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Questions and answers regarding corona (covid-19)

Corona
Foto: Kommunal
The new corona virus raises many questions and concerns. Here you will find information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Updated: June 12 2020

Employment insurance - new rules due to the corona virus |Kommunal’s position is clear when it comes to personal protective equipment!Employer responsibilityWork environment | The health of staff must not be put at risk! | Kommunal reports the Work Environment Authority to the Parliamentary Ombudsmen | Occupational injury |Work hours and scheduleWage negotiations 2020 is being postponed | Preschool and school | Green sector – Animal healthcareInsurance and bankruptcyAFA insurance | Healthcare | Short-term lay-off Crisis situation agreement Salary and compensationFunctions that are assential to our society | HolidaysHolidays - what applies regarding holidays in 2020 for those working in private companies who are under the collective agreements Healthcare Companies Care and Treatment Sector and Care Activities (E), Elderly Care Sector (F) Personal Assistance Sector (G) and Ambulance Paramedics (H) | Holidays - the following applies to holidays based on central collective agreement for those who work in municipalities, regions and Sobona companies (formerly Pacta)Confidentiality and non-disclosure | NoticeCare for the elderly | Were you unable to find the answer to your question?Where can I find updated information about the virus? | General questions

Employment insurance - new rules due to the corona virus

The government has made a number of decisions that will allow more people to receive unemployment insurance.

The membership term is shorter

Each month that you are a member counts as four months during the period of March-December 2020. That means that you after may be entitled to income-based compensation of up to 80 percent of your previous salary after three months of membership in the trade union. Under normal circumstances you must have been a member for at least 12 months.

This applies to anyone who receives a decision on a compensation period dated after April 13, 2020.

It becomes easier to meet a working condition

To meet the work requirement, you are now required to have worked at least 60 hours a month for six months or 420 hours for six consecutive months with at least 40 hours during each month.

This applies to anyone who receives a decision on a compensation period dated after April 13, 2020.

The basic amount is increased

The basic amount is increased from SEK 365 per day to SEK 510 per day. The basic amount is paid to those who meet the work requirement but not the membership requirement. To receive 510 SEK you must have worked full time for 1 year.

Applies: 13 April 2020 until 3 January 2021.

The income-based compensation is increased

Currently, the maximum compensation for the first 100 days is SEK 910, which is now increased to SEK 1,200 per day.

Applies: 13 April 2020 until 3 January 2021.

The qualifying period of 6 days is removed

From the timesheet week 14 to 53 2020, no qualifying period is deducted.

Applies to all: No qualifying period is deducted during weeks 14 – 53 2020.

Kommunal’s position is clear when it comes to personal protective equipment!

Employers' responsibilities

Employers must guarantee a safe work environment for those working in healthcare. Staff working with persons with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 must have access to personal protective equipment. You have the right to feel safe at work!

Work clothes and basic hygiene procedures

Everyone who works in healthcare is covered by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare's regulations on basic hygiene procedures (exceptions exist, for example, personal assistants working in individual homes are not covered by the regulations). Work clothes should be worn during all direct contact and care work. Clearer rules on work clothes in healthcare have been applied since 2018. It is the employers who must provide, pay for and wash your work clothes. You can read more about work clothes here.

In several places, employers do not meet the requirements for work clothes and basic hygiene procedures, which means that they do not give their employees the right conditions. Kommunal maintains that employers must assume their full employer responsibility and not violate work environment legislation.

Protective clothing

Protective clothing should be worn outside the work clothes, as there is a risk of work clothes getting wet or dirty.

Protective clothing/basic protective equipment includes:

  • Protective gloves
  • Plastic apron
  • Protective coat (or equivalent)
  • Personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment must be used in cases of suspected or confirmed Covid-19. The purpose of personal protective equipment is to protect the employee and it supplements the basic protective equipment.

Personal protective equipment includes:

  • Surgical mask (type IIR)
  • Visor
  • Protective coat with long sleeves where there is no access to soap, water and hand sanitiser
  • Protective gloves
  • Kommunal’s position on surgical masks/breathing protection in cases of suspected or confirmed Covid-19.

Type IIR surgical masks provide liquid and splash-repellent protection against droplet infection from bodily fluids such as from coughing and sneezing. In line with recommendations from, among others, the WHO, Kommunal believes that this protection corresponds to a minimum level and must therefore always be used in cases of suspected or confirmed Covid-19.

Given that knowledge of the spread of infection and the disease is still limited, Kommunal believes that employers should, as far as possible, provide the more extensive respiratory protection FFP2 in cases of suspected or confirmed Covid-19.

In cases where virus levels are much higher and it is clearly established that viruses can spread via so-called aerosols, staff should always, as a minimum, wear a respiratory protection mask of type FFP2 or FFP3. This applies in particular to respiratory care in IVA, but may also be relevant in the case of drainage in care for the disabled and elderly, for example in the care of people with tracheostomy.

NOTE! Surgical masks and respiratory protection should always be used in combination with visors to prevent bodily fluids from contacting the face and eyes.

Self-manufactured protective equipment

Kommunal's position is that if the employer uses self-manufactured protective equipment, it must be approved by the Swedish Work Environment Authority. Find out more here.

 Employer responsibility

Employers must guarantee a safe work environment for those working in healthcare. Staff working with persons with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 must have access to personal protective equipment. You have the right to feel safe at work!

Using the protective equipment wrongly carries the risk of infection. According to the Work Environment Act, the employer must "ensure that the employee has the necessary training and knows what must be observed in order to avoid risks at work." According to AFS 2018:4 Infection Risks, employers must take measures at workplaces "where there is a risk of infection in order to avoid the spread of infectious agents and to ensure that the number of workers at risk of exposure to infectious agents is kept as low as possible".

Your employer must carry out a risk assessment

In order to minimise the risk of infection, all employers must carry out a risk assessment in accordance with the rules of the Work Environment Act. The risk assessment must include a plan on the management of any infection or suspected infection. Your employer must inform you of what applies.

The right to a salary

The basic principle is that the employee who is available for work is entitled to a salary even if the employer says that they should not come to work. This normally means that an employee must appear at the workplace and be prepared to perform his or her duties. In other words, a worker cannot choose to stay home from work for fear of being infected with the virus. However, an employer may decide that the worker, in cases where it is possible, should carry out the work from home.

In the event that you catch a cold or are sick for any other reason, stay at home and call in sick, just as you would in normal circumstances.

What do I do if the employer does not find substitutes in e.g. home care?

It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that the business is staffed. According to the Work Environment Act, the employer must carry out a risk assessment of the work environment. It is the employer's responsibility to prioritize among tasks in the absence of staff.

Work environment

Why have you not told all members in healthcare that they have the right to be tested for symptoms of Covid? It seems very strange that you do not tell us about our right to be tested!

So far, testing is only for certain groups and under special conditions. The guidelines for testing from the Public Health Agency have changed from only applying to patients in need of in-patient care, people with home care, functional care, care for the elderly and residents in institutions to now also include healthcare staff who are at home with mild symptoms. They should be tested at an early stage, so as to be able to return to work more quickly if the test result is negative. This means that the employer must inform the persons concerned.

Personal protective equipment - what applies?

Kommunal’s requirements are that personal protective equipment shall be used in cases of suspected or confirmed Covid-19. The personal safety equipment supplements the basic protective equipment.

Update 26 May 2020: In many workplaces, Corona has proved to be a major challenge when it comes to the work environment. Members have told us about a shortage of protective equipment for healthcare personnel, and have also called for solutions for other workplaces where the work involves close contact with people.

Read more here about personal protective equipment! https://www.kommunal.se/skyddsutrustning

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has changed the guidelines for what type of protective equipment health care professionals should have? What does that mean?

That means that the employer must adapt the protective equipment according to the guidelines of the Public Health Agency of Sweden.

How is it that, for example, the focus is on protecting bus drivers and people who work in healthcare, but that we who work in schools continue our jobs as normal?

There has been a lot of focus on certain occupational groups for various reasons, but it is of great importance that other professions are also protected. All occupational groups in schools are an important group that needs to be protected. In this case, demands must be made on the employer so that they adapt the activities based on the recommendations of the Public Health Agency.

Which occupational groups are covered by basic hygiene practices?

The National Board of Health and Welfare has a regulation (SOSFS 2015:10) that deals with basic hygiene. One might say that a regulation means that something is binding. It has simply been agreed that this should apply.

The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare's regulation on basic hygiene applies to:

  • staff in healthcare and dental care
  • staff in group housing, home care and special housing for the elderly
  • personal assistants working in the special housing covered by the regulations.

The rules do not apply to personal assistants working in the individual's home or staff in daily activities. NOTE! However, this does not mean that one should work without protective equipment in the event of suspected or confirmed infection.

More information can be found on the Social Services website. https://www.socialstyrelsen.se/stod-i-arbetet/vardhygien/basala-hygienrutiner/

Am I required to work without protective equipment?

The employer must provide the necessary protective equipment and also provide information about the risks of infection. In a situation where there is no protective equipment, the employer must carry out a risk assessment in consultation with the safety officer on how to deal with the situation. Read more here. https://www.kommunal.se/skyddsutrustning

What is Kommunal planning to do about the call for healthcare staff at hospitals to work in short sleeves despite guidelines in the case of infection?

We assume that the employer follows the rules of the National Board of Health and Welfare in basic hygiene practices and that the recommendations made by the Public Health Agency are followed. The employer has the responsibility for the work environment for the employees and thus the responsibility to follow routines and recommendations.

The Work Environment Act requires the employer to take all necessary measures to prevent the worker from being exposed to ill health or accidents. If this cannot be achieved by other means, personal protective equipment shall be provided and used. Read more here. https://www.kommunal.se/skyddsutrustning

Can my employer force me to stay at home if I am sick?

If infection is has been established, the worker is also obliged to stay at home. If a worker is sick, the he/she has the right to stay home, first with sick pay and then with sickness benefit.

Will I have a qualifying period deduction if I am sick?

No, the removed qualifying period deduction is valid for one and a half months starting 11 March 2020, with the possibility of an extension. Employers should make qualifying period deductions as usual. This means that you as an employee may afterwards apply to Försäkringskassan for compensation for the qualifying period deduction.. The application is submitted retroactively to Försäkringskassan.

The government has decided that the amount you receive for the qualifying period deduction is SEK 700 before tax. The reason for why a fixed amount that is the same for everyone was set that it is too unmanageable to figure out what each individual should receive. This means that some people are not fully compensated. At the same time, a person with a lower income benefits since he/she can receive a higher compensation than the deduction that has been made.

If I stay at home sick, do I need a medical certificate?

As of March 27, you do not need to submit a medical certificate for the first 21 days when you are sick. If you are still sick after 21 days, you must submit a medical certificate when applying for sickness benefit. For you as an employer, this means that the employee does not need to provide you with a medical certificate during the sick pay period.

Read more at Försäkringskassan.

Can the employer prevent a person who has been in an infected area from coming to the workplace?

Yes, the employer can prevent you from coming to the workplace in order to prevent a potential spread of infection. However, the starting point is still that the employer is obliged to pay a salary because he/she is not sick and is available for work. The employer must inform you what applies at your workplace. In case of doubt, please contact your section, or Kommunal Direkt.

Can employers force workers to get vaccinated if and when a vaccine is developed?

No.

If I as an employee belong to a risk group, what is my employer's responsibility? Can I stay home with a salary? Can I take unpaid leave because I am worried about being infected by Corona?

You cannot stay home with pay because you belong to a risk group. However, the employer is obliged to take all measures to create a safe working environment. The employer may make a case-by-case assessment depending on what work duties the employee has and decide on what is possible in order to take extra caution. In certain work duties, for example in healthcare, it is more difficult to avoid infection. Whether the employer should grant unpaid leave is a question that they themselves must answer.

I belong to a risk group and feel very anxious about going to work. Can I stay home even if I am not sick?

Whether you belong to a risk group or not, you cannot stay at home unless you are sick. The employer is obliged to create a safe work environment and must make a case-by-case assessment depending on what work duties the employee has and decide on what is possible in order to take extra caution.

I have been reassigned to another workplace, must I agree to it?

Yes, it is the employer who manages and distributes the work within their business, however the employer must follow certain regulations. I think that you should contact your section to see if the employer has acted correctly.

What are the chances of my colleagues and I having an influence on the issue regarding protective equipment?

The employer must carry out a risk assessment and provide protective equipment. In this process, the safety officer and the staff must be involved. Talk to your safety officer.

Do we have the right to refuse to work if we do not have the right protective equipment? I am worried.

If you do not have the right equipment, you should contact your safety officer, who can help you.

There is no possibility to follow the basic hygiene routines at my workplace in home care. What should I do?

Contact your safety officer, who can help you.

Can I demand that my employer reassigns me so that I am not at risk of infection?

No, you cannot. However, the employer must provide protective equipment. Read more here. https://www.kommunal.se/skyddsutrustning

What if I suspect that I am carrying the infection myself?

If you are sick you must call in sick.

Can I demand that my employer reassigns me if I have a chronic illness and am part of a risk group or if I have a close relative who belongs to a risk group?

Your employer is obliged to take all measures needed to create a safe working environment for as an employee. The employer may make a case-by-case assessment depending on what work duties the employee has and decide on what is possible in order to take extra caution.

The health of staff must not be put at risk!

The basic principle behind Kommunal's activities in the field of the work environment is that the health of staff must not be put at risk. The purpose is to ensure a good work environment for employees and to ensure that priorities and assessments of the work environment are the same throughout the country. How can Kommunal help?

Prevention - Kommunal has developed tools to enable health and safety officers to assess the work environment more quickly, so as to promote preventive work environment measures.

In emergency situations where there is a confirmed or suspected infection, Kommunal has developed a clear action plan on how health and safety officers should proceed to ensure a good work environment for employees.

Read more about prevention and emergency work environment measures

When the government in the bill (Prop. 2019/20:144) proposes that Covid-19 is classified as an infection that is dangerous to society and should be subject to the Communicable Diseases Act, Kommunal chooses to apply the precautionary principle. This means that we go further in our demands than several authorities do - see below about Kommunal's position.

Se the piece in Agenda on 19 April 2020 which deals with protective equipment for home care personnel. The piece comes 10:44 minutes into the programme: Agenda, 19 April 2020

Kommunal reports the Work Environment Authority to the Parliamentary Ombudsmen

The complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsmen concerns how the Swedish Work Environment Authority has handled the issue of protective equipment and that Kommunal believes that the authority has acted in a biased manner in this matter.

See association chair Tobias Baudin in Morgonsoffan (SVT) on 4 May; the item begins at 06.34.

Read more about the complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsmen

Occupational injury

Does Corona, Covid-19, count as an occupational injury?

There is a list/regulation of which infectious diseases can be classified as an occupational injury and Covid-19 is on that list.

If you become ill on or after 1 February 2020, your illness can be assessed as an occupational injury in terms of both the statutory compensation and the collectively agreed insurance TFA/TFA-KL.

How do I report occupational injury in the case of Covid-19?

You do exactly as you do with any occupational injury report. One notification to the social insurance agency Försäkringskassan and one to AFA.

Can I get Covid-19 classified as an occupational injury, regardless of my profession?

In the case of infectious diseases, the group that can have these classified as an occupational injury is essentially limited to:

  • working in a medical facility,
  • in other work in the treatment or care of a person who is infectious or in the care or handling of infectious animals or materials,
  • employment in a laboratory where work on the infectious agent is carried out.

This means that not everyone who has been infected in their work can have Covid-19 classified as an occupational injury.

Am I entitled to any kind of occupational injury compensation if I have been infected by Covid-19 in my job?

You can, for example, receive compensation for loss of income or compensation for expenses related to the injury. However, you must have been ill for more than 180 days in order to receive compensation (you will receive the compensation retroactively).

Should you receive permanent injury, such as reduced lung function, you can also receive compensation even though you have not been on sick leave for 180 days.

But before that? And what do we get if we don’t belong to the group that is covered? Do we just get sickness benefit?

Contract group health insurance (AGS/AGS-KL) is normally paid as an addition to the sickness benefit. Don't forget to register with AFA.

Those of you who are covered by the ITP agreement will receive compensation from Alecta from day 91. Your employer should register you there.

I have a carrier allowance, can I get AGS/AGS-KL?

Yes. With effect from day 15 you can apply for this with AFA.

Work hours and schedule

I hope that as an ambulance paramedic, I can receive the same benefits as the nurses do. It feels strange that they should receive extra pay for night duty. I think you should work for a occupational license for ambulance paramedics, it would have had felt better, after all I have 1 year supplementary training as an assistant nurse. Because the job is fantastic overall.

Regarding the salary that you describe, it seems to be a local agreement. Kommunal has for several years been pursuing licensing for the profession of assistant nurse, which resulted in a government investigation that proposed a protected occupational title for assistant nurses. We do not currently know when a bill will come that takes the next step. You can read more about this at Important facts about the regulation of the occupation of assistant nurse. https://www.kommunal.se/underskoterskeutredningen It’s great that you enjoy your job!

My employer wants to make schedule changes at short notice. What applies in this situation?

Regarding schedule changes, the provisions of the collective agreement apply. These may vary depending on the collective agreement in question.

How many consecutive hours can I work and how much time must pass between my shifts?

The Working Hours Act states that breaks should be placed so that workers do not carry out work for more than five consecutive hours. There may be deviations from this in different collective agreements. The act also contains rules on daily rest. Daily rest for a minimum of 11 consecutive hours of time off during each twenty-four hour period. There may be deviations in the collective agreement here as well. Deviations from this may be made in the case of special circumstances that could not have been foreseen.

My employer wants to make schedule changes at short notice. What applies in this situation?

Regarding schedule changes, the provisions of the collective agreement apply. These may vary depending on the collective agreement in question.

How many consecutive hours can I work and how much time must pass between my shifts?

The Working Hours Act states that breaks should be placed so that workers do not carry out work for more than five consecutive hours. There may be deviations from this in different collective agreements. The act also contains rules on daily rest. Daily rest for a minimum of 11 consecutive hours of time off during each twenty-four hour period. There may be deviations in the collective agreement here as well. Deviations from this may be made in the case of special circumstances that could not have been foreseen.

Wage negotiations 2020 is being postponed

Here you will find questions and answers regarding the wage negotiation being postponed. https://www.kommunal.se/avtalsr%C3%B6relsen-pausar

Preschool and school

What happens to me if I work at a school and the schools close?

If you work in a municipal/public school, you can be reassigned to other work within the municipality.

What happens to my salary if I am reassigned?

Your salary should not be affected, i.e. you should receive the same salary as before.

What happens to my inconvenient working hours supplement if I am reassigned?

If your regular job included work during inconvenient working hours, i.e. you received inconvenient working hours supplement, but you are reassigned to work that does not take place during inconvenient working hours, inconvenient working hours supplement is not paid.

I work for a private company. Can I be reassigned then?

If it is a private employer, relocation may become relevant, the question is then whether this possibility exists. There may be a question of "lending" to another company, however, this is something that you yourself must approve.

I have been laid off at 60% for 6 months. Can I still have my children in preschool full time?

We refer to the rules of the municipality that you live in.

I work at a municipal preschool and have been informed that I can be temporarily placed in other sectors in the municipality, such as care for the elderly because of corona. What are my rights in this situation? Do I have the right to refuse, demand to be placed within the same district administration, will my employer be responsible for any additional costs such as costs for public transport, is there the possibility that my schedule will change, will compensation be paid, what work tasks can I perform?

It is the employer who leads and distributes the work, which means that if the employer tells you that you need to work elsewhere in the employer's operations, you should do it. However, the employer must follow certain regulations. If relocation becomes relevant, please contact your section to see if the employer is acting correctly. Your employer can change your schedule, but there are rules in the contract as to how far in advance you should be informed of this. Regarding any additional costs for, for example, bus passes, there is nothing in the collective agreement on this, but you should raise the issue with your employer if it becomes relevant and try to receive some type of financial compensation for it.

What does Kommunal say about members being relocated as a result of workplaces being closed?

All measures that will be taken are in taken in order to ensure that members are not terminated or unemployed. How this will be managed are local issues. Kommunal has issued guidelines on deviations from central collective agreements. It also contains information on "lending".

I would like to know if Kommunal is promoting preschool staff who belong to a risk group being allowed to stay home with pay. The Teachers' Union is looking into this matter for teachers.

It is always the employer’s responsibility to take all measures to create a safe working environment. The employer may make a case-by-case assessment depending on what work duties the employee has and decide on what is possible in order to take extra caution.

If there is an underlying illness, if the employee belongs to a risk group that makes it dangerous to work where there are infected, the employer must adjust the work, and decide whether the employee can stay home with pay or if there are other tasks that can be performed without the risk of infection. If the employer does not take any actions, Kommunal recommends that one stops the very tasks that are hazardous to that particular employee. Contact the safety officer at your workplace, the section or Kommunal Direkt.

Should parents who are ill drop off and pick up their children?

The Public Health Agency recommends that parents who are ill should not drop off or pick up their children at preschool.

What happens if departments are merged due to staff shortages or fewer children?

The employer may relocate you to another department.

Can my employer relocate me or give me other duties because of Corona?

Yes, you have an obligation to work in any of the employer’s workplaces, provided that you have sufficient qualifications for the tasks to be performed.

We are worried about being infected at our workplace! Can we demand to have basic hygiene materials and other protective materials?

The employer is responsible for ensuring that basic hygiene articles and other protective materials, as well as clear instructions, are available at the workplace. In case of problems, contact the health and safety officer or Kommunal locally.

What is the employer's responsibility in terms of reducing our anxiety?

Together with the health and safety officer and the employees, the employer must carry out continuous risk assessments of how the authorities' recommendations can be followed: what are the risks associated with different tasks, what are the consequences and what measures need to be taken to reduce the risks?

What do we do if a child gets sick during the day?

It is advisable to have a separate area where the child can stay until the parent comes. Basic hygiene equipment should be provided in this room.

How will parents know exactly how to behave when dropping off and picking up their children?

As an employee, you should not act like a ‘police officer’. This is the employer’s responsibility.

What new cleaning procedures need to be introduced, for example wiping toys and screens?

These issues must be addressed in the continuous risk assessments.

Should children stay at home if their parents are infected?

The employer must make a risk assessment if a parent is at home due to infection.

Can sick children be left at preschool?

No sick children should be in preschool. The Public Health Agency's recommendations are that people who are ill should stay at home, including children.

My school is closing, how does that affect me?

In this situation, a so-called work shortage situation may occur. The employer is then primarily responsible for reassigning the workers affected by this to other activities. Other solutions can also be made locally. The purpose is to avoid unemployment. As a last resort, termination due to lack of work may be considered; if so, the periods of notice of the collective agreement or the law apply.

Green sector - Animal healthcare

Among animal healthcare personnel, there is some concern about being infected from infected animals. What does the Swedish Board of Agriculture recommend that personnel working in animal healthcare should use for protection when treating an animal suspected of carrying the Corona virus?

The overall assessment at present is that the risk of animals that may be carrying the Corona virus infecting people is minimal. The purpose of the Swedish Board of Agriculture's regulations (SJVFS 2013:14) on preventive and specific hygiene measures etc. to prevent the spread of zoonoses and other infectious agents is to reduce the risk of the spread of infectious agents in animal healthcare. All organisations that perform veterinary care must have a hygiene plan (healthcare hygiene) and act according to it. This plan shall serve as a job description of how paths of infection, between animals and between animals and humans, can be broken. This work is based on the principles of basic healthcare hygiene procedures. It is the person responsible for the organisation who is responsible for the existence of a hygiene plan and for ensuring that the staff follow it. The use of protective equipment is part of basic hygiene procedures. The type of protective equipment that is relevant and suitable varies depending on the type of job and what kind of infection is involved. Basic hygiene procedures are the basis for reducing the risk of infection.
The employer is also obliged to comply with the Swedish Work Environment Authority's regulations (AFS 2018:4) regarding the risk of infection in the activities. The employer must also comply with the Swedish Work Environment Authority's regulations on systematic work environment activities, which include rules that the employer must regularly examine the working conditions and assess the risks that may exist in the activities. There are also rules for the employer to take measures to prevent ill health. The Swedish Board of Agriculture's advice in this case is that the employer must carry out a risk assessment and have a dialogue with the staff. If there are people who are anxious and who belong to a particular risk group for infection, then perhaps there may be an opportunity to redirect the work so that these people can avoid contact with any suspected animals. Here a discussion with the Swedish Work Environment Authority may be relevant.

Insurance and bankruptcy

Kommunal’s member insurance at Folksam

What insurance policies are included in my membership?

You can find more information about that and other things here. https://www.folksam.se/forbund/kommunal

Because of travel restrictions due to the corona virus – What applies to trips purchased with a debit and credit card from EnterCard?

Cancellation insurance covers cancellation only due to illness, accident or death that has affected the insured person or a close relative. Other obstacles from travelling, such as a advise against travelling to destinations affected by the Corona virus or entry bans, are not covered by the insurance. You should at first hand contact the tour operator if you have any questions about rebooking.

What applies to cancelled events purchased with a debit and credit card from EnterCard?

If you have event ticket insurance included in your card insurance, the same conditions apply. Cancellation insurance covers cancellation only due to illness, accident or death that has affected the insured person or a close relative. Here is more info, however the text above summarizes the situation: https://www.erv.se/privat/dolda/om-coronaviruset/

What happens if the company where I work goes bankrupt?

When a company is declared bankrupt, a bankruptcy trustee is appointed. The bankruptcy trustee will provide more information about if and how you will continue working.

AFA insurance

Corona - what insurance policies apply?

You can find information on the AFA website about what applies to the Corona virus: https://www.afaforsakring.se/arbetsgivare--fack/forsakringar/coronavirus....

Healthcare

How can one quickly educate people now in order for them to help in healthcare? Those of us who have completed assistant nurse training and want to increase our status in healthcare, what happens now?

Fast-track healthcare training cannot be equated with extensive nurse training. In fact, the status of extensive training will more likely increase.

Short-term lay-off

What is short-term work and short-term lay-off?

From 16 March 2020, we have a new system of state aid for companies facing temporary and serious financial difficulties due to a decrease in demand. The employer applies for state aid to cover part of their wage costs, and you as an employee will have your working hours reduced but your wage does not decrease to the same degree.

What do the rules on short-term lay-off mean in practice?

Short-term lay-off can take place in three fixed stages, it is not possible to agree on other variations of short-term lay-off within the framework of the law. The agreement on the different steps is reached in the local agreement between Kommunal and the employer, not with you as an employee.

The different steps are:

If you go down to 80% working hours, you receive 96% of your salary.

If you go down to 60% working hours, you receive 94% of your salary.

If you go down to 40% working hours, you receive 92.5% of your salary.

For which employers do the rules on short-term lay-off apply?

The starting point is that all companies are subject to the rules on short-term lay-off.

What does the employer need to do to in order to receive state aid?

In order to receive state aid, the individual employer must submit an application to the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. In order for the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth to approve the application, the following criteria must be met:

  • the employer is experiencing temporary and serious financial difficulties;
  • the financial difficulties have been caused by circumstances that are beyond the employer's control;
  • the economic difficulties could not reasonably have been foreseen or avoided, and
  • the employer has used other available measures to reduce the cost of labour.

How is a short-term lay-off agreement made?

In order for an employer covered by collective agreements to be able to use short-term lay-offs, there must be a central agreement on short-term lay-off between the employer organization that the employer is a member of and the trade union organisation. After that, the individual employer must enter into a local short-term lay-off agreement specifying which workers are subject to short-term layoffs and at what levels.

What central short-term lay-off agreements have Kommunal made?

As of March 25, Kommunal has signed agreements with: Almega Tjänsteföretagen, Almega Tjänsteförbunden, Arbetsgivaralliansen, Gröna arbetsgivare, KFO and Sobona.

What applies to short-term lay-offs if my employer does not have a collective agreement?

Short-term lay-off with state aid can also be used by an employer who does not have a collective agreement, however the conditions are a little different. If you work in a workplace without a collective agreement and the employer wants to sign a short-term lay-off agreement, you can contact your section for advice.

Can I keep my sickness benefit qualifying income (SGI) even if short-term lay-off is introduced at my workplace and my work hours are reduced?

If short-term lay-off is introduced at your workplace under the act on support related to short-term employment, you retain the sickness benefit qualifying income (SGI) that you had before your work hours were reduced.

Can I receive unemployment insurance for the part of the time I that do not work with the support of short-term lay-offs?

No, the rules on unemployment insurance mean that the person involved cannot receive unemployment benefits for reduced work hours. If you have further questions about your right to unemployment benefits, you should contact your unemployment insurance fund.

Can fixed-term employees with, for example, 6 months of employment, be covered by the short-term lay-off agreement?

Yes, even temporary workers may be subject to short-term lay-offs under the law.

Do you have the right to take another job on days when you are not working?

No, one does not have any given right to take another job while one has short-term work with state aid. The duty of loyalty to the employer continues to exist, which means that an approval would be needed from the employer.

Can short-term lay-offs be used during the period of notice?

No, there is no such possibility in the agreements signed by Kommunal.

Can I refuse short-term work and instead be made redundant?

If short-term lay-offs are supported by central and local collective agreements, this applies. If you despite this refuse to agree to short-term work, it may be considered a refusal to work and an valid reason for dismissal (personal reasons).

Crisis situation agreement

Do you want to know more about the Crisis Situation Agreement?

Here we have compiled questions and answers. https://www.kommunal.se/krislagesavtal

Salary and compensation

What's the difference between regular overtime and requested overtime?

Most collective agreements state that overtime must be requested in advance or, if this has not been possible, approved by an authorised superior afterwards. The purpose for the employer is to keep track of the need for overtime. We assert that any time in addition to the contracted work hours should be compensated for in accordance with the overtime rules of the collective agreement.

When do I receive my overtime compensation?

According to most of our collective agreements, overtime pay is paid along with the salary in the month after the overtime has been completed.

My child has been at home sick for more than a week, do I need to have a medical certificate to get additional compensation for vab?

No. The government decided on 16 March 2020 that the rule on the removal of a medical certificate from the eighth day also applies to the care of sick children.

My employer tells me that I need to submit a first-day certificate, in case of illness, what do I do?

The requirement for a first-day certificate in case of illness has not been removed. Anyone who stays at home for the care of a sick child will no longer need a medical certificate from the eighth day of illness in order to receive continued parental benefit.

Can employers force workers to get vaccinated if and when a vaccine is developed?

No.

What are Försäkringskassan’s rules for infection?

You may receive a quarantine allowance if you need to refrain from working and lose income because a doctor has decided that you are not allowed to work because you are infected or may be infected with a disease that is dangerous to the general public.

Functions that are assential to our society

What does essential mean?

An essential activity means:

1. That if it is subjected to disturbances or is taken away, society is at risk.

or

2. The activity is needed in order to handle a potential or ongoing crisis.

Which of Kommunal's occupational groups are considered essential?

Employees belonging to Kommunal can be found in healthcare, the energy sector and transportation. Those who work in the following sectors are considered to be essential workers?

Energy supply

Financial services

Trade and industry

Healthcare and care

Information and communication

Municipal technical supply

Food

Military defence

Public administration

Protection and safety

Social insurance

Transportation

Holidays

My employer says that they are not scheduling vacation time at the moment, but that they are not planning to do it until the autumn because of the corona virus.

The main rule is that vacation time should be scheduled from June to August. According to the Annual Leave Act, there must be special reasons for placing vacation time at a time other than June to August. There may be deviations in collective agreements regarding vacation.

Special reasons for scheduling vacation times differently might be workplace safety and essential functions such as healthcare, communications and other community services working to a satisfactory level.

The employer has a duty to negotiate with the trade union organisation. If there are any doubts at your workplace, please contact your section. You can find contact information for the section here. https://www.kommunal.se/kontakta-din-sektion

My employer says that my granted vacation in July is suspended, are they allowed to do that?

In order for an employer to be able to revoke vacation time that has already been granted, special terms must be met. In other words, all other options must have been exhausted. This refers to overtime, additional time and access to temporary staff. The employer makes the assessment.

And what additional compensation do I get if I were to work?

The compensation is governed by the collective agreement you are subject to. There may be local collective agreements regulating compensation. If you have more specific questions, please contact your section https://www.kommunal.se/kontakta-din-sektion.

I have been granted vacation but my employer says I need to work, do I really have to?

The starting point is that vacation that has been granted cannot be revoked unilaterally by the employer without there being justification for it. In a situation where a large number of workers suddenly become sick and activities cannot continue without the employee’s granted leave being revoked or a vacation that has already been started being terminated, there may be a legitimate reason for revoking vacation that has already been granted, If your employer wants to do this, please contact your section https://www.kommunal.se/kontakta-din-sektion for further help and advice!

My employer has scheduled my vacation in November, can they really do that?

According to the Annual Leave Act, there must be special reasons for placing vacation time at a time other than June to August. There may be deviations in collective agreements regarding vacation. The employer has a duty to negotiate with the trade union organisation.

In case of doubt: contact your section. https://www.kommunal.se/kontakta-din-sektion

What kind of compensation do I get if my employer has placed everyone on vacation on standby?

Kommunal is of the opinion that if you are on vacation, you should be off from work. If special circumstances have arisen, the employer has the right to terminate your vacation. If some form of standby is to be implemented, it should be negotiated locally. Please contact your section. https://www.kommunal.se/kontakta-din-sektion if this situation arises.

Will you fight for compensation for us nurses now that we are getting our holiday postponed? What is Kommunal doing? We will get a maximum of 2 weeks in the summer and 2 weeks at the end of August beginning of September. Without any compensation?

Granted but suspended holiday

The starting point is that holiday that has been granted cannot be revoked unilaterally by the employer without there being justification for it. In a situation where a large number of workers suddenly become ill and activities cannot continue without the employees’ granted leave being revoked or a holiday that has already been started being terminated, there may be a legitimate reason for revoking holiday that has already been granted.
Whether compensation for this is provided is shown in the current collective agreement
The central collective agreement in question and the Holidays Act constitute the legal framework for how the holiday is to be handled; in some parts it is possible to make local collective agreements on deviations from these. If the employer or the trade union wants to make local deviations, there is negotiation on this. If this is relevant to the collective agreement on which you are included, it is a precondition that there is such a negotiation.

My employer says that they are not scheduling any holiday time at the moment and they are not planning to do this until the autumn because of Covid-19.

Kommunal's view is that members need to have holidays during the summer unless the members themselves want it during another period. The main rule is that holiday time should be scheduled from June to August. There may be deviations in collective agreements regarding holidays. Contact your section.

My employer says that the holiday I was granted in July is suspended; are they allowed to do that?

In order for an employer to be able to revoke holiday time that has already been granted, special terms must be met. In other words, all other options must have been exhausted. This refers to overtime, additional time and access to temporary staff. The employer makes the assessment. Contact your section.

And what additional compensation would I get if I were to work?

The compensation is governed by the collective agreement you are subject to. There may be local collective agreements regulating compensation. Contact Kommunal locally.

I have been granted holiday but my employer says I need to work; do I really have to?

The starting point is that holiday that has been granted cannot be revoked unilaterally by the employer without there being justification for it. In a situation where a large number of workers suddenly become ill and activities cannot continue without the employees’ granted leave being revoked or a holiday that has already been started being terminated, there may be a legitimate reason for revoking holiday that has already been granted. If your employer wants to do this, contact your section for further help and advice!

What kind of compensation do I get if my employer has placed everyone on holiday on standby?

Kommunal is of the opinion that if you are on holiday, you should be off work. Contact your section.

My employer says I have to be prepared to step in and be on stand by if I'm needed even though I'm on holiday; can they demand that?

No, the employer cannot ask you to be on stand-by when you have been granted a holiday.

What is the main holiday?

The main holiday means that the employee is entitled to 4 weeks' leave during June to August according to the Holidays Act. Exceptions can be made via a central collective agreement.

Why doesn't the Holidays Act apply?

Some parts of the Holidays Act can be deviated from through collective agreements. Then the collective agreement applies instead.

Who decides about holiday?

In the end, it is the employer who decides based on the needs of the business as well as safety at work and socially important functions. However, the employer must negotiate with the trade union organisation.

What happens if the employer interrupts my holiday?

If the employer interrupts your holiday, you need to work. The employer must have good reason to cancel holiday that has been granted. There must be exceptional reasons and this means that the employer must first try to resolve the need in a different way, such as taking in temporary staff or through overtime work. It is the employer who makes the assessment.

Am I required to work even if I'm on holiday?

If the employer interrupts your holiday, you are obliged to work. It must be a short and temporary interruption. The employer must have good reason to cancel holiday that has been granted. There must be reasons for the interruption and this means that the employer must first try to resolve the need in a different way, such as taking in temporary staff or through overtime work. It is the employer who makes the assessment.

I can't work if I don't get a vacation this summer?

It is important to rest and recover. It is ultimately the employer who controls the timing of holidays. In the first place, you should look at taking holiday during June to August. If you feel like you can't do it, talk to your supervisor.

Don't I have the right to take time off when the children are off school?

The employer must strive to give holiday during June to August. If this is not possible based on staffing and the requirements of the business, it may be a different time. However, the employer must do all they can to ensure that holiday is taken during June to August.

Do I have to check the phone all the time in case I'm needed at work when I'm free?

No, there's nothing to say you have to check your phone all the time during your holiday

In case of doubt: contact your section.

Holidays - what applies regarding holidays in 2020 for those working in private companies who are under the collective agreements Healthcare Companies Care and Treatment Sector and Care Activities (E), Elderly Care Sector (F) Personal Assistance Sector (G) and Ambulance Paramedics (H)

KFO - health, healthcare and other care
Employers' Alliance - Health and medical care

 

What is the main holiday?

The main holiday means that the employee is entitled to 4 weeks' leave during June to August according to the Holidays Act. Exceptions can be made through local collective agreements or in an individual agreement between you and your employer.

When am I entitled to a holiday?

According to the Holidays Act, you are entitled to four weeks of holiday to be taken during June to August. The employer may give the holiday at another time if there are special reasons. According to Kommunal, the employer must exhaust all other possibilities and demonstrate that it cannot be solved otherwise.

Why does the Holidays Act not apply in its entirety?

Some parts of the Holidays Act can be deviated from through collective agreements. Then the collective agreement applies instead. Among other things, Kommunal has negotiated extra days of holiday at the age of 40 and 50 years in the central collective agreement.

Who decides about holiday?

In the end, it is the employer who decides based on the needs of the business as well as safety at work and socially important functions. However, the employer must negotiate with the trade union organisation.

I want a holiday in the summer, why can't I?

As Kommunal understands it, in the first instance holiday is to be taken during July to August, according to the Holidays Act, but if the employer has exhausted all possibilities for holiday in the summer, the employer can place the holiday at another time. This must then be preceded by a negotiation with Kommunal.

What happens if the employer interrupts my holiday?

If the employer interrupts your holiday, you need to work. The employer must have good reason to cancel holiday that has been granted. There must be exceptional reasons and this means that the employer must first try to resolve the need in a different way, such as taking in temporary staff or through overtime work. It must be a short and temporary interruption.

Am I required to work even if I'm on holiday?

If the employer interrupts your holiday, you are obliged to work. The employer must have good reason to cancel holiday that has been granted. There must be exceptional reasons and this means that the employer must first try to resolve the need in a different way, such as taking in temporary staff or through overtime work. It must be a short and temporary interruption.

Holidays - the following applies to holidays based on central collective agreement for those who work in municipalities, regions and Sobona companies (formerly Pacta)


What is the main holiday?

The main holiday means that the employee is entitled to 4 weeks' leave during June to August according to the Holidays Act. Exceptions can be made via a central collective agreement. In the collective agreement applicable to Municipalities, Regions and Sobona companies, the employer may, after negotiations, place the main holiday in May and September.

Why holiday in September?

Four weeks of holiday should primarily be scheduled for June to August. If this is not possible based on staffing and safety in the business, there is the possibility based on the collective agreement to place the main holiday in September after the employer has negotiated with the union. Taking holidays in September should primarily be voluntary.

Why doesn't the Holidays Act apply?

Some parts of the Holidays Act can be deviated from through collective agreements. Then the collective agreement applies instead. Among other things, Kommunal has negotiated extra days of holiday at the age of 40 and 50 years in the central collective agreement for employees in municipalities and regions.

Who decides about holiday?

In the end, it is the employer who decides based on the needs of the business as well as safety at work and socially important functions. However, the employer must negotiate with the trade union organisation.

I want a holiday in the summer, why can't I?

Kommunal's understanding is that holidays should primarily be taken during June to August. If the employer has exhausted all possibilities for such a holiday timing, according to the central collective agreement and after negotiation there is a possibility of holiday being in September. This should primarily be voluntary.

Compensation for holidays other than in June-August?

If you as an employee receive a maximum of 14 days of holiday during June to August, you will receive 2 additional paid days of holiday during the holiday year/calendar year. If you as an employee receive 15 to 19 days of holiday during June to August, you will receive 1 additional paid day of holiday during the holiday year/calendar year.

What happens if the employer interrupts my holiday?

If the employer interrupts your holiday, you need to work. The employer must have good reason to cancel holiday that has been granted. There must be exceptional reasons and this means that the employer must first try to resolve the need in a different way, such as taking in temporary staff or through overtime work. It must be a short and temporary interruption.
What kind of compensation do I get if my employer interrupts my holiday?
Based on the rules of the collective agreement, if you have had your holiday interrupted you receive an extra day’s holiday in compensation for each interrupted day of holiday and you also get your days of holiday back. Compensation can be given up to a maximum of five days of holiday. If you are staying elsewhere, you will be reimbursed for additional costs that the interrupted holiday may cause you and which may be considered reasonable.

Am I required to work even if I'm on holiday?

If the employer interrupts your holiday, you are obliged to work. The employer must have good reason to cancel holiday that has been granted. There must be exceptional reasons and this means that the employer must first try to resolve the need in a different way, such as taking in temporary staff or through overtime work. It must be a short and temporary interruption.

Confidentiality and non-disclosure

What about confidentiality and non-disclosure?

Confidentiality about Corona


The stress caused by the new corona virus has led to many organisations being in what is known as an extraordinary event. An extraordinary event is an event that lies between normal conditions and heightened readiness.

During an extraordinary event, special rules about confidentiality apply. These apply to those who work, or have worked, with the Corona virus. The rules mean that you must not reveal what you have found out to any third party.

Freedom to inform about Corona

The obligation of confidentiality during an extraordinary event suspends the normal freedom of information. Any person who participates, or has participated, in the work against the coronavirus may not give information to the media for publication.

Do elected officials have the right to information?

There are provisions in the Codetermination Act, Section 11 and Section 19, which guarantee trade unions the right to information. In addition, provisions of the Work Environment Act guarantee members of a health and safety committee information (Chapter 6 section 6 of the Work Environment Act).

According to the Work Environment Act, what information are health and safety officers entitled to?

According to the Work Environment Act, health and safety officers have the right to consult documents and obtain the other information necessary for their activities. This means that health and safety officers receive information about the Corona virus. The confidentiality that applies to employees in general regarding the Corona virus also applies to the health and safety officers.

In spite of the obligation of confidentiality, health and safety officers may pass information to a member of the local employee organisation board or to an expert in work environment issues at a central employee organisation to which the local organisation belongs.

The right to disclose information applies only if the reporting agent notifies the recipient of the obligation of confidentiality. In such a case, the obligation of confidentiality also applies to the recipient.

Notice

Can my employer negotiate/shorten my notice period in connection with redundancy due to a lack of work because of the Corona crisis?

The period of notice resulting from the collective agreement or law applies. It is possible to shorten the notice period, on the condition that you and your employer have agreed on this. There is no obligation to reach such an agreement.

My employer is threatening to give me notice, what do I do?

If your employer is planning to give notice, the employer must negotiate this with the trade union organisation. You can contact your section

Can an employer order an employee to substitute for another employee and then perform tasks that are outside both regular work duties and the contract area?

In the current situation of rapid infection of Covid-19, the issue of ensuring that staff is available in the workplace is of the utmost importance. Some businesses have a smaller workload than usual, while others are under a high amount of pressure. The employer may need to make quick decisions, for example, to order overtime, change schedules, temporarily change workplaces, substitute for another worker or to meet on-call and standby.

Changes regarding when, where and with what work duties the employee performs the work should primarily be made on the basis of voluntary action on the part of the employee. Naturally it is also important for the employer to be sensitive to whether employees have valid reasons to abstain from working. It is equally important that the employer also takes into account the employee’s skills and does not assign work duties that go beyond of what the employee is actually capable of performing.

Care for the elderly

The Swedish Teachers' Union will now promote a quarantine allowance for risk groups. I think that Kommunal should do the same thing! I work in the care for the elderly in dementia care and I have diabetes and I’m afraid ....

It is always the employer’s responsibility to take all measures to create a safe working environment. The employer may make a case-by-case assessment depending on what work duties the employee has and decide on what is possible in order to take extra caution.

If there is an underlying illness, if the employee belongs to a risk group that makes it dangerous to work where there are infected, the employer must adjust the work, and decide whether the employee can stay home with pay or if there are other tasks that can be performed without the risk of infection. If the employer does not take any actions, Kommunal recommends that one stops the very tasks that are hazardous to that particular employee. Contact the safety officer at your workplace, the section or Kommunal Direkt.

Were you unable to find the answer to your question?

As a member you have the option of contacting Kommunal in several ways and we will help you answer your questions.

Contact your local section. Contact information can be found on My pages.

Call Kommunal Direkt, 010 - 442 70 00

Email your question to direkt@kommunal.se

Where can I find updated information about the virus?

The Public Health Agency of Sweden

In Sweden, it is the Public Health Agency https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/ that gathers general information on the issue. On their website you will find questions and answers regarding new issues.

General questions

Anyone wishing to ask general questions about the new corona virus can call the national information number 113 13. You can call this number to provide or obtain information about serious accidents and crises. The service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Medical advice

If you suspect that you have been infected, call 1177.

1177 Vårdguiden

Regional information for private individuals regarding the new corona virus is also available at 1177.se Vårdguiden

Are you looking for information in other languages?

Under krisinformation.se there is sign language interpreted information and the Public Health Agency of Sweden provides information for people who want to read in English, Chinese, Persian, Arabic, Dari, Somali, Finnish, Tigrinya, Pashto and Urmanji.

At Transcultural Centre there is a new telephone line for corona. You can phone this line to obtain answers to general questions about the corona virus in your own language. The telephone line is staffed by the Transcultural Centre's health communicators, who answer general questions about the corona virus. They speak Arabic, Somali, Persian/Dahri, Tigrinya/Amarinja and Russian. Please note that this is not a medical information provider. Here you will find more information, telephone hours and opening hours. https://www.transkulturelltcentrum.se/aktuellt/telefonlinje-om-corona-for-nyanlanda/

Naturally, Kommunal follows the Foreign Ministry's recommendations and advises all members against travel to the relevant regions in order to avoid further spread of the virus.

Kommunal’s live chat regarding the corona virus

Watch a replay of Kommunal's live chat here. Kommunal’s contract lawyer Malin and advisor Pierre answer questions related to your job and the coronavirus covid-19. Follow us on Instagram to make sure that you do not miss the next live chat. https://www.instagram.com/facket_kommunal/