum seekers leaving Sweden in 2016 coincides with a dramatic fall in the number seeking asylum in the country compared to last year.

Long-term damage seen from brain injuries: Swedish study
A model of the human brain. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

A study carried out in Sweden suggests that youths who suffer traumatic brain injuries are more likely to experience long-term psychological and social problems.

The Local List
30 Swedish movies you must see before you die
Thomas Hedegran and Rolf Lassgård in thriller The Hunters. Photo: Photo: Per Pettersson/TT

Film buff Christian Ekvall picks out 30 definitive Swedish movies you must see to understand the soul of the country's cinema.

Malmö police catch car arson suspect in the act
Another car blaze earlier this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Malmö police have arrested a man after they caught him setting a vehicle alight in the Rosengård district as the city's spate of summer car fires continued.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
IN PICS: Your Sweden summer snaps
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
National
Why are fewer foreign graduates staying in Sweden to work?
Culture
This Swedish street artist's incredible murals will make your jaw drop
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,361
jobs available