Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers: Sweden

Will the Recent Reforms Make It?

image of Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers: Sweden

Sickness and disability is a key economic policy concern for many OECD countries. Medical conditions, or problems labelled as such by societies and policy systems, are proving an increasing obstacle to raising labour force participation and keeping public expenditure under control. More and more people of working age rely on sickness and disability benefits as their main source of income, and the employment rates of those reporting disabling conditions are low. This report is an assessment of the Swedish reforms, which aim to lower inactivity and increase participation, against the background of recent trends and policy responses in other OECD countries. It looks at what Sweden is currently doing and what more it could do to transform its sickness and disability schemes from passive benefits to active support systems that promote work.    



Making the Reforms Work

The breadth of institutional and sickness and disability policy change in Sweden has been considerable and impressive. Success of the latest reforms, however, will hinge on the actual implementation of the new system and the effectiveness of its various incentives. Given the pace of reform, the fact that the new approach may appear to be a harsh and radical departure from the past for some, and that reform is being implemented during a period of rising unemployment and falling labour demand, its success is not assured.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error