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Swedish Teachers Sue State over Low Pregnancy Benefits

Teachers in Sweden Sue the State

Grab a cup of coffee, sit comfortable, and let’s dive into some Swedish news you need to be aware of as an expat. It’s about teachers in Sweden taking the state to court.

Why’s That?

During the pandemic, many pregnant teachers were prohibited from teaching in various schools, citing health risks. But here’s the kicker, the pregnancy benefits given by Försäkringskassan, the country’s social insurance agency, were deemed too low by Sveriges Lärare, the Swedish Teachers’ Union.

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Looking at the EU law, Sveriges Lärare – never one to shy from controversy – has thrown a legal glove at the state’s face, claiming that this low reimbursement violates EU rights.

What’s the Beef?

So here’s the deal. The Union also insists the Swedish state has discriminated against several members by denying them the right to maintain their pay. As a quote from Åsa Fahlén, chairman of Sveriges Lärare, in a press release states:

“Sveriges Lärare is doing everything we can to compensate our members for the income loss they suffered due to the low pregnancy benefits given during the pandemic.”

Now, here’s a fun fact. Pregnancy benefits often provide less compensation than sick leave. The Union claims its members lost tens of thousands of kronor.

Their End Game

The Swedish Teachers’ Union sees this as more than just recouping lost income. They’re after a bigger fish, to improve conditions for all pregnant workers in the future. Taking this right to the state, not just to the employer or Försäkringskassan, might up the chances for members to get that golden pot of financial compensation at the end of this legal rainbow.

The Union has already challenged the level of pregnancy benefits in a few cases and even won a case. But being the fighter it is, Försäkringskassan appealed. The Union isn’t backing down, they’re doubling down.

“We are now moving forward because we believe that the state has not implemented the maternity protection directive well enough,” Åsa Fahlén said.

In Conclusion…

So, teachers are up in arms demanding better conditions, believing they are entitled under EU law. Whether this legal fight is won or lost, it’s a worthy cause highlighting the struggles faced by pregnant workers in Sweden. And as expats in Sweden, it’s an issue we should keenly follow.

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