Scandinavia Comes In From The Cold

Executives at giant appliance maker Electrolux have noticed a startling change at their Swedish factories in recent months: Fewer staffers are calling in sick. A miracle cure? Hardly. Alarmed by high absentee rates, the Swedes have cracked down on generous sickness benefits. Workers who called in ill once received a government check for 90% of their wages. That was slashed to 65% for the first three days. Presto--short-term absenteeism dropped one-fifth.

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