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Sweden: Employee rights

Original and updating author: Laura Carlson


  • There are various rules for employees' hours of work, including overtime, and particular restrictions for night workers. (See Hours of work)
  • Employees are entitled to minimum rest breaks, and daily and weekly rest periods. (See Rest breaks and rest periods)
  • Work on Sundays is not specifically regulated by statute, except to the extent that employees who normally work on Sundays are entitled to rest periods and holiday comparable to those of employees who do not work on Sundays. (See Sunday work)
  • There are various rules regarding minimum paid annual leave for employees and when it may be taken. (See Holiday and holiday pay)
  • Pregnant employees and new mothers have various rights, including protection from dismissal. (See Maternity and pregnancy rights)
  • The parental leave system consists of maternity leave; full or partial parental leave in the period up until the child's eighth birthday; and leave for the temporary care of a sick child. (See Parental leave)
  • Employees are entitled to take leave or request flexible working conditions to care for a spouse, child or close friend who is seriously ill. (See Carer's leave)
  • There are rules for various other types of leave, including "family emergency" leave and leave for study. (See Other leave)
  • Employers must treat part-time employees in the same manner as comparable full-time employees in relation to pay and other conditions of employment, unless the less favourable treatment is justified or unrelated to the part-time status. (See Part-time workers)
  • Employers must treat fixed-term employees in the same manner as comparable employees on open-ended contracts relation to pay and other conditions of employment, unless the less favourable treatment is justified or unrelated to the fixed-term status. (See Fixed-term workers)
  • Temporary agency workers are considered to have an open-ended employment relationship with the agency for which they work. (See Temporary agency workers)
  • Workers posted to work in Sweden from other countries are covered by various Swedish employment laws. (See Posted workers)
  • When an independent economic entity is transferred to a new employer and maintains its identity, the employment contracts of employees are transferred to the new employer. (See Transfers of undertakings)
  • There are rules regarding payments for employees in the event of the employer's insolvency. (See Insolvency of employer)
  • Other than in relation to dismissal, there is no specific statutory regulation concerning disciplinary procedures and unless the employee is a union member, there are no statutory grievance procedures. (See Disciplinary and grievance procedures)
  • Employers are obliged to plan and organise work so as to prevent, as far as possible, "victimisation" at work. (See Victimisation)
  • Employees are protected against victimisation by their employer where they report serious wrongdoings in certain circumstances. (See Whistleblowing)
  • There are various rules regarding the processing and use of employees' personal data. (See Data and privacy protection)