Objectives and visions for sickness insurance

The objective of sickness insurance is for the level of absence from work due to illness to be low and stable in the long term.

This means, more specifically, that:
- sickness absence should not vary more than is attributable to normal seasonal variation,
- there should be no unjustified regional disparities in sickness absence,
- the level of sickness absence should be in line with equivalent systems and benefits in the EU and the OECD.

Swedish sickness insurance is to be more humane and predictable. It is to provide security during the time it takes a person to rebuild their capacity for work. A good work environment where the employer takes its full share of responsibility, and a well-functioning health and medical care system are fundamental to achieving the objective.

The work-first principle is to apply within sickness insurance. People should be offered rehabilitation and, when needed, adaptation support to make the most of their capacity for work. Ensuring that everyone who can and has capacity to work does so will help achieve the Government's objective of Sweden having the lowest unemployment rate in the EU by 2020.

It is also necessary to have a clearer gender perspective as women's sickness absence is substantially higher than men's.