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Employment Agreement

One might think that employments is one of those few areas where standard agreements already exist. I thought so too. Swedish law is pretty strict on what can and cannot be agreed between employer and employee, there are lots of legal precedent cases and the unions are strong in Sweden.

However, after hiring quite some people, I realized that not even lawyers agree on what a normal employment contract (anställningsavtal) looks like in Sweden. Some areas are especially debatable, like non-competition clauses. It turns out that many lawyers I’ve talked to refer to a standard from 1969. But most lawyers don’t know about all legal precedents by Arbetsdomstolen since then, and few have adapted to the new agreement from 2015 between Svenskt Näringsliv (Confederation of Swedish Enterprise) and PTK (Swedish collaborative organization for 26 unions).

To all employers, to all employees and to all labor lawyers out there – unite! I’m proud to present to you three different templates for Swedish employment agreements:

  • Permanent employment (tillsvidareanställning): This is the normal form of employment in Sweden where the employee is hired for an indefinite period of time.
    • Optionally with probationary period (provanställning): When an employee is newly hired, you have the possibility to let the person go with two weeks’ notice during the first six months of the employment. This is called the probationary period. After six months, if not ended before, it automatically converts into a permanent employment.
  • Managing directors: Swedish employment law is quite restrictive regarding employment conditions and terms relating to firing employees, called Lagen om anställningsskydd. However, in some cases exceptions can be made for managing directors (“personer med arbetsuppgifter och anställningsvillkor som har en företagsledande eller därmed jämförlig ställning”). In those cases (verify if applicable!) you can use this template.
  • Hourly wage: You often hear people talk about timanställning (hour-based employment) in Sweden but that’s not a real form of employment. The salary may be based on hours worked, but the normal form of employment in those cases is actually a temporary employment (särskild visstidsanställning).

As always, the information and documents published here are intended for general information purposes only. When using the documents, in case of doubt, always consult with legal expertise before signing.

/Erik Byrenius

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