Staff welfare - Sweden
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 in relation to co-determination, working hours, leave and the working environment.
The Swedish Work Environment Authority 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.
Conditions in the labour market are set through negotiations between employer and employee organisations. The resulting collective agreements may be signed by individual entrepreneurs or through the employers' organisation representing the employer.
Collective agreements are voluntary, but trade unions may 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.
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.
Labour law disputes are heard by the local district court (tingsrätt) or the Labour Court (Arbetsdomstol, or AD).
Issues related to collective agreements are always heard by the Labour Court as the first and final instance. 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.
The Social Security Office receives applications for sick leave and parental leave.
Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv)
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.
Check also the legislation on this topic in: