Small businesses want to fire sick employees

One in five small business owners in Sweden would sack employees who went on long-term sick leave, in order to avoid paying their share of the costs.

This is shown in a new survey by carried out by Research International (RI) for small business organisation The Federation of Private Enterprises.

Nearly a third of businesses responded that they could not avoid responsibility for paying towards sick costs, writes Dagens Nyheter.

The survey was conducted against the background of criticism that employers are forced to pay part of their employees’ sick pay. This system, introduced at the beginning of the year, has been an effective way of forcing those on long-term sick leave out of the job market, the Federation of Private Enterprises argues.

Thirty-one percent said that they could not avoid responsibility for sick pay, RI’s survey shows.

Of those who said that they could avoid paying, 23 percent said that the solution was to get the employee back to work either part or full-time, eight percent said that the sick employee would get money for rehabilitation according to what the social insurance office thought was appropriate, and 21 percent replied that the employee would have to leave the company.

“The survey shows how business owners are thinking,” said Gunvor Engström, managing director of the Federation of Small Businesses, to Dagens Nyheter.

“Our members are really concerned about this question. Businesses do not want to have to pay for long term sick pay, and want the social insurance office to handle rehabilitation,” she said.

TT/The Local

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