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Employment contracts and terms in Sweden

A Swedish employer must, within one month after the employee has commenced employment, inform in writing of the conditions that apply to the position.
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This information is for EU citizens only.

What should an employment contract in Sweden contain?

An employment contract is a personal agreement between you as an employee and your employer. In some cases, a collective agreement can set the framework for how the employment agreement should be formulated. An employment contract does not always have to be written, but there are certain areas in which the employer is required to inform you in writing. They include:

  • personal details, details of the workplace and the start date of the employment
  • duties and job title
  • recruitment form and information on notice periods
  • pay, fringe benefits and how often wages are paid
  • the length of paid holiday and the length of a normal working day or working week
  • collective agreement - if there is one
  • conditions for possible stationing abroad if this lasts longer than one month

Good concepts to know in connection with employment contracts in Sweden 

  • Permanent employment (tillsvidareanställning)
    So-called “permanent employment” is the most common type of employment. It is characterised by the fact that you do not know in advance how long the appointment is lasting. According to the Employment Protection Act, all appointments are ‘permanent’ (until further notice), unless otherwise agreed.
  • Fixed-term employment (tidsbegränsad anställning)
    There are various types of temporary or fixed-term contracts in Sweden. This includes, for example, general fixed-term contracts (for instance, if you have been employed on a fixed-term project), seasonal employment (for example, a summer job), temporary position or appointment of a person who has turned 67.
  • Probationary employment (provanställning)
    In Sweden, it is normal for a permanent appointment to start with a probationary period. The probationary period can last a maximum of six months making it possible for the employer to see if the employee fits into the company, or to see if they can perform the duties of the job.
  • Fringe benefits (förmåner)
    It is more common to have fringe benefits in Sweden than in Denmark - also in the public sector. It can, for example, be free or subsidised meals, subsidies for fitness and health-related activities (e.g. monthly fitness centre subscription), free or subsidised medical care/treatments, private health insurance or cleaning help.

Collective agreement

A collective agreement is negotiated between employers’ and workers’ organisations in various industries and it is a way to regulate the labour market on the basis of the nature of the work. The collective agreement is a written agreement between an employers’ organisation or a single employer and an employees’ organisation on the terms of employment applicable in the workplace. Only a trade organisation can draw up a collective agreement - not the individual employee.

Summary on pay

Pay is normally a monthly salary or hourly wage. Full-time employees often receive a salary, but they can also be hourly paid instead. Public servants are often paid monthly, even though some of them just work part-time. Some employers pay wages a month in arrears, others at the end of the same month. For instance, the January salary will either be paid in February or at the end of January.