Gender equality makes Swedes sick / News / The Foreigner

Gender equality makes Swedes sick. Increased home and childcare duties cause higher than usual illness levels amongst men, an investigation finds. The risk that males with main responsibility for these will experience sick leave for more than 14 days increases by up to 25 per cent in comparison to men who do not. “We found that the probability that men would [temporarily] be declared too ill to work was greater the more tasks they assumed at home,” Försäkringskassan (Swedish Social Insurance Agency) analyst Margaretha Voss told Aftenposten. Equality/inequality

work, equality, illness



The Foreigner Logo

The Foreigner is an online publication for English speakers living or who have an interest in Norway. Whether it’s a glimpse of news or entertainment you’re after, there’s no need to leave your linguistic armchair. You don’t need to cry over the demise of the English pages of Aftenposten.no, The Foreigner is here!

Norske nyheter på engelsk fra Norge. The Foreigner er en engelskspråklig internett avis for de som bor eller som er interessert i Norge.

Google+ Google+ Twitter Facebook RSS RSS



News Article

LATEST:

}

Gender equality makes Swedes sick

Published on Friday, 22nd May, 2015 at 13:44 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 22nd May 2015 at 13:59.

Increased home and childcare duties cause higher than usual illness levels amongst men, an investigation finds.

Working week
Working week
Photo: Ed Yourdon/Flickr


The risk that males with main responsibility for these will experience sick leave for more than 14 days increases by up to 25 per cent in comparison to men who do not.

“We found that the probability that men would [temporarily] be declared too ill to work was greater the more tasks they assumed at home,” Försäkringskassan (Swedish Social Insurance Agency) analyst Margaretha Voss told Aftenposten.

Equality/inequality

The more “traditional” work-home model, where the father brings home the bacon and the woman cooks it and cleans up after doing so, means decreased sickness leave levels amongst men.

And while shared housework carries a higher risk of divorce with it, more equality at home is a benefit to women.

“The study shows that greater equality in the home leads to greater equality in terms of sick leave,” stated Försäkringskassan analysis director Laura Hartman to publication Velferd.

“However, men's sick leave increases from what essentially is already a low level. Women generally have a higher level of sick leave than men do,” Ms Hartman remarked.

Not definite

At the same time, Försäkringskassan’s researchers have no definite explanations as to why men’s sickness absence levels increase in line with more equality at home.

“We haven’t asked people why they took sick leave and therefore can’t say anything definite about this. But greater equality means less responsibility in the home for women and more for men. This means that men’s sickness absence increases are in line with the workload hypothesis,” she said.

NAV (Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration) has not conducted similar investigations regarding the connections between sick leave, parental leave, and numbers of days at home caused by child illness.

They therefore decline to comment on the study by Försäkringskassan, reports Aftenposten.

Facts

  • Försäkringskassan’s investigation examined sickness absence levels for 223,000 Swedish couples who got their first child between 2002 and 2009
  • Near 50 percent of these couples are characterised as having a traditional division of labour model
  • The risk of sick leave was found to be 10 per cent lower than the average level for these couples
  • Couples on an equal footing both at home and at work would have a 10 per cent greater chance of sickness absence – both men and women
  • There were increased sickness absence levels for fathers with equality in the workplace
  • Fathers’ risk of sick leave is lower when he is the main provider rather than when he earns about the same as his partner does
  • Equality on the home front is beneficial regarding mothers’ sick leave levels
  • Mothers have a higher probability of sickness absence when they earn roughly as much as, or more than their partner than when the man is the family’s main provider
  • Analysts have looked at the connections between gender equality at home and at work and sick leave of more than two weeks while the child was in its fourth and fifth year of life

A hypothesis

The Foreigner asked Norwegian sociologist and author Linn Stalsberg about the study. She has written a book looking at women’s work-home time pressures in Norway called Er jeg fri nå?

Would sick leave levels would go down if working hours were reduced.

“We don’t really know what would happen as it’s just a hypothesis, but women in Scandinavia are still doing most of the work at home. However, we’re seeing that sickness absence is rising amongst younger men because they’re now participating more and experiencing the same thing as women do.”

A 2012 Research Council of Norway investigation found that dual income families in Norway share the week’s work.

Furthermore, ill Swedes have been found to be less likely to go to work than their Norwegian counterparts.

Försäkringskassan’s study will be published in June.



Published on Friday, 22nd May, 2015 at 13:44 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 22nd May 2015 at 13:59.

This post has the following tags: work, equality, illness.





  
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!