Outline on main changes in the social security legislation in member states – Sweden

The changes in the different sections (II – XI) that are temporary due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has been highlighted in green.

II. Medical care – no changes

III Sickness benefit - 

a- Due to Covid-19, between March 11, 2020 and August 20, 2020, Sweden abolished the qualifying day of sickness benefit (karensdag). Workers will receive sickness benefits from the moment that they are absent from work due to illness. The state (rather than the employer) will cover the cost from the first day of leave. Under these temporary rules, all employees will receive SEK 700 before tax (independent of income) on the first day of sickness. As of June 1, 2020, this compensation for the first day of sickness was increased to SEK 804.

In addition, for sick or quarantined workers, the government assumes the entire cost of all sick pay between April and July of 2020 in order to reduce costs for employers. That is, the state takes over the sick pay responsibility from employers for the first two weeks of sick leave (usually paid by the employer).

                      b – n.a.

                      c – n.a.

IV – Unemployment benefit

a-      Changes in qualifying legislation where the membership condition to an unemployment insurance fund has been changed from 12 months to 3 months. Further, the qualifying period has been adjusted from 80 hours of work per month to 60 hours of work and from 480 hours of work for the last 6 months and at least a minimum of 50 hours each of these months to 420 hours of work during the last 6 months and  a minimum of 40 hours for each of these months.

The basic amount has been increased from 365 SEK per day to 510 SEK per day and the highest possible amount has been increased from 910 SEK to 1 200 SEK per day.

The waiting period for unemployment benefit of 6 days has been abolished.

All these changes are temporarily and are in effect during the period 31st of March 2020 to 3rd of January 2021-

V – Old age benefit

a-      The maximum levels of housing supplement has increased from 5560 SEK to 6 540 SEK as of 1st January 2020. In addition, the ceiling of housing costs has increased from 5 600 SEK to 7 000 SEK (the amount of housing costs that are eligible for housing supplement, see Sweden’s consolidated report for details).

The guarantee pension has increased with 200 SEK/month as of 1st January 2020.

b – n.a.

                      c – n.a.

VI – Work accident and occupational disease benefit – The ordinance (1977: 284) on occupational injury insurance and state personal injury protection was changes to include Covid-19.

VII – Family benefit

a-      Temporary supplementary allowance for families with children within the housing allowance due to covid-19 (Tillfälligt tilläggsbidrag till barnfamiljer inom bostadsbidraget med anledning av covid-19)

The supplementary allowance (tilläggsbidrag) will be given to families with children that qualifies for special contribution for children living at home (särskilt bidrag för hemmavarade barn), special allowance for children living alternately (särskilt tilläggsbidrag för barn som bor växelvis) or access allowance (umgängesbidrag). The supplementary allowance will be handed out to those who qualify during the period of 1 July – 31 December 2020. Applications for the supplementary allowance is not necessary. The supplementary allowance will be given out monthly, with an amount corresponding to 25 % of the preliminary housing allowance (i.e. special contributions or access allowance, as described in 2.1.1) that is given out the same month.

Due to covid-19, the Swedish government has expanded the possibilities for parents to receive temporary parental benefit. If it would become necessary to close school- or preschool facilities because of covid-19, some parents may have to stay at home from their jobs to care for their children. These parents are eligible to the temporary parental benefit. The parents in question will in such a situation receive around 90% of the daily remuneration they would normally obtain from the temporary parental benefit. This is asserted when the school- or preschool facilities as defined by Swedish School Law (Skollagen 2010:800) the child normally attend is closed in certain situations attributable to covid-19. In cases where the school- or preschool facility is closed, but offers education over distance, the temporary parental benefit can still be obtained by the parent.

The new ordinance also states that when a parent applies for temporary parental benefit a medical certificate is no longer required to certify that a child between the ages of 12-16 have a special need of care or attendance due to for example a disability. a. There is still a requirement to certify the need for special care or attendance, but it can be done so in other ways than with a medical certificate. The ordinance was established the 25th of April 2020 and will expire after September the same year.

As stated above the temporary parental benefit is circa 90% of the daily renumeration the parent would normally receive, given the scenario that parents must care for their child due to schooling- or preschool facilities must close due to covid-19. Normally temporary parental benefit is around 80% of the salary up to a ceiling of 7.5 times the Price Base Amount (Prisbasbeloppet). The Price Base Amount for 2020 is 47 300 kr.

Expansion of temporary parental benefit due to covid-19 (Preventive temporary parental benefit for a child who has been seriously ill and that needs protection from being infected by the virus that causes covid-19)(Tillfälliga bestämmelser om förebyggande tillfällig föräldrapenning för ett barn som har varit allvarligt sjukt och behöver skyddas från smitta av covid-19)

Under certain conditions, a parent that has to stay home from work to care for a child who has recently been seriously ill and needs to be protected against infection by the virus that causes the covid-19 disease can receive temporary parental benefit. The need for protection against infection should be demonstrated through a medical certificate. Parents may also receive compensation if they have to refrain from work to avoid infecting that child In order to receive remuneration in that case, certain conditions regarding the parent’s work situation have to be met: That there is no opportunity to work from home or that the employer has not offered other duties within the framework of the employment, or otherwise has not been able to adapt the work situation in the workplace, so that a suitable distance can be kept to others to avoid the spread of infection. Temporary parental benefit for this purpose and be paid out as of the 1st of July and the ordinance will expire after September 2020.

The amount of the allowance is based on the qualifying income (sjukpenninggrundande inkomst) of the parent. Temporary parental benefit is around 80% of the salary up to a ceiling of 7.5 times the Price Base Amount (Prisbasbeloppet). The Price Base Amount for 2020 is 47 300 kr.

VIII – Maternity benefit – no changes

IX – Invalidity benefit – no change

X – Survivor’s benefit – no change

XI – Financing – no change