Updated Employment Law 2022

On the 1st of October, a series of changes to Swedish LAS (Lagen om Anställningsskydd 1982:80) is coming into effect. LAS is the most dominant law regulating the rules of engagement on the Swedish labour market. This is part of a series of changes made to the foundation of Swedish employment law, which we also go into in a previous post.

Causes For Terminating Employments

To terminate an employment in Sweden (on the initiative of the employer), Objective criteria need to fulfilled. Simplified these objective criteria boil down to either:

Redundancy

The position is disappearing, and if the employer is rehiring for it the person who was let go has to be offered the job back first.

Or

Personal Reasons

It is the person who is not working out, and the employer will/may rehire for the same role again without offering it first to the previous employee.

Grounds become Reasons – What is the difference?

Prior to this change these two together were defined as Objective Grounds, now they are defined as Objective Reasons. It sounds pretty much the same, but the difference is actually real and relevant. This change of terminology has been made to allow for a new definition and interpretation.

In the new version (Objective Reasons) Redundancy remains unchanged, but when applied to Personal Reasons a few specific previous obligations has been removed:

  • Prognosis of the persons future capacity
  • Consideration to the employee’s interest of remaining employed
  • Subsequent relocations to new roles after a first attempt

Accumulated these changes compose a situation which makes it easier for an employer to exercise their options of using Personal Reasons as the basis for termination of employees.

Extended Exceptions to the Rule of Seniority

When leaning on the Objective Reason of Redundancy for one or more terminations, Sweden has a strong Rule of Seniority. This means that when doing layoffs an employer need to establish who has been employed the longest, who could perform the remaining jobs, and then terminate accordingly with the outcome of the longest employed remaining employed over the newer employees. This regardless of consideration to the performance of any employees.

Previously employers with a maximum of 10 employees in total could except 2 people from the Rule of Seniority. With the new rules, any employer regardless of size, can except 3 people from these rules.

Once this right of exception has been exercised, it may not be used again for 3 months.

Disputed Terminations

If the termination of an employment is disputed it will not remain in force during the dispute process. Previously an employer was obliged to pay salary and benefits during the court and assessment process. Now instead, if the dispute is successful (and the termination is deemed invalid) the employer is obliged to reimburse the employee with salary & benefits covering the dispute process time retroactively.

Reclassification of Fixed-Term Employments

The previous form of General Fixed-Term Employment is retired and replaced by Special Fixed-Term Employment. This new form of employment has more limited scope of use than its predecessor and converts into a Indefinite Employment (hence no longer time-limited and with stronger rights) if:

  • An employee has worked for the same employer more than 12 months over a five year period
  • An employee has held a Special Fixed-Term Employment stacked with Substitute Employment(s) and or Seasonal Employment(s)

If three or more Special Fixed-Term Employment have been issued during one month, the time in between them now also counts toward the 12 months over five year quota.

Full Time As Norm

Unless explicitly agreed, any employment is now automatically a full time (~40h/week) employment. We always recommend specifying scope of working hours, and our templates contain this.

Agency Workers

Sweden has a specific set of laws and rules regulating employments and engagements in the staffing/agency industry, these are also updated now simultaneously with LAS. To mention these updates very briefly:

  • If someone has been engaged in the same workplace through a staffing agency for 24 out of 36 months, they have to be offered an Indefinite Employment directly with the workplace or two months salary as compensation

/Hannes Rosén

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