Systembolaget employees taking more sick leave

The number of Systembolaget's employees on sick leave has risen in the last year.

According to a survey of major state-owned companies by Svenska Dagbladet, the bottle shop is the only one with an increased occurance of sick leave over the last year. The Swedish Post [Posten] and state railway SJ, nevertheless, still have the highest amount of employees on sick-leave in the state sector.

“We’re conscious that we’ve got a high level of staff on sick-leave,” Karin Furevik, Head of Personnel at Systembolaget told SvD. “But it’s important to remember that our staff have to do a lot of heavy lifting in the store which is physically demanding.”

Furevik denied that the internal strife that has rocked the company in recent months has had any effect and instead blamed the high figures on the fact that the majority of Systembolaget employees are women, who tend to take more time off for sickness.

To combat work-related injuries, the company is trying to reduce the amount of lifting staff do as well as planning to look at companies that have successfully reduced the number of employees on sick-leave for advice.

The Swedish Post and SJ top the table with the greatest number of working hours missed because of illness for the second year in a row.

The Swedish Post claims its aging workforce is to blame.

“Over the last ten year’s staff numbers have practically halved,” said Angelica Björkblom, Health Officer at the Swedish Post. “The average age of our employees has risen considerably.”