This information about workers' rights and the Corona crisis will be available in other languages shortly. If you have any questions you are welcome to contact us at 08-522 45 630 Monday - Thursday, 1-3 PM.
Information updated 2020-03-31
Infection risk and the obligation to work
Can I stay home from work if I'm worried about being infected?
If you are afraid that you’re infected, stay home. If a doctor assesses that there is a risk that you may be infected, you may receive “smittbärarpenning” from the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). If you are ill and cannot work, you are entitled to sick pay from the first day of sick leave.
If you can work from home and your employer agrees to this, you should get payed as usual.
What if I can't get to work because the kindergarten is closed, or public transport is canceled?
In such a case your employer is generally not required to pay you. But since this is a special situation, it is reasonable to require that the employer still pay wages. The best thing to do to talk to your workmates about what you find reasonable to demand and then try to agree with the employer.
What responsibility does my employer have for me not to be infected at work?
The employer is responsible for the working environment at the workplace. This means that the employer must do everything that can be required to prevent staff from being infected. This may, for example, include providing protective equipment, introducing specific routines or taking measures to reduce contact between people.
What if I or a colleague belong to a risk group that is particularly sensitive to the virus?
The employer also has a responsibility to adapt the work to the employee's special conditions. If there are particularly sensitive workers in the staff, it is important for the employer to take the necessary measures to ensure their health at work.
What can I do if the employer does not take responsibility for preventing infection?
If there is a safety representative (skyddsombud) at the workplace, the safety representative can demand that the employer take the necessary measures. If there is no local safety representative, you can contact the SAC's regional safety representatives instead, and they can help you with your demands. It is also important that you and your workmates talk to each other and are behind the demands. If you collectively decide what are reasonable demands, you can bring the claims directly to the employer.
What if the employer cancels my work?
As long as you are at the employer's disposal and ready to work, you should have a salary as if you had worked.
Compensation for illness
Who pays my salary when I'm sick?
For the first two weeks, in addition to the first day of sick leave, the employer pays sick pay equivalent to 80 percent of your regular salary. The Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan) pays for the first day of sickness, which you must apply for yourself.
What if I'm sick for more than two weeks?
If you are still sick after two weeks, you are entitled to sickness benefit from the Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan). The sickness benefit is slightly lower than 80 percent of your salary. You apply for this to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. Your employer is obliged to notify the Social Insurance Office that you remain ill after 14 days.
Do I have to show a doctor’s note to my employer?
No, the requirement to show a doctor’s note is completely waived, both for the first two weeks and for longer periods of illness than two weeks. Keep in mind that you still have to report to your employer the first day you are ill, even if you do not have to show a doctor’s note.
Do the new the rules on doctor’s notes apply even though I am not infected by the corona virus?
Yes, the rules apply no matter what illness you have.
Sickness compensation for hourly, substitute or temporary employees
As an hourly or temporary employee, do I have the right to sick pay?
Yes, if you have been employed for more than 14 days, you are entitled to sick pay from your employer during the first two weeks. If you are an hourly worker, you are only entitled to sick pay for the days you would have worked had you not become ill. This means that if you are an hourly worker, and you have a schedule, have work days booked, or have been promised work, you are entitled to sick pay for these days.
If you are an hourly worker and regularly work in a workplace, you may be entitled to sickness benefit from the Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan) instead of sick pay for the first 14 days of sick leave, even if you do not have a work days booked and your employer does not want to pay sick pay.
As an hourly or temporary employee, do I have the right to sickness benefit from the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) if I am sick for more than 14 days?
You are primarily entitled to compensation from the Social Insurance Agency for the days you would have worked. You must therefore be able to show a contract or schedule that proves that you would have worked. If you are unable to show this, you must register as unemployed at the Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen).
You are entitled to sickness benefit as unemployed if you (1) cannot apply for a job or take a job because you are ill, (2) are registered as a job seeker at the Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen), (3) have worked previously so that you have a sickness benefit-based income, and (4) are insured in Sweden. All four conditions must be met.
Keep in mind that compensation is limited to a maximum of SEK 543 per day if you are on sick leave and unemployed.
I have no contract and I do not know what kind of employment I have, but I have worked for several months, what rights do I have if I get sick?
During the first 14 days you are entitled to sick pay for the days you would have worked. You are then entitled to sickness benefit from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency for the days you can show that you would have worked.
You should know that your employer is obliged to inform you about what applies to your employment within a month of starting work. If you have not received any such information, and your employer has not said anything about what applies, then you should as a starting point be counted as a permanent employee. However, this is an assessment that must be made on a case-by-case basis. If you are a permanent employee, you will then be entitled to both sick pay for the first 14 days and sick pay from day 15.
Changes in employees’ schedules and work tasks
Can the company change my schedule?
Yes, but to start with, the employer must negotiate with the union before making changes. If the change applies to many employees, such as an entire department, then the company must negotiate with the union with the collective agreement (typically not the SAC). If the change affects you specifically, then the employer must negotiate with your union even if it does not have a collective agreement with the company.
Can the employer change my schedule with just a few days notice?
As a starting point, schedule changes may not be made at shorter notice than two weeks, but this is often regulated in collective agreements.
Can the employer relocate me and give me other tasks?
The employer can reposition you and change your work talks within the scope of your work area. This means that, if you are a blue-collar worker but not a white-collar worker (tjänsteman), you can be relocated to all types of work performed by workers. If, on the other hand, you are a white-collar worker, you can only be relocated to tasks within your position as stated in your employment contract.
Keep in mind that the employer is obliged to negotiate with your trade union if the company permanently wants to change your specific duties.
Dismissals and temporary payed layoffs (permittering)
Can the employer dismiss staff because of the Corona crisis?
According to Swedish Labor Law, an employer requires legal grounds to dismiss permanent staff. If the company decides to reduce staff, for example because of the crisis, the employer has grounds for dismissal. This is called redundancy (arbetsbrist). In such situations, rules of seniority (turordningsregler) are applied, which means that the person who has been employed the shortest time is dismissed first.
Keep in mind that the company and the union that it has signed collective agreements with can agree on exceptions to the seniority rules. However, such exceptions must not be discriminatory or violate good practice in the labor market.
Does the company have to negotiate with my trade union if I am to be dismissed?
If you are dismissed due to redundancy, the employer must negotiate with the trade union with which the company has signed a collective agreement, even if you are not a member of that union. If there is no collective agreement, the employer must negotiate with all trade unions that have members in the workplace.
If you are dismissed for personal reasons, that is, for reasons related to you and not the company, then the employer must always negotiate with your trade union.
Can the employer convert permanent employment into temporary employment?
No, such a conversion would count as dismissal and requires legal grounds, or that you and your employer agrees on this.
What does temporary payed layoffs mean?
A temporary payed layoff means that you work fewer hours with a slightly reduced salary during a limited period. Your salary is not reduced as much as your working hours.
If your working hours are reduced by 20 percent, your salary will be reduced by 4 percent.
If your working hours are reduced by 40 percent, your salary will be reduced by 6 percent.
If your working hours are reduced by 60 percent, your salary will be reduced by 7.5 percent.
Do temporary payed layoffs also apply to fixed-term employees?
Temporary payed layoffs apply to permanent employment, probationary employment, general fixed-term employment, temporary employment and seasonal employment. This means that hourly employees are unfortunately not covered by the rules on temporary payed layoffs.
In addition, you must have been employed for three months for the rules to apply to you.
Can my employer alone decide on temporary payed layoffs for the staff?
No, the company has to negotiate with the collective bargaining union first. If there is no collective agreement, the employer must agree on temporary payed layoffs with at least 70 per cent of the employees.
Can I be laid off when I’m are on temporary payed layoff?
Yes. If you are dismissed, the rules on legal grounds for dismissal apply.
Dismissal of hourly, temporary and temporary employees
I am a substitute or temporary employee and the company does not want to extend my employment. What can I do?
Unfortunately, the company is not obliged to renew your contract when it expires. If you have worked for more than a year, the company must notify you one month in advance that your employment will not be renewed. In addition, the company must notify your trade union that you will not be allowed to continue to work.
I am an hourly employee and the company has withdrawn my scheduled work days, what can I do?
If you have scheduled work days, these are counted as an employment contract and cannot be withdrawn. If you are available for work, you must notify the employer, who must pay you for your scheduled days even if there is no work for you. However, as a starting point, the employer is not obliged to give you more work days after your schedule has ended.
I have worked as a substitute, temporary or hourly employee for more than two years, what can I do?
If you have been employed for a total of two years during a five-year period, your employment is automatically converted to a permanent employment. If you have a permanent position, the employer must have legal grounds if they want to dismiss you.