New rules put an unreasonable burden on those on sick leave


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With the new harder rules in health insurance, the Government has put an unreasonable burden on those hit by ill-health. We also think that society and employers must assume the responsibility to facilitate their return to work, for instance through improved rehabilitation and efficient occupational health service.
This was stated by Ulla Lindqvist, Second Vice-President of LO Sweden after the social partners meeting on 17 March with Sven-Otto Littorin, Minister of Labour, and Cristina Husmark Pehrsson, Minister of Social Security, in order to discuss changes in health insurance.

The policy has up to now one-sidedly focused on lowered levels of remuneration and on stricter rules in health and unemployment insurances. The short-sightedness of these reforms will become clear when those on sick leave will be forced into unemployment and labour market policy will not be able to prepare them for a return to work, Ulla Lindqvist continued.

It is inefficient for society to press down the level of ill-health with such short-sighted measures. The Government now must ensure that the support they promised becomes a reality, so that people on sick leave are able to regain their working capacity. Everyone must have access to good occupational health service, in the first place through agreement, in the second by law.

Increased responsibility must also be put on employers. LO Sweden attempted to sign an agreement on rehabilitation and career transition. Unfortunately, this was turned down by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise as they, for ideological reasons, discontinued the negotiations of a new central agreement on the Swedish labour market.