Declining number of sick days being taken in Sweden

The amount of sick leave being taken in Sweden is on the decline, continuing a trend for this year according to new figures from the country’s Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).

Declining number of sick days being taken in Sweden
File photo not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmmer/TT

For a sixth consecutive month in a row the rate of sick leave being claimed has dropped for both men and women across Sweden. Compared to one year ago, it is down by 2.4 percent.

Försäkringskassan emphasized however that there is still a lot of work to be done to prevent poor health in workplaces.

“In autumn we’ll intensify our dialogue with public sector employers who have high illness numbers,” Försäkringskassan’s head of health insurance Lars-Åke Brattlund said in a statement.

As of July the average yearly sick rate in Sweden was 10.5 days per person. The Swedish government has a target to reduce it to nine days per person by 2020.

Sweden is known for having generous welfare policies by international standards – though sometimes that system can be abused. In January, Försäkringskassan revealed that they had claimed back 86 million kronor ($9.44 million) from parents who wrongfully claimed benefits to look after their sick children in 2016.

The number of parents caught claiming the payment erroneously is growing after the social insurance agency stepped up its controls.

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