New Rules To Hit Workers On Sick Leave?

Updated 17:09

Swedish news headlines are focusing on absurdities in new changes in Swedish unemployment regulations affecting thousands of people here – forcing those working part time because of sickness to sign up for courses on how to get a job.

Speaking to Swedish Radio news, some of those affected explain that they don’t need any new jobs but only hope that their health with improve so that they can go back to full time. 

Some will even have to take off from work to go the courses – or else be cut off from social benefits.

Others complain bitterly that the courses are notorious for not helping people get a job, and blast the present center-right government for promising to do more to bring so-called marginalized people back into the labor market.

Employees at the state employment offices admit that the new regulations are absurd but that they have no choice but to follow the rules.

Social Welfare minister Christina Husmark Pehrsson says, however, that no one that is seriously ill will be forced into the schemes. "If someone is seriously ill, if their health could be endangered by taking part in the programme, or if they have a mental illness, then the chances are that the Social Insurance Office will say they don't have to go to the job centres", according to news agency TT.