Scandinavia is known for our generous benefits for people who get sick. You can take time off from work with full pay (you’ll need your doctor to sign some documents if you’re sick for extended periods of time) or almost full pay if you get sick. A common cold or cancer – you have a right to keep your job and to keep your monthly income.
One would think that this was something new. You know – crazy Scandinavians and our welfare state – but actually it’s not. I found an article that referred to the first mentioning of sick pay. Guess when that was? Around year 1000. Go Vikings! (no, not the football Vikings – the real ones).
The Gulating Law, which was written down in the 11th century, and had an even earlier origin, had several laws and provisions regarding employment. An employee had the right to five day’s wages (not really a lot if you have an ax in your head, but it’s better than nothing) if he or she got sick. In the 13th century the law was expanded. Now the employer had to pay sick pay for half a month.
Sick pay and the welfare state reminded me of this (from Memecenter):
Stay healthy, everyone!