Corona virus: implications for Swedish staff

The Corona virus raises many questions and uncertainties. What consequences does the COVID-19 have for your Swedish staff? Every country has their own measures regarding the Coronavirus. We monitor the situation and have put all information together per country. If you employ people in Sweden, the information below might help you with managing your Swedish staff.

Recent developments 20 March 2020 - Current Situation

As of March 25, 2299 people have been infected, 40 have died from the virus and 16 are recovered.

Measures for enterprises 

On Thursday the Swedish government proposed a budget emergency package to the Swedish parliament of up to 300 billion kronor ($31 billion).
 
The main proposal is a new system for shortening work hours, while the employee will still retain 90 percent of their original pay. The state will foot a large portion of the costs, meaning that employers can cut their payroll expense in half. This new system will come into force in April but will be retroactively applied from March 16th. Both the employer and the employee need to be in agreement in order for the subsidy to be available.
 
The package also means the state will take on all the costs related to employee sick leave in April and May. Usually, sick leave costs are divided between the state and the employer.
 
And employers will be able to defer social security contributions, preliminary tax on salaries and value-added tax reported monthly or quarterly for 3-12 months. This will be retroactively available from January 1st, which means that they are able to get already-paid taxes back from the Swedish tax agency from the beginning of the year.
 
This is to help businesses maintain liquidity, so that they can keep paying out salaries.
Other economic measures
 
The karensdag or 'waiting day' for paid sick leave is removed between March 11th and May 31st, meaning that workers get sick leave pay from day one instead of missing the first day's pay.
 
The employee will need to apply for karensdag remuneration for the first day at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. This also applies to those who are self-employed. 
 
The governments budget also includes increased funding for smittbärarpenning, disease carrier's allowance, which is paid out by the Social Insurance Agency, since the number of people in need of that subsidy is expected to increase.

The Swedish government also imposes the following measures for the public

  • Public transportation: railway operator SJ cancelled 1 in 4 trains and offers a free empty seat among people
  • Denmark closed its border, can cross the bridge only with special permit (cross-border workers based in Sweden are allowed)
  • The Swedish authorities advise against Swedish unnecessary travel out of the country for the next 30 days.
  • All public schools and preschools are closed
  • The Danish government bans the gathering of people of more than 100 people
  • Public employees who do not work on critical items are also sent home. 
  • All cultural institutions will remain closed for the next two weeks and in addition, they are urging associations and faith communities to do the same.

What applies to Employer's voluntary members for short-term leave?

Wheter a voluntary member is covered by the rules on short-term permits becomes a matter for the Swedish Agency for Growth. Central parties have signed an agreement on short-term work and special contact will be made with the Employer's voluntary members.

In addition to these questions, you might have questions specific to your case and company. If you are looking for answers, we are happy to help. Schedule a 15-minute call with Monique Ramondt, VP of HR Outsourcing by clicking the image below:

Schedule a call with Monique

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