Sick of work

If you're on sick leave and want to get back on the job, don't ask the state for help. This was the conclusion of a study by researchers at Lund University, according to Monday's DN.

The study showed that among people off work because of illness, only thirty-five percent of those who have received rehabilitation assistance actually returned to the job market. In contrast, a full fifty-three percent of those who have received no help with rehabilitation go back into a job.

As the authors of the report point out, “It is being forgotten that the point of rehabilitation is to get people back into work.”

The report also found that over half the people getting rehabilitation went straight from taking sick pay to drawing their pensions.

“For many people on long-term sick leave, work-focused rehabilitation is an easy way out of the job market, and into early retirement.”

Very early retirement, it seems: the report says that many people on sick leave are “middle-aged”. All very well, but middle aged was defined in this report as “between 31 and 45 years old”, a finding which must have had many a younger DN reader reaching for the smelling salts.

For those female members of the population managing to put off retirement beyond middle age, there was more bad news. For it seems that even in Sweden, it’s still the blokes who are getting the better deal.

Friday’s Aftonbladet reported that men are paid more in every single industry sector in Sweden. Quoting a report from the Swedish Central Statistics Bureau, the paper said that female estate agents’ take home more than 20% less in salary than their male colleagues.

This came as no surprise to estate agent Anna Kantor-Jansson.

“It’s always been a male dominated profession,” she told Aftonbladet, “and I think there’s still a mentality that men should be paid more.”

There were two jobs where women earned more than their male colleagues, though: nannies and nursery school teachers. A step in the right direction? Or salt in the wound of inequality?