People on paid sick leave can receive sick pay while abroad

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The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs removes the requirement that recipients of sick pay must be in Norway. The background is a new interpretation of an EU regulation.

“The government will work for measures that can limit and halt the export of welfare benefits,” the Granavolden platform states. Now Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Anniken Hauglie (H) is liberalizing the rules for receiving sick leave abroad, reports ABC News.

This happens as a result of a new interpretation of an EU regulation, according to the answer the Minister gives to a question raised by the Center Party’s fiscal spokesman Sigbjørn Gjelsvik.

“There is a great danger that this will lead to increased costs for control, increased misuse of money and undermining the Norwegian GP system,” says Gjelsvik to ABC News.

“There may also be doctors abroad who can report sickness. This gives more room to abuse the system,” says Gjelsvik, who says he has received signals in that direction from people in the Nav system.

The liberalization came in the form of a circular memo to the Nav staff:

“The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has decided, following input from the National Insurance Court, that sick leave pay benefits cannot be stopped or denied only on the basis that the user is staying, or has stayed in another EEA country.”

Section 8–9 of the National Insurance Act states: “It is a condition for the right to sick pay that the member resides in Norway”.

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