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Social security in Sweden is one of the parts of the Swedish welfare system and consists of various social insurances handled by the National Agency for Social Insurance (Swedish; Försäkringskassan), and also welfare given out on a need basis by local municipalities. They are the main conduits for redistribution of approximately 48% of the Swedish GDP in the form of taxed income.

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Family policyEdit

The Swedish family policy has gone through a series of reforms. In the first place, the family policy aimed to encourage Swedish young people to marry and build their families. The whole family policy consists of three parts: parental benefits, child allowance and public daycare.

Parental benefitEdit

Swedish families receive up to 480 days of paid parental leave (16 months), "föräldrapenning", with optional another three months unpaid leave. The policy regulates that each parent must take at least two months of leave, but in reality, some fathers do not take the leave at all; in this case, according to the "use it or lose it" basis, the parental leave time will drop from 16 months to 14 months.[1] Apart from this, fathers receive additional 10 days of leave after the birth of a child. The parental leave can be used separately and partially of a day[2], but must be used before the child turns to eight years old. Parents are paid around 80 per cent of their pay in the first 390 days, and in the remaining 90 days, they will receive a flat rate of SEK 180 per day, which is also the rate for unemployed parents during the whole parental leave.[3] Parents are entitled to up to 120 days to take care of their sick children every year. There is also a childcare allowance, "vårdbidrag", to enable parents to stay home and care for children with long-term illnesses.[4]

The parental leave in Sweden is job protected, which means parents who take the leave have the right to return to the same employer to the same or similar position. [1]

Apart from paid leave, parents also receive reimbursement (whole or partial) of hospital care, treatment and transportation related to childbirth.[5]

Child allowanceEdit

The child allowance in Sweden started from the General Child Allowance in 1948.[6] Parents in Sweden receive cash benefits to ease the burden of raising children who are under 16 years old, "barnbidrag". Generally, Swedish parents receive a flat rate child allowance of SEK 1050 per month for one child, which is tax-exempt. If the family have more than one child qualified to the child allowance, the family receive SEK 1050 more per child with additional "large family supplement", "flerbarnstillägg". For example, a family with 4 children under 16 will receive SEK 4200 child allowance and SEK 1614 large family supplement per month, totaling SEK 5814 per month.[7] This child allowance is financed by the central government's budget and parents do not need to apply for the allowance, it is paid automatically.[1][7]

Apart from the child allowance, there are other allowances available for families with children. Families with children that pay over SEK 1400 for housing per month will receive a state-rent housing allowance, the level of which is determined by the number of children, the income of the family and the size and rent of the housing.[8] But the income ceiling is set rather high, so that even a family with income well above average is entitled to receive house allowance.[9]

For families with disabled children, they will also receive allowance for car, care and hiring personal assistants.[10]

Public day careEdit

Public day care in Sweden are for children under 7 years old. The daycare centers are run by local municipalities under the guidance of central government. Most municipal preschools are open 10~12 hours a day to take care of children whose parents work full-time; there are also nighttime daycare centers for parents who work at night.[1] "After the parents apply for placement at a preschool in the municipality where they live, the child is offered a vacancy based on that municipality's queue and admission rules."[11] The reform in 2007 made the daycare more affordable, EU/EEA citizens only need to pay a reduced fee for a full-time preschool.[12]

Apart from public daycare, there are also cooperatives run by parents, private child care facilities and family daycare; minders are hired by local municipalities to take care of children in their house.[13][6] However, the public daycare is absolutely the majority. During 1965-1980, the number of child care facilities increased tenfold.[6] Today, over 3/4 of children aged 1~5 go to public supported daycare centers.

Housing allowanceEdit

Families with children, and people below 29 years of age may be eligible to receive a housing allowance, "bostadsbidrag". The amount depends on income, the size of the family, housing costs and house size. At most it is 1.300 SEK. [14]

Benefits for ill and disabledEdit

Working people are entitled to sick pay when ill. The first 14 days (except the first day off) are paid by the employer, the rest by Försäkringskassan. If an employee's ability to work is permanently reduced, disability payments may be made.[14]

If you need time-consuming assistance in your everyday life to be able to work or study due to illness or disability you can obtain disability allowance, "handikappersättning". If you have a substantial and permanent disability where you need assistance with mealtimes, washing, clothing and communicating with others, you can receive an attendance allowance, "assistansersättning", to pay for an assistant. If you have great difficulties in getting about on your own, or in using public transport due to a permanent disability you can obtain an allowance to purchase a car, make alterations to a car, and to take a driving licence.[14]

Support for the elderlyEdit

If you have worked in Sweden and earned a taxable work income, you will be entitled to Swedish old age pension, at the earliest from the age of 61 years. The levels depend on your income and how long you have worked. There is also a guarantee pension which you are entitled to if you have lived for at least three years in Sweden if you have had no or low income. Elderly can also receive housing supplements or maintenance support. The levels of these depend on your needs. [14]

WelfareEdit

If you have no or low income you can apply for welfare from your local municipality. The municipality will look at your economic situation to determine if you should receive welfare or not. The welfare should be enough to cover things like housing, food, clothing and telephone. [15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Bowman, John (2014). Capitalisms Compared: Welfare, Work, and Business. Sage/CQ. pp. 143~147. ISBN 145225902X.
  2. ^ "Gender equality in Sweden | The official site of Sweden". sweden.se. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  3. ^ "10 things that make Sweden family-friendly". sweden.se. 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  4. ^ "Social Insurance in 10 minutes" (PDF). Försäkringskassan. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  5. ^ Rosenthal, Albert (1967). The Social Programs of Sweden: A Search for Security in a Free Society. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 45.
  6. ^ a b c Olson, Sven (1986). Growth to Limits: The Western European Welfare States Since World War II. New York: Walter de Gruyter. p. 23.
  7. ^ a b "Child allowance". www.forsakringskassan.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  8. ^ "Housing allowance for families with children". www.forsakringskassan.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  9. ^ Woodsworth, David (1977). Social Security and National Policy: Sweden, Yugoslavia, Japan. Montreal and London: McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 52.
  10. ^ "Parents - Försäkringskassan". www.forsakringskassan.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  11. ^ Regeringskansliet, Regeringen och (2015-06-01). "18.1 Daycare/nursery (12 months–5 years)". Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  12. ^ Regeringskansliet, Regeringen och (2015-06-01). "18.1 Daycare/nursery (12 months–5 years)". Regeringskansliet (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  13. ^ Ferrarini, Tommy & Duvander, Ann-Zofie & Countries, Nordic. (2009). Swedish Family Policy controversial reform of a success story.
  14. ^ a b c d "Social Insurance in 10 minutes" (PDF). Försäkringskassan. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  15. ^ "Socialbidrag". Socialstyrelsen. Retrieved 2011-05-16.