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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure SE-2020-11/566 Updated – measures in Sweden

Sick pay standard reduction suspended - Encouraging employees to stay home

Slopat karensavdrag

Country Sweden , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 11 March 2020 – 31 March 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Paid sick leave
Author Anna-Karin Gustafsson (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Measure added 13 April 2020 (updated 07 February 2022)

Background information

To reduce the risk of the virus spreading, the sick pay standard deduction has been temporarily discontinued. Under normal circumstances the deduction is 20% of sick pay and a one-off amount based on an average work week. The measure aims to incentivise employees to stay home from work if they experience symptoms. The measure is regulated in the Ordinance (2020:195) on certain sickness benefit relating to the illness COVID-19 (Förordning om vissa sjukpenningförmåner med anledning av sjukdomen COVID-19).

Content of measure

The government has decided to temporarily suspend the deduction from sick pay. This means that you can apply for a retroactive reimbursement for deductions that your employer has made from your sick pay from 11 March 2020. All workers who become sick - not exclusively those with suspected COVID-19 - are eligible for reimbursement. Employed persons will be reimbursed SEK 700 before taxes. Self-employed persons will receive SEK 804 before taxes for each day they are ill during the qualifying period.

Unemployed and employees currently on parental leave apply for sickness benefit from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) as usual. This is also the case if you do not receive sick pay from your employer. Försäkringskassan will not make a deductions from individuals' sickness benefit.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

07 December 2021

The Government proposes re-activation of this measure. The measure will be in force until March 2021.

01 June 2021

The Government has decided to extend the duration of this measure until the end of September 2021.

13 January 2021

The Government has decided to extend the duration of this measure until the end of April 2021. In addition, the amount of the reimbursement increases from SEK 804 to SEK 810 (approximately €80). The reimbursement for self-employed increased to SEK 810 for the first 14 days of the sick leave.

Use of measure

As all who become sick - not exclusively those with suspected COVID-19 - are eligible for reimbursement, the number of workers receiving the reimbursement is expected to be very large. At the date of announcement, the measure was expected to cost the government SEK 1 billion per month.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Self-employed
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

No information available.

Views and reactions

The Swedish Municipal Workers’ Union (Kommunal) and the Swedish Association of Health Professionals (Vårdförbundet) would like this measure to become permanent. They argue that the sick pay reduction results in people going to work while being ill.

Sources

  • 09 April 2020: The coronavirus/covid-19 – applicable regulations (www.forsakringskassan.se)
  • 03 July 2020: Remove the sick pay standard reduction permanently after the COVID-19 crisis (Slopa karensavdraget permanent efter krisen) (www.aftonbladet.se)
  • 25 September 2020: Measures that reinforce social security during the COVID-19 pandemic (Åtgärder på socialförsäkringsområdet med anledning av nya coronaviruset) (www.regeringen.se)
  • 13 January 2021: Åtgärder inom sjukförsäkringen med anledning av nya coronaviruset (www.regeringen.se)
  • 01 June 2021: Regeringen har beslutat om förlängningar av åtgärder inom socialförsäkringen med anledning av covid-19 [The Government has decided about extensions of measures within the social security scheme] (www.regeringen.se)
  • 07 January 2022: Regeringen presenterar åtgärdsplan för införande av fler smittskyddsåtgärder från och med 8 december 2021 [The Government proposes new support measures] (www.regeringen.se)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Sick pay standard reduction suspended - Encouraging employees to stay home, measure SE-2020-11/566 (measures in Sweden), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/SE-2020-11_566.html

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