1. As the article states this is an old practice. There used to be an even better scheme around 10 years ago when you could get unemployment for a year by having someone unemployed replace you.
2. The primary benefit, since is not paid, is that you can keep you employment i.e. you can't be fired. But for every year this is less of a given as more and more people have temporary employment, work as contractors, at smaller firms where different rules apply or are granted lesser rights under the law.
3. In Sweden you are required to be loyal to your employer. Which means you aren't allowed to start a competing business while being employed or for some time after and retain your rights. Which also means you can't for this scheme either. This makes the whole thing useless for most people in technology.
4. Living costs, and centralization of society, are off the charts in Sweden. You will be bleeding money fast unless you are already rich.
So I think there is very little real benefit to this.
Edit: Pretty lame to mark this story as a dupe though, now this comment is pretty much meaningless since the primary motivation was discussing the issue. I guess the "middlebrow dismissal" would have been a better idea.
That statement seems highly dependent on the size of the employer.
In Canada I get leave but I get paid by the Employment Insurance program (tax). Interestingly it caps off meaning lower income people might get 100% of their salary while I'd get like 30%.
What would that minimum window look like to my hypothetical employer if I decided on a whim to start a business tomorrow?
That's on par with parental leave, where it's not uncommon to tell the employer 3 months before the delivery.
similarly, you can't just take this business leave by saying "I'm not coming in next week!". The notice period is actually longer than for parental leave.
>Anyone who's been in full-time employment for at least six months is entitled to apply for the unpaid sabbatical, or tjänstledighet, as it's called in Sweden. Employers can only turn the request down if the employee is vital to the business's operations. Also, your new idea can't compete with your existing employer, nor cause them any significant inconvenience.
Also it’s not just the percentage of employees on leave, but also about their position.
What if this happens in a startup of 10 people (where they have 2-3 developers) and the person taking the leave is a developer?
Company loses 33-50% of its R&D capacity for the next 6 months. That can have catastrophic effect on a startup.
Sure they do; that's what contractors often are. I've spent eight months working in Belgium plus three in Luxembourg. It's a great option if you're from a EU country with lower salaries and don't want to permanently migrate, but want to build some savings (plus local employers seem have some fetish for people who worked abroad).
If anything this helps employees leave shitty companies without the full risk of just quitting entirely. You know how capitalism is about a marketplace of rational actors? Actors will be a lot more rational if they know they can still have a job to fall back on if things don't work out.
There's a cost to holding someone's seat. Employers whole heartedly replace them, because they're entitled to come back. So, they need a small 6 month replacement that may or may not become a permanent need.
For most jobs at large companies, I totally agree. They should be able to handle it. But, marginal cases will still exist. Niche roles, senior employees or smaller companies. Image a 200 person startup where a team lead or similar takes her 6 months. The team is now in limbo.
I like the idea, just saying it comes with downsides too.
Disclaimer: could not read the article, doesn't allow adblocker.
So who runs the companies that everybody works for now?
This doesn’t seem like a good long term solution. A better one would be several weeks off, then half time work for several more months. It allows you to keep you head in the game, make money, and take care of your kid.
The employees aren't unhired, they are on leave. And yes, the employer is required to return you to your old position, or a very similar one.
> What if the position ... is no longer needed or has been replaced by automation?
Then they return you to a similar position and/or run less efficiently than they may have done otherwise.
I don't see this as particularly different from similar issues you get with parental or education leave arrangements. There are sometimes edge cases that complicate things a bit but any reasonably sizeable organisation can usually deal with them without too much bother.
The person is still employed so still has the same protections as if they never left. It's very hard to fire someone in Sweden so that is important.
If the company want to let you go for not being needed any more they need to follow the last in first out rule for similair positions/qualifications and if you are that person the company has to give you x months of notice and pay, but I'm not sure what happens if they do that during a leave.
Do you have to give X days notice?
This policy would instantly destroy Silicon Valley. I can picture companies with more employees on leave to start startups than actual working employees of the company!