Profound changes are taking place in the Swedish welfare state. The general population's attitudes are important insofar changes will be perceived as fair and effective to become implemented.
The aim was to study attitudes to the strictness of the sick-leave rules, relocation to other work tasks after 3 months of sick leave and applications for new jobs after 6 months of sick leave.
Eligible for this questionnaire study were 1,140 individuals aged 19 to 64 years. Their attitudes were analyzed in relation to age, gender, political ideology and health status. Health status was measured as sick-leave experiences, self-reported health and level of symptoms.
Showed that 42% considered the sick-leave rules to be too strict, 60% found relocation to other work tasks to be good while 35% found that applications for new work were good. In logistic regression analyses, high sick-leave experience was associated with increased odds of finding the sick-leave rules too strict and disagreement with relocation to other work tasks or application for new jobs.
In conclusion, strong support was found for relocation to other work tasks with the present employer. Earlier research on returning to work has found workplace interventions to be efficient. From a policy perspective it seems relevant to promote such interventions given the strong public opinion in their favor.