Politician suggests whipping the ill back to work / News / The Foreigner

Politician suggests whipping the ill back to work. Advocates cutting sick pay by 20 percent. Michael Tetzschner, leader of the Conservatives (H) for Oslo, has decided to ignore his party’s election promises. He wants to make sick employees foot part of the bill for being off work.Shielded from political priorities “Sick pay should be part of an employee’s regular salary. We need to reward the individual for going to work,” Tetzschner tells Dagens Næringsliv.

sick, sickness, benefit, pay, scheme, absenteetism, norway, holland, the, netherlands, dutch



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Politician suggests whipping the ill back to work

Published on Wednesday, 20th January, 2010 at 11:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Advocates cutting sick pay by 20 percent.

Michael Tetzschner
Michael Tetzschner
Photo: Pia Prestmo/Flickr


Michael Tetzschner, leader of the Conservatives (H) for Oslo, has decided to ignore his party’s election promises. He wants to make sick employees foot part of the bill for being off work.

Shielded from political priorities

“Sick pay should be part of an employee’s regular salary. We need to reward the individual for going to work,” Tetzschner tells Dagens Næringsliv.

He characterises the sickness benefit scheme as a sacred cow that is blocking the way for other solutions, and wants to force the numbers of people off work down by penalising them economically.

The scheme currently costs the government 37 billion kroner. Employers have to pay for the first 16 days of sick leave, after which the state takes over. But firms still lose out financially because of lost production.

Dutch courage?

Tetzschner thinks employees are the first who should take more responsibility, and also suggests the government looks at a solution adopted in the Netherlands, where businesses have to pay for sick leave themselves for up to two years.

“Absence decreased dramatically in Holland after employers had more financial responsibility for sick leave,” he says.

The rate of sickness in the Netherlands is now down to four percent, whereas it was 10 percent at the beginning of the ‘90s.

Unrealistic

Both NHO and LO (the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions) will sit down with the government tomorrow to negotiate a new sick pay agreement. The Prime Minister says he is also considering one possible solution to increase the 16 day period in order to get the amount of absenteeism down.

But John G. Bernander – director of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) – doesn’t think the Dutch model will work in Norway, because Jens Stoltenberg has already signalled that the government will not be making any alteration to employees’ rights.

“In addition to giving employers more responsibility the Dutch have also put more pressure on workers, because the company doesn’t have to pay them their full salary. Comparing (our system) to the Netherlands will be quite hypothetical as long as this possibility isn’t part of the negotiations here,” he tells Aftenposten.




Published on Wednesday, 20th January, 2010 at 11:47 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: sick, sickness, benefit, pay, scheme, absenteetism, norway, holland, the, netherlands, dutch.





  
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