Slashing costs by nipping job stress in the bud.
In 2002, Sweden had the highest sick-leave per capita rate in the world, thanks in part to its stagnant work culture, where job security and strong labor laws mean people stay put despite being unhappy or stressed out at work. Some 70% of those on leave suffered from psychiatric ailments. The trend was costing Skandia, a mutually-owned life insurance company, 2 billion Swedish Krona per year—a number so significant it prompted the company to figure out how to prevent people from getting sick in the first place.
In 2006, Skandia opened a hotline, where people insured by Skandia through an employer could report illnesses and receive treatment—from nurses, physical therapists, ergonomic specialists—anonymously and free of charge. It also urged companies to improve workplace health by questioning employees covered by its policies about their on-the-job experience and providing employers with the feedback. Ten years on, the rate of sick leave among Skandia policyholders has dropped from by more than half, to 2.0%, allowing the company to cut its premiums by 80%.
Insurance: Life & Health
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