Major reduction in sick leave claims

A sharp drop in the number of people claiming sick benefits has begun saving Sweden billions of kronor.

In 2007 the number of days of paid sick leave covered by the social insurance system was down 13 percent on the previous year, Dagens Nyheter reports.

For the state, the reduction meant that bill for last year fell from 30 to 25 billion kronor.

According to the newspaper, the reduction can primarily be explained by the so-called ‘healthcare billion’, a state run programme whereby counties with the fewest sick leave claims receive higher funding the following year.

The biggest change was noted in Norrbotten, where sick leave claims fell by 20 percent.