Labour legislation

Employment conditions The rights of workers are to be found in what is collectively called labour law. This is based on statutes, ordinances and regulations of various kinds.

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Foto: Lars Forsstedt

Labour legislation has primarily given workers the following: the right to participation in decision-making at the workplace, the right to holidays, shorter working hours, a better working environment and increased employment security.

The legislation on social insurance also contains important components for the protection of workers. This applies to such things as national health insurance, occupational injury insurance and national pension insurance.

There is also the specific form of regulation called the collective agreement, which is concluded between the trade union and the employer. Many important rules of labour law are mandatory to the benefit of the worker – that is to say, collective agreements that deviate from the law must be more advantageous than the law for the individual worker.

One example of a mandatory rule is the requirement that there must be objective grounds for termination of a permanent employment contract. Other rules in labour law are optional, which means that it is possible to agree on a deviation from the law to the advantage of the individual worker through a collective agreement. Examples of such rules are the rules of the Act on Security of Employment (LAS) concerning the various forms of employment restricted in time. Apart from provisions concerning pay and conditions of work, etc, the collective agreements also cover a number of insurance solutions that supplement the statutory insurance protection in case of sickness, occupational injury, unemployment, old age and death.

Swedish labour legislation as a whole is a comprehensive code of statutes and include, inter alia, the Annual Leave Act, The Promotion of Employment Act, The Co-determination Act, The Work Environment Act and the Working Hours Act.

External link to the Swedish government offices:

Swedish labour legislation in English translation