Thursday, September 08, 2005

Right... let see if I can explain...

Yesterday I promised to write about some of the welfare systems that we, for the time being, can benefit from here in Sweden.


The basic rules:

    1. You have to been working regulary for the last twelve months before getting unemployed.
    2. You have to have paid the insurance to the unemployment benefit society. There are union based and there's the independent "Alfa-kassan". In the latter you pay about 1400 SEK/year, which is tax deductable by 40 per cent. The same goes for the union based, but here you also have to pay for membership in the union, between 200 and 400 SEK/month depending on which union you're a member of. It's expensive but as many in the IT-field discovered in the early 90s it's, definetly worth it if you're sacked without a good reason.
    3. You have to report your unemployment the same day as it starts.
Three rules and easy to follow. Still, there are people who just don't understand them.

Before you get any money though, there's another rule which can be of importance. Did you quit or did you get sacked? In the latter situation you have five days of "quarantine" which means that you don't get any pay-out for the first five days. If you qiut, you don't get any money for the first 25 days.

Also very simple but still, some just don't get it.

Now, you have 300 days to get a new job or, if you wish, an education. The first 100 days you get 80 per cent of your normal salary and after that you get 75 per cent, unless there are "special circumstances".

During these 300 days you will have to report almost everything you do related to your unemployment status.

If you are disabled, mentally ill or too old according to employers, you can apply for another 300 days. But this is very hard to get. You really have to show that you have applied for a lot of jobs or show that there are circumstances that make you less attractive in the eyes of employers.

If you choose to educate yourself there are governement funds and sudsidairies you can apply for, but that's mostly just paperwork. You almost always get approved. Part of it as a loan and part of it as subsidairies. Basically it's the same sum as you get as unemployed, but if you have children you can apply for a little extra money. And you can basically educate yourself for as long as you wish.

The education itself also makes you eligable for another round of 300 days of unemployment funds, as long as you pay your insurance.

Of course some people cheat, lifting their unemployment checks and still work, as "grey workforce". This is really bad since the right wing opposition uses this as a reason to dismantle the whole system. The ironic part is that it's generally the right wingers who use this workforce since they don't want to have to pay taxes, employers fee, sick insurance and so on.

The really bad part is that the people who cheat can loose just about everything and be forced to live on social welfare which is a lot less money than the unemployment checks. Then they start to cheat with this, work as "grey workforce", get caught and give the right wingers even more ammunition...

People who do like this are not just stupid, they are real dumbasses. Through their actions they give right wingers excatly the kind of ammo they want, they help them to dismantle the very system that could have saved them in the first place.

And if it wasn't enough with that, the dumbasses let themselves be seduced by the right wingers argumentation that everything bad that happened to them is because of the high taxation...

Next, I'll tell you about the mandatory health insurance. But first, a big cup of coffe.


Virginia Gal said...

I like Sweden's system, from what I can tell it really supports its people and those on hard times, a truly caring insititution and doesn't that make for a better society?

Maidink said...

Yes, it seems Sweden takes care of their people who are down on their luck and unemployed.

Oh, and we have the same version of the grey workforce here in the US. We don't necessarily label the group but we have a saying for what they are doing. It's called "working under the table". And yes, they too screw it up for everyone and they are perfect ammo for the right-wingers.