Government wants to help criminals get jobs

The Swedish government believes that even convicted criminals should be eased back into the labor market through “new start” jobs.

“It’s of great importance that one’s employment situation is settled at the time of conditional release because that’s a critical time with respect to recidivism. The new release rules create the opportunity for convicts to get a job before they begin their conditional release,” write Justice Minister Beatrice Ask and Employment Minister Sven Otto Littorin on Friday’s debate page of the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

The government’s “new start” jobs programme began in January 2007 in order to help the long-term unemployed more easily re-enter the job market.

The programme allows employers to receive tax breaks offsetting the cost of the employer’s payroll tax when they hire someone who has been without a job for more than one year.

Payroll taxes generally range from 30 to 40 percent of a worker’s salary.

The government also wants to allow convicted criminals to be covered by an employment guarantee currently offered to young people, allowing them the right to jobs that come with certain employment supports.