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Sweden

Staff welfare

Updated 12/2012

Legal requirements

Social (labour market) rules

Non-discrimination, equal treatment and gender equality

Employees have the right not to be discriminated against for reasons of gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Health and safety at work

Sweden also has mandatory health and safety legislation in the area of labour law.

The Work Environment Act contains regulations on the obligations of employers and on cooperation between employers and employees.

Swedish health and safety legislation deals with employees' rights on co-determination, working hours, leave and working environment.

Swedish Work Environment Authority (SWEA) works to reduce the risks of ill-health and accidents in working life. The authority regulates and publishes the requirements which must be met within the working environment.

Labour law

Labour relations

Conditions in the labour market are set through negotiations between employer and employee organisations. The result of negotiations are collective agreements that can be signed by individual entrepreneurs or through the employers' organisation representing the employer.

Collective agreements are voluntary, but trade organisations can take industrial action to reach an agreement with an employer.

As a member of an employers' organisation you will get help and support in the area of labour law – with negotiations and disputes, for example.

Social protection

Swedish social security covers everyone living and working in Sweden. The Social Security Office (Försäkringskassan) is responsible for large parts of the public welfare system. On the Social Security Office website, you can check what rules apply when one of your employees falls ill, becomes a parent or loses their job.

Disputes

Labour law disputes are heard by the district court or the Labour Court (AD).

Issues related to collective agreements are always heard by the Labour Court as the first and final court. Members of an employers' organisation are generally represented by lawyers from the Labour Court.

If there is no collective agreement, the dispute is heard by the district court. The district court's verdict can then be appealed against before the Labour Court.

Mandatory social rules complete the requirements related to managing staff.

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum social legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Social security

The Social Security Office receives applications for sick leave and parental leave.

Resources

Confederation of Swedish Enterprise

This organisation represents just under 54 000 companies in Sweden. They are organised into 50 industry and employers' associations.

You can find further information on insurance for yourself, your company and your employees on the business portal verksamt.se.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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