Calculations conducted by NyAnalyse for Corporate Federation have shown that Norway could save NOK 15 billion annually by decreasing sick leave to the Swedish level.
‘When the Swedes introduced a waiting period and 80% sick pay, short-term sickness absences were halved. Here, we don’t even want to talk about this,’ said CEO, Olaf H. Thommessen, of the Corporate Federation to Dagsavisen newspaper.
Sweden currently has a sickness absence rate of 3.2%, while the sickness absence in Norway runs at 6.4%, according to the Corporate Federation. In the state budget for 2017, the costs for sickness benefits were set at NOK 36.6 billion.
Thommesen pointed out that sickness absences are 40% higher during the winter Olympics.
‘Let’s discuss it for God’s sake. And it should be possible to find solutions that won’t affect the chronically ill,’ he said.
Corporate Federation recalls Nav’s recent report concluding that 687,000 full-time employment positions were lost in 2016 due to illness or unemployment.
Next year, the 2001 inclusive employment agreement comes up for renewal. Then, sick-pay should be discussed, Thommessen thinks.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today