Swedish Members advocate for better social insurance for visual creators
"Do you have something for high fever and low social insurance safety?" (illustration by Sara Granér)
In Sweden (like many other places in the world), it’s still true that freelancers, including designers and other “cultural creators” don’t get the same social insurance benefits as salaried workers. Despite 80% of artists, photographers, and designers in Sweden working full-time at what they do, they do not receive the full scope of social security benefits that their counterparts do.
This week, ico-D Member Svenska Tecknare, along with other representatives of the visual artists and designers in Sweden, published an article in the Swedish daily newspaper by Dagens Nyheter, calling for an extended inquiry by the Social Insurance Commission concerning the creative sector and social security benefits. On Monday, the same demand was presented to the Minister of Social Security, Annika Strandhäll, at her office. She also received a white paper on the issue developed by the organisations involved. The work began in 2014, just before the parliamentary elections, when a gallup among the Swedish political parties showed common understanding around the necessity for change in the social legislation in order to meet the needs of creative professionals.
The impact of artists and designers getting fair access to social insurance could be ground-breaking as it considers what it would mean to give security for low income earners working in unsteady creative markets, including benefits like coverage for sickness and disability. The main critique in the white paper presented by the Svenska Tecknare and cooperating organisations, was that the Commission doesn’t fully understand how to value and protect the work of freelance creatives.