Changes regarding compensation-free days
On January 1 2019, new rules will be introduced in the Sick Pay Act. These new rules, which are compulsory, mean that the compensation-free day at the start of sick leave is abolished and replaced by a salary deduction that corresponds to 20 per cent of an average week’s sick pay.
The purpose of the change is to make the amount deductible for sick leave fairer, especially for those who have irregular working hours. For employees who work normal office hours, the new model will not mean any real change compared with today’s system.
As a result of the new legislation, Saco-S and the Swedish Agency for Government Employers have made adjustments to our collective agreements regarding the calculation of sick pay, i.e. the employee’s compensation from the employer during the first 14 days of a sickness period.
There may be special rules on sick pay and salary in local collective agreements. You can contact your Saco-S association to check if this is the case. However, there are normally no deviations for most of employees.
Updated rules in Villkorsavtal-T
Most members of Saco-S federations are covered by the terms of the general salary and benefits agreement called Villkorsavtal-T. In short, the new rules mean that from January 1 2019 you will receive sick pay from the first sickness day. The sick pay level before the deduction of the salary will still be 80 per cent of the income loss due to sick leave, but will be calculated from the first sickness day.
A deduction amounting to 3.68 per cent of the current monthly salary that the employee has for that month will be made from the calculated sick pay. This corresponds to 20 per cent of one week’s sick pay.
However, if the calculated sick pay is lower than the deductible amount as defined above, the salary deduction will never be greater than the calculated sick pay.
At the same time, the special provisions on salary deductions for the first day of sickness (i.e. the compensation-free day that applies until December 31 2018) will be removed. These provisions indicated how much of the salary would be deducted for the compensation-free day, depending on how much of the day the employee did not work. Obviously, however, employees will still be paid for any part of the first sickness day that they work.
An employee with a full time position evenly distributed over five working days per week who is covered by Villkorsavtal-T agreement and has a monthly salary of SEK 30 000 is off sick for three working days.
Salary deduction and calculation of sick pay deduction are made in three steps:
- For three working days’ absence, the salary deduction will be SEK 4 140,
(30 000 x 4.6% x 3).
- The sick pay for three days will then be SEK 3 312, (80% of SEK 4 140 or SEK 1 104/day). Thus, the sick pay corresponds to 80% of the salary deduction due to sick leave and is paid from day 1.
- From this, a deduction of SEK 1 104 (30 000 x 3.68%) is made. The sick pay amount paid will then be SEK 2 208.
According to the current model with a compensation-free day, sick pay is paid for two days in such an absence period, (the first day is unpaid), which results exactly the same total amount as in the new model with salary deduction, SEK 2 208
An employee falls ill at lunchtime and goes home after four hours of work. The employee is then ill for another two full working days. (Same monthly salary etc. as in Example 1 above).
- The salary deduction will be SEK 3 450 for two and a half working days.
- The sick pay will be 80 per cent of the salary deduction, i.e. SEK 2 760
- From this a deduction of SEK 1 104 (30 000 x 3.68%) is made. The sick pay amount paid will then be SEK 1 656.
According to the current model with a compensation-free day, sick pay is paid for two days in such an absence period, SEK 2 208. This is because the compensation-free day is only half a day. Here we can see that the new model gives slightly lower compensation than the one that applies until December 31 2019, because the salary deduction, unlike the compensation-free day, is independent of how much of the first sickness day the employee is absent.
For workers who fall ill again within five calendar days, no further salary deduction will be made if a full deduction has already been made. Employees who have had ten salary deductions for ten different periods of sick leave during the past twelve months will not be have any further deductions for additional periods of sick leave.
For employees who have a special high risk protection following a ruling by Försäkringskassan, Swedish Social Insurance Agency, there will continue to be exemptions from the above description of salary deductions.
New rules in Affärsverksavtal-T
In the Affärsverksavtal salary and benefits agreement, salary deductions for absence are made in accordance with other principles than those in the terms of the Villkorsavtal-T agreement. This means that the adjustments made by the central parties to the agreement look different in technical terms, but the outcome is the same, i.e. the deduction will amount to 20 per cent of one week’s average sick pay.