Issues related to Human Resources & Employment at your company
The Swedish government ensures a healthy working environment for employees. It governs and regulates various laws for protecting workers’ rights. There are powerful labour unions and supportive employers that help employees in Sweden.
A number of labour laws exist to ensure that employees are not dismissed without proper notice and to protect employee rights.
Some of the main laws include:
The Collective Rights of Employees
In Sweden, businesses have a collective agreement with various labour unions. A collective agreement ensures equality in wages, working hours, sickness leave and injury benefits etc. Swedish trade unions negotiate with employers to ensure a common set of rules that are applicable for all employees.
The Work Environment Act
The Work Environment Act ensures that a safe working environment for employees is maintained. The act includes measures to restrict workplace hazards, prevent accidents and protect the physical and mental health of employees. Employers are responsible for planning and implementing various precautionary measures to avoid injuries and employees must abide by the safety measures. According to the act, a person younger than 16 years old can be employed but not in hazardous conditions. Similarly, children under the age of 13 can only perform work that does not involve physical or mental strain.
The Employment Protection Act
This act ensures job security for employees. An employer cannot dismiss any employee without prior notice. Generally, one to three months´ notice in advance is given to an employee. If a permanent employee is being dismissed, then they are entitled to a guaranty priority for re-employment up to 9 months after their dismissal.
The Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act
Under this act, employers should provide regular information about the company’s financial performance as well as current policies to trade unions. Employers must also provide information relating to any restructuring plans.
The Trade Union Representatives (Status at the Workplace) Act
This act aims to ensure the job security of trade union representatives and the ease with which they can perform their trade union duties. It also guarantees wage and employment benefits to representatives, and dismissal is forbidden in cases where the representative is necessary at the workplace.
Swedish law discourages discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation or functional disabilities and their beliefs and appearance, both in public and the work place.
The Discrimination Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen or DO)
This central government authority is responsible for ensuring equality. Employees have the right to report any discrimination they are experiencing in the work place.
Ministry of Employment in Sweden
Established in 2007, the Ministry of Employment is a section of the government (which comprises the Prime Minister’s office, 12 ministries and an office for administrative affairs). The Ministry consists of four divisions and two secretariats. The secretariat is responsible for legal issues, activity planning, support and coordination of administrative and personnel issues, organisational issues, the budget, external and internal information and coordination of cross-division issues. The roles for each of the four divisions are as follows:
- The Division for Labour Market - Responsible for the development of labour market policy
- The Division for Labour Law and Work Environment – Responsible for work life and handling issues relating to the work environment, working hours, wages, etc.
- The Division for Research and Analysis – Responsible for overseeing the developments in the labour market and for providing insights and reports
- The International Division – Responsible for coordinating international issues
The Ministry of Employment is responsible for the labour market and working life policy in Sweden.
Labour Market Policy
The goal of the Labour Market Policy is to ensure full employment. The policy covers various benefits such as compensation in the event of unemployment, employment services, labour market policy programmes, the job and development guarantee, new start jobs and the European Social Fund. The objectives of the policy are as follows:
- Improve the functioning of the labour market
- Permanently raise employment levels in the long term
- Match the requirements of those seeking work with those seeking employees
- More attention and resources are directed towards those who are most furthest removed from the labour market
- Ensure that unemployment insurance serves as readjustment insurance
Working Life Policy
The objective of a work-life policy is to ensure good working conditions and opportunities for development at work for both women and men. The other objectives of the policy are as follows:
- Promote a work environment that prevents ill health and accidents
- Build a work environment to ensure that individuals respect each other’s conditions and assist in the development of both individuals and enterprises
- Labour legislation that lays the foundations for a working life that meets both employees’ and employers’ needs for flexibility, security and influence
- Wage structure should be consistent with both a macroeconomic balance and industrial peace
Advertising job vacancies
Job vacancies can be found through job websites, recruitment agencies, and newspapers (popular ones include Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet and Dagens Industri). In Sweden, networking and personal contacts are increasingly becoming a popular way of finding employment. The Swedish Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) lists the major vacancies and provides other support and information.
Major Recruitment Agencies and Websites
Adecco Sweden (in Swedish)
Poolia (in Swedish)
More information about Employing staff:
Information from Invest in Sweden on Employment of staff
General information from Verksamt.nu about Employment of staff
More information about Employee Rights:
Information from the Swedish Trade Union Confederation regarding Labour Laws
Information from the Swedish Institute on Employee Rights
Information from the Swedish Institute about Labour Unions