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Important information to all independent contractors regarding coronavirus (COVID-19)

On 11 March, we sent out a newsletter to you, our independent contractors, to follow the instructions and recommendations on the Public Health Agency of Sweden/Folkhälsomyndigheten website regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/the-public-health-agency-of-sweden/communicable-disease-control/covid-19/

With the ongoing discussions in the media and among politicians, we would now like to provide further information to clarify the situation for your assignments and any illness you may have.

Regarding your position as an independent contractor
At present, Friday 13 March, the Swedish government and parliament has made no firm statement, other than saying that employees in a company can reduce their working hours and pay, with government support in the event of temporary crises caused by developments in the wider world. The current coronavirus pandemic might be classed as such an event. There is no resolution in place at present, but according to the Minister of Finance this may be included in the spring budget to be presented in April. We will provide ongoing information on this page as new government and parliament decisions arise.

What happens if your contract ends early?
If a contract you are assigned to ends early and you have no other assignment to begin, you will most likely be covered by unemployment insurance. In this case you will be classed as unemployed, and will have to be available to take on jobs. If you do not have existing unemployment insurance, please go to https://www.sverigesakassor.se/om-oss/in-english/ to read more.

Does liability insurance also cover loss of income following a terminated contract?
Your third-party liability insurance will not cover your loss of income. Third-party liability insurance is a form of property insurance. It provides protection and compensation if something breaks or an object is damaged when you carry out an assignment. For example, if you are laying flooring and drop something that damages or ruins the flooring, or if you are cleaning and knock over a vase that breaks.

However, third-party liability insurance is not only for physical objects, but also protects against so-called pecuniary detriment. This is important to be aware of if you work as an IT consultant or a consultant in finance, accounting, training, marketing or sales. Pecuniary detriment is the term for damage that arises if, for example, an IT consultant carries out programming and as a result the client’s business operation does not function, or if a freelance economist does bookkeeping and as a result the client is caused damage. If you would like to know more about our insurance policies and how they relate to you as an independent contractor, please see https://coolcompany.com/se/en/work-environment/

What happens if I get sick?
If you have registered your assignment and fall ill within the framework of your assignment, you can follow the policy for sickness benefit at https://coolcompany.com/se/en/agreements-and-terms/general-terms-and-conditions-independent-contractor/

Do I need a doctor’s certificate to receive sickness benefit?
The government suggests temporarily waiving the requirement for a doctor’s certificate, starting from the eighth day in the sick-pay period. This means that someone who is sick can stay at home without a doctor’s certificate for up to 14 days, without losing their entitlement to sick pay. As an employer, this means that we do not have to see a doctor’s certificate from you. It is important that you have registered your project/assignment in accordance with our sick-pay procedure. Read more here: https://coolcompany.com/se/en/agreements-and-terms/general-terms-and-conditions-independent-contractor/

How will the first ‘qualifying day’ change?
The government has announced that it will temporarily waive the one-day qualifying period for sick pay and sickness benefit. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear how the rules are to be applied. The Swedish Social Insurance Agency/Försäkringskassan is currently looking at how to proceed once a decision has been made. We will keep you updated.

Last updated 19 March 2020