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Work Rehabilitation Instead of Compensation

At a meeting held by the Federation of General Workers (SGS) yesterday, a new plan based on work rehabilitation was introduced which is meant to revolutionize the current system of compensation in Iceland for illness, accident and handicap.

“A rehabilitation program will be established,” Skúli Thoroddsen, managing director of SGS, told Bladid. “People who fall ill will be provided with work rehabilitation instead of being categorized as handicap and receiving a disability pension.”

A special accident insurance fund will be established to provide ill or injured workers with salaries for up to five years. The insurance fund will serve as a back-up for the labor unions’ sickness benefit funds. The labor unions will continue to organize payments and communicate with ill or injured workers.

“This system means that the right to regular salaries from the employer would continue for two months after one year of employment. After that the ill worker would be taken care of by the appropriate labor union where he or she could receive salary for up to five years,” said Thoroddsen.

“Today the sickness benefit funds pay salaries for up to six months, but the right to receive salaries from the employer is longer,” he added.

Thoroddsen explained that every worker will pay a new insurance premium to finance the planned accident insurance fund and employers will pay 1.25 percent of total salaries, a sum higher than the current insurance premium.

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