Workers' rights and conditions

Preamble

As a worker in Sweden you can expect strong workers’ rights and attractive employment conditions.

Body

Contracts

Jobs in Sweden can either be permanent or temporary. Permanent contracts are often preceded by a three to six month trial period. Once you have a permanent contract, it can only be terminated by your employer if certain conditions are met.

 

Working hours

The average Swede works 1,644 hours per year, which is well below the OECD average of 1,776 hours. 

 

Holidays

All workers in Sweden are entitled to at least 25 days of paid vacation per year.

 

Parental leave

Sweden has very generous conditions for parental leave. Parents who have a Swedish personal identity number and have registered with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) are entitled to 480 days of paid leave (up to 80% of your previous salary) per child. Of these 60 days are reserved for each parent. Find out more on: Swedish Social Insurance Agency – Parental Benefit.

 

Sick leave

When you are off work due to illness you are entitled to sick leave pay from your employer. Your first sick day is unpaid, but there after you will receive up to 80% of your salary. If your illness lasts for more than 14 days you will need to contact the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and apply for sickness benefits.

Minimum wage

Sweden doesn’t have a legal minimum wage. However, wages are usually set by collective agreements between employers and trade unions. About 90% of workers in Sweden, including non-union members, are protected by collective agreements. These agreements regulate wages as well as working conditions.

 

Trade Unions

Trade unions have played an important role in shaping Swedish labour market regulations. About 70% of all workers in Sweden are affiliated with a trade union. These offer advice, coaching and support for their members and can often provide good information on salary levels in your profession. They also administer unemployment insurance. You can find the unions through the following trade union confederations. 

The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO)
The Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (SACO)
The Swedish Confederation of Employees (TCO)

 

Discrimination

Sweden has anti-discrimination laws which forbid unfair treatment on the basis of age, gender ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religion or other beliefs. In the workplace, the laws cover employees, jobs seekers, trainees and students in a work experience position. If you feel you have been discriminated against, you can report the matter to the Equality Ombudsman or to your union.