Sick employee days 1-90
The information for employers found below covers sick pay, sickness benefit during the first 90 days and alternatives to sick leave.
Temporary rules due to the coronavirus
Some rules for compensation from Försäkringskassan have been temporarily amended due to the coronavirus. So please update yourself on the rules on this page:
The employee reports their sickness to you, the employer. You then assess the employee’s entitlement to sick pay. You do this by assessing whether the employee’s sickness makes them unable to work. From your sick pay, you must make a waiting day deduction corresponding to 20 percent of the sick pay for an average week. The period during which you pay sick pay (days 1-14) is called the sick pay period. It is counted in calendar days and is regulated in the Swedish Sick Pay Act. The employee must report their sickness to you (the employer).
If a doctor has decided that the employee is not allowed to work because of infection, you do not need to pay sick pay. Nor do you have to make a waiting day deduction.
If your employee is expected to be ill for more than 60 days, you must draw up a plan for returning to work no later than 30 days from the start of the illness. The plan should support the rehabilitation work done in the workplace and include the measures that need to be implemented in order for your employee to be able to return to work. You do not need to draw up a plan if, taking into account the state of the employee’s health, it is evident that a return to work is not possible.
The employer must:
- Assess the employee’s work capacity.
- Pay the employee sick pay if they are entitled to this.
- Draw up a plan for returning to work no later than 30 days from the start of the illness.
The employee must:
- Report their sickness to you (the employer) on day 1.
- Submit a doctor’s certificate to you (the employer) on day 8. The government has temporarily removed the requirement from Day 8.
- Participate in planning for a return to work to the best of their ability.
During the first 14 days, you must assess whether the employee’s sickness makes them unable to work. The employee only has the right to sickness pay if they are unable to do their regular work or any other comparable work that you (the employer) can offer temporarily.
If the employee is capable of working, but cannot get to work as usual, you can pay compensation for additional expenses for travel to and from work instead of sick pay. Read more about this further down on the page.
Use the doctor’s knowledge.
The doctor’s certificate can give you information about the employee’s needs during the sick leave period. Sometimes, small adjustments to the work situation can facilitate work. The occupational health service or a similar resource can provide help if you need advice and support.
The employee can receive preventive sickness benefit if they are undergoing medical treatment or medical rehabilitation to prevent sickness or shorten its duration.
Försäkringskassan pays the benefit for the time the employee is unable to work because they are undergoing treatment or rehabilitation. For the remaining time, the employee receives their pay as usual. The treatment or rehabilitation must be prescribed by a doctor and approved by Försäkringskassan.
The employee avoids a waiting day deduction. Försäkringskassan pays the preventive sickness benefit from the first day of treatment.
You as employer are responsible for working as soon as possible to adapt the work situation of your employee and to continuously investigate what adjustment and rehabilitation measures your employee needs in order to return to work.
Here are some examples of what you can adapt:
- the workplace
- technical equipment
- working hours
- work tasks.
You are also responsible for drawing up a plan for returning to work no later than day 30, if the employee is expected to be ill for at least 60 days.
If five calendar days or more have passed when the employee falls ill again, he/she has a new waiting day and a new sick pay period begins.
If the employee falls ill again within five calendar days of the end of a sickness period, the days are added together into a single sick pay period. This applies whether the employee has the same illness or something different.
You add the days of the previous sickness period with the days of the new sickness period so that together they total 14 days. You do not include the days the employee was healthy and worked.
Bear in mind that there can be no more than one full waiting day deduction for a sick pay period of 14 days. If the employee has not worked at least one full day after you paid a full sick pay period, you do not have to pay sick pay if the employee falls ill again. You must instead report the employee’s illness to Försäkringskassan
The employee must:
- Report their illness to you (the employer) when they fall ill again.
- Submit a doctor’s certificate from the eighth day of the new sickness period.
Pay travel allowance instead of sick pay
If you as the employer deem that the employee can work, but cannot get to work in a usual manner, you can pay an allowance for additional expenses for travel to and from work instead of sick pay. The travel allowance that is paid instead of sick pay is taxable. Travel allowance can only be paid if the employee is on sick leave full time. The allowance is paid for the same number of days corresponding to the sick pay period, i.e. 14 days. Days of compensation are added together if there are 5 days or less between payments of compensation. For example, if the employee works from home for more than five days and then again is once more granted an allowance for travel by the employer, it is counted as a new sick pay period of 14 days.
Adapt the working day to the employee – adjustable sick pay
During the sick pay period, you should maintain a dialogue with the employee to assess how much they can work despite their illness. You can agree for the employee to work a different number of hours on different days, depending on the business’s situation and how much the employee can handle. There are no rules specifying that sick leave has to be a specific percentage of normal working hours to provide entitlement to sick pay. As of day 15, Försäkringskassan can, however, only grant sickness benefit at 100, 75, 50 or 25 per cent.
Offer assistive devices
An assistive device or adaptation of the workplace can make it possible for a person on sick leave to return to work. Consult with the occupational health service or other similar resource to see whether this is possible. Försäkringskassan can provide an allowance for assistive devices or adaptation. But, if the assistive device or workplace adaptation is considered to be part of your employer responsibility to provide a good working environment under the Work Environment Act, then Försäkringskassan will not pay any allowance.
Both you and your employee can apply for allowance for workplace assistive devices. The type of assistive device in question determines who submits the application.
If the employee is still on sick leave after 14 days, you no longer need to pay sick pay. The employee instead applies for sickness benefit from Försäkringskassan beginning from day 15. As the employer, you are obliged to report to Försäkringskassan if the employee is still sick after the end of the sick pay period. It is important that you report it as soon as possible so Försäkringskassan can begin to process the employee’s case.
The employer must:
- Report the employee’s sickness to Försäkringskassan (by no earlier than day 15 and no later than day 21)
The employee must:
- Apply for sickness benefit.
When they employee applies for sickness benefit, they must provide information about their income. In some cases, we need to request information about income from you (the employer). If so, you report the employee’s income. It is important that you do this as soon as possible so that the disbursement of sickness benefit is not delayed for the employee.
As employer, you are also responsible for drawing up a plan for returning to work no later than day 30, if the employee is expected to be ill for at least 60 days. The plan should support the rehabilitation work done in the workplace and include the measures that need to be implemented in order for your employee to be able to return to work. You do not need to draw up a plan if, taking into account the state of the employee’s health, it is evident that a return to work is not possible.
The employer must:
- Report the employee’s sickness to Försäkringskassan if this was not done previously (see Day 15).
- Report the employee’s income if Försäkringskassan requests income information.
- Have ongoing contact with the employee during the sick leave.
- Draw up follow up on plan for returning to work.
- Participate in a reconciliation meeting if Försäkringskassan invites you to one.
The employee must:
- Apply for sickness benefit from Försäkringskassan.
- Send the doctor’s certificate to Försäkringskassan and to the employer.
- Participate in planning and measures that enable them to return to work as soon as possible.
- As far as possible, participate in drawing up a plan for returning to work together with the employer.
- Assess the work capacity.
- Pay the employee sickness benefit if they are entitled to this.
- Identify and, if necessary, coordinate the different measures the employee needs to be able to return to work.
- If needed, request the employer to submit their plan for returning to work.
- If needed, invite the parties to a reconciliation meeting.
Days 15–90, Försäkringskassan assesses whether the employee can handle their regular work or other appropriate work that you can offer temporarily as employer.
Försäkringskassan must therefore determine whether you, as employer, are able to temporarily offer the employee different work tasks, or whether it is possible to adapt the workplace or working conditions so the employee can work despite the illness. Försäkringskassan can do this, for example, by calling you or asking your employee to submit an employer statement from you.
The employee is only entitled to sickness benefit to the extent they are unable to perform their regular work or any other suitable work that you as an employer can temporarily offer.
The employee’s work capacity is assessed differently, depending on how long they have been sick. This is called the rehabilitation chain. Read more about this further down on the page.
What is work training?
Work training means that the employee comes to a workplace without any requirements related to performance. While the employee is performing work training, someone else performs the work tasks the sick employee cannot handle or cannot perform in time due to the illness. Work training is not intended to replace the time it normally takes to learn a new job. This form of vocational rehabilitation can be a good choice if the employee cannot handle working part time.
The work training must be planned together with Försäkringskassan, which assesses whether it is an effective rehabilitation measure for the employee in question. During the work training, Försäkringskassan can pay rehabilitation allowance to the employee.
Work training can be one of a group of rehabilitation measures needed to enable the employee to return to work. Work training is often combined with other measures, such as adaptation of the workplace and working hours, or various assistive devices.
What do you do to be able to give an employee the option of work training?
If you believe work training would help an employee on sick leave return to work, contact Försäkringskassan. If Försäkringskassan also determines that work training is suitable, we will draw up a rehabilitation plan together with you (the employer), the employee, and their doctor.
The plan must include:
- the goal of the work training
- how long the work training will last
- how many hours per day the employee will perform work training
- which work tasks the employee will practise.
- by whom, how and when the work training will be followed up
How much should the employee perform work training?
The employee must perform work training for at least one quarter of their normal working hours. Work training normally lasts no more than three months.
If the employee can work, but cannot get to work in a usual manner, they can request an allowance for additional expenses for travel to and from work instead of sickness benefit. The employee applies for an allowance for travel using the same form as that used to apply for sickness benefit. The employee can also contact Försäkringskassan as early as the sick pay period and announce that they intend to apply for travel allowance.
The prerequisite for reimbursement of additional travel costs is that your employee has a full-time medical certificate. The employee can work in full or in part with travel expenses. During the transition period between you as employer paying travel allowance during the sickness period and Försäkringskassan taking over as of day 15, the employee may need have to pay out of their own pocket.
If the employee is at risk of having long periods if illness or of falling ill often, they may be entitled to special high risk protection. This means that you, as employer, can receive compensation for the employee’s sick pay costs.
The employee is covered by the special high risk protection if it is likely that illness or a disability will cause them to be
- sick often (more than ten times in one year), or
- ill for a long period of time (more than 28 consecutive days).
All employers in Sweden are protected against high sick pay costs. The protection means that employers can receive compensation for the annual sick pay costs that exceed a certain level. The aim of the compensation is to give employers the courage to hire. This is particularly true for small or newly established employers, where sickness absence can become a financial risk. You do not have to apply to receive the compensation – if you have had sick pay costs, you enter them in the employer’s declaration you submit to the Swedish Tax Agency. If you are entitled to compensation, it will be paid to your tax account.