The rules of sickness insurance must be revised

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The rules of sickness insurance must be revised and the sick entitled to compensation
Many of those on sick-leave find themselves in a hopeless situation - they are neither granted rehabilitation nor the right to sickness compensation. Therefore, the rules of sickness insurance and the so-called "rehabilitation chain" introduced by the government in 2008 must be revised.

These demands have been presented by LO President Wanja Lundby-Wedin and Vice President Ulla Lindqvist to the Swedish Minister of Health and Social Affairs.

Above all, it is necessary to revise the unjust time limits.

According to the present rules, the work capacity of those on sick-leave is during the first 90 days assessed in relation to the former employment. After only 6 months of sick-listing, the work capacity is assessed in relation to the entire labour market. In reality, this means assessing a person for a hypothetical job on a fictional labour market. LO considers that this is a questionable method. Moreover, responsible authorities have difficulties in interpreting the rules. This can result in the Social Insurance Agency making unfair decisions. The present rules have in many cases become a way of gradually removing people from the insurance; people who are ill and have no other means of subsistence.

This situation is contradictory to fundamental legal fairness and common sense.

In LO's opinion, as many as possible are to be given the opportunity to return to work after illness, care or medical rehabilitation measures. A prerequisite is that there are well-functioning work-life oriented rehabilitation schemes and that the workplaces are adjusted to the needs. This is not the case today. There is a lack of obligations, incentives and monitoring as regards the employers' liability to fulfil their rehabilitation duties, as stipulated in the Work Environment Act.