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Sweden
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2017    

References
  • Employment Protection Act [EPA], 1982, last amended by Act (SFS 2016:1271) of 28 December 2016, in force since 1 July 2017
    [The English translation provided only includes amendments up to Act (SFS 2008:564)]

    Date: 30 Nov 2010; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act (SFS 1976:580), last amended by Act (SFS 2016:1149) of 9 December 2016, in force since 1 January 2017
    [The English translation provided only includes amendments up to SFS 2010:229]

    Date: 29 Sep 2011; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Trade Union Representatives (Status at the Workplace) Act (SFS 1974:358), as amended up to Act 2009:417 of 20 May 2009.
    [Note: The English translation provided only includes amendments up to Act (SFS 1990:1039)]

    Date: 20 May 1990; view website » (view in NATLEX »)
  • Act Concerning Certain Measures to Promote Employment (1974:13), as amended up to Act (SFS 2009:414)
    (in Swedish only)

    Date: 20 May 2009; view website »
  • Discrimination Act (SFS 2008:567), of 5 June 2008, amended up to Act (SFS 2016:828) of 12 July 2016.
    [Note: Amendments adopted between 2009-2011, are not included in the English version of the Act]

    Date: 09 Jun 2011; view website »
  • Labour Disputes Act (Judicial Procedure) (1974:371), as last amended by Act (SFS 2016:199) of 10 March 2016, in force since 1 September 2016
    Date: 10 Mar 2016; view website »
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: domestic workers; managerial / executive positions; employer's family members; apprentices
Remarks:
  • “This Act applies to employees in both the public and private sectors. However, the following employees are excluded from the application of this Act: 1. employees whose duties and conditions of employment are such that they may be deemed to occupy a managerial or comparable position; 2. employees who are members of the employer’s family; 3. employees who are employed for work in the employer’s household; 4. employees who are employed with special employment support, in sheltered employment or with development employment; and 5. employees who are employed in upper secondary apprentice employment” (SFS 2014:423).

Types of employment contracts - 2017    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 6 month(s)

Remarks:
  • Sec. 6 EPA.
    Refers to the possibility to conclude "contract for probationary employment, provided that the probationary period does not exceed 6 months".

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: no limitation
    Remarks:
    • According to sec. 5 EPA, a contract of employment for a fixed-term may be concluded: 1) for a general fixed-term employment, 2) for a temporary substitute employment, 3) for a seasonal employment, 4) when the employee has attained the age of 67.

      FTC for the purpose of 'general fixed-term employment' can be concluded with no valid reason.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 24 month(s)
    Remarks:
    • Sec. 5a EPA: “A fixed-term employment is transformed into indefinite-term employment when an employee has been employed on a general fixed-term contract for a total of more than 2 years: 1) during a five year period, or 2) during a period when the employee has had successive fixed-term employment in the form of a general fixed-term employment, a temporary substitute employment or seasonal employment.
      Successive fixed-term employment occurs if the employment started within six months from the last day of the previous employment.
      A temporary substitute employment turns into indefinite-term employment when an employee has been employed by the employer for a temporary substitute employment for in aggregate more than two years during a five year period (SFS 2016: 248)”.
  • % of workforce under FTC: 15.1 %
    Remarks:
    • Source: Eurostat, 2015 (http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/submitViewTableAction.do)
      The figure refers to the percentage of total employment with a temporary contract for employees aged from 15 to 64 years.

      "A job may be considered temporary if employer and employee agree that its end is determined by objective conditions such as a specific date, the completion of a task or the return of another employee who has been temporarily replaced (usually stated in a work contract of limited duration). Typical cases are: (a) persons with seasonal employment; (b) persons engaged by an agency or employment exchange and hired to a third party to perform a specific task (unless there is a written work contract of unlimited duration); (c) persons with specific training contracts." Source: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Employment_statistics

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2017    

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Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes
Remarks:
  • Sec. 9 EPA: The employer is obliged, upon request by the employee, to state the circumstances on which notice is based.

    In case summary dismissals (without notice), the employer is also obliged to state the reasons behind the dismissal upon request of the employee: sec. 19 EPA.


Valid grounds (justified dismissal): any fair reasons
Remarks:
  • Sec. 7 EPA: Notice of termination must be based on objective grounds.
    Those grounds can be linked to economic circumstances or circumstances relating to the employee personally.


Prohibited grounds: pregnancy; maternity leave; family responsibilities; colour; sex; sexual orientation; nationality/national origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; performing military or civil service; parental leave; gender identity; exercise of the right to educational leave; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • - Discrimination Act (2008:567): sec. 1 and 5 (cover the following discrimination grounds: sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age. Note: pregnancy is not mentioned as such, but has been interpreted as being included under sex-based discrimination).

    - Trade Union Representatives (Status at the Workplace) Act (1974:358): sec. 4 (provides that a trade union representative shall not be subject to worse conditions of work or terms of employment as a result of his appointment).

    Special leave
    - Parental Leave Act (1995:584): sec.16 and sec. 17 (covers a prohibition of unfair treatment due to maternity and paternity leave; an employee may not be subject to ordinary or summary dismissal for reasons that have a connection to parental leave under this law).
    - Employee’s Right to Educational Leave Act (1974:981): sec. 8 (provides that where notice of termination is given or summary dismissal is effected solely for the reason that the employee claims or exercises his right to educational leave, such measure shall, upon the application of the employee be declared invalid).
    - Act (1978:410) regarding the right to leave to care for child, etc.: sec. 10 (provides that an employee may not be subject to
    ordinary or summary dismissal for exercising its right to leave under this Act).
    - Act (1997:1293) on right to leave to engage in an economic activity: sec. 8 (provides that an employee may not be subject
    to ordinary or summary dismissal for exercising its right to leave under this Act).
    - Act (2008:565) on right to leave due to sickness to try other work: sec. 11 (provides that an employee may not be subject
    to ordinary or summary dismissal for exercising its right to leave under this Act).
    - Act (1986:163) on right to leave due to Swedish language training for immigrants: sec. 6 (provides that an employee may
    not be subject to ordinary or summary dismissal for exercising its right to leave under this Act).
    - Act (1988:1465) on right to take leave to care for family members: sec.24 (provides that an employee may
    not be subject to ordinary or summary dismissal for exercising its right to leave under this Act).
    - Act (1998:163) on right to take leave for urgent family issues: sec. 1 and sec.3 (covers a right to leave due to urgent family
    issues related to sickness or accident if the immediate presence is absolute necessary; an employee may
    not be subject to ordinary or summary dismissal for exercising its right to leave under this Act).
    - Act (1979:1184) on right to leave for certain union mission at educational institutions, etc.: sec. 7 (provides that an
    employee may not be subject to ordinary or summary dismissal for exercising its right to leave under this Act).
    - Act (1994:1809) concerning total defence service duties: ch. 9, sec.1 (compulsory military or civilian service; an employee
    may not be subject to ordinary or summary dismissal for exercising its obligations under this Act).


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives
Remarks:
  • See for example, sec. 8 of the Trade Union Representatives (Status at the Workplace) Act, 1974 on priority to continued employment in connection with redundancies.
    See also sec. 30 EPA on the obligation of the employer to consult the employee and the local organisation of employees to which the employee belongs concerning the measure to which the information and the notice relate. This shall apply provided that such consultations are requested not more than one week after the information was given.
    NOTE: About 70% of the workers in Sweden are union members.


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2017    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks:
  • Sec. 8 EPA: “Notice of termination by the employer must be given in writing”.

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • Sec. 11 EPA:
    - The minimum notice period is 1 month.
    - The notice period shall be:
    * 2 months for tenure of at least 2 years but less than 4 years;
    * 3 months for tenure of at least 4 years but less than 6 years;
    * 4 months for tenure of at least 6 years but less than 8 years;
    * 5 months for tenure of at least 8 years but less than 10 years;
    * 6 months for tenure of at least 10 years.
    • tenure ≥ 6 months
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 9 months
      • 1 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 2 years
      • 2 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 4 years
      • 3 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 5 years
      • 3 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 10 years
      • 6 month(s).
    • tenure ≥ 20 years
      • 6 month(s).

    Pay in lieu of notice: No

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Remarks:
    • Exception as provided in sec. 30 EPA: “An employer who wishes to summarily dismiss an employee or to give notice terminating employment for reasons relating to the employee personally, shall inform the employee of this in advance. Information concerning termination shall be given at least two weeks in advance. Information concerning summary dismissal shall be given at least one week in advance. If the employee is a union member, the employer shall notify the local organisation of employees to which the employee belongs at the same time as notice is given to the employee. The employee and the local organisation of employees to which the employee belongs are entitled to consultations with the employer concerning the measure to which the information and the notice relate. This shall apply provided that such consultations are requested not more than one week after information or notice was given. Where such consultations have been requested, the employer may not give notice of termination or summarily dismiss the employee until the consultations have been concluded”. (available at: http://www.government.se/4ac87e/contentassets/b58069e2c0f24aa6be53d8932de85d86/sfs-198280-employment-protection-act)

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2017    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    No statutory definition of collective dismissal.

    Remarks:
    • However, Sec. 1 of the Act (1974:13) respecting certain measures for the promotion of employment: the employer is obliged to notify the Swedish Public Employment Service of cutbacks in operations that will affect:
      - at least five employees, or
      - at least 20 employees over a period of 90 days.
      Sec 2 of Act (1974:13) respecting certain measures for the promotion of employment: the employer is obliged to notify the Swedish Public Employment Service of cutbacks in operations that will affect at least five employees. The Swedish Public Employment Service shall be notified:
      -at least two months before a cutback in operations that affects at least 25 employees,
      -at least four months before a cutback in operations that affects more than 25 but no more than 100 employees,
      -at least six months before a cutback in operations that affects more than 100 employees.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

    Remarks:
    • Sec 29 EPA, referring to sec. 11-14 of the Employment (Co-determination) in the Workplace Act.

    Notification to the public administration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Sec. 1 of the Act (1974:13) respecting certain measures for the promotion of employment: the employer is obliged to notify the Swedish Public Employment Service of cutbacks in operations that will affect:
      - at least five employees, or,
      - at least 20 employees over a period of 90 days.
      Sec 2 of Act (1974:13) respecting certain measures for the promotion of employment: the employer is obliged to notify the Swedish Public Employment Service of cutbacks in operations that will affect at least five employees. The Swedish Public Employment Service shall be notified:
      - at least two months before a cutback in operations that affects at least 25 employees,
      - at least four months before a cutback in operations that affects more than 25 but no more than 100 employees,
      - at least six months before a cutback in operations that affects more than 100 employees.

    Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Sweden has a so-called single channel employee representation system, which means that employees are only represented by their unions. Trade unions represent the employees in their capacity of parties in collective agreement; and they are also employees’ representatives on location both at company level and in the actual workplace. Source: Jenny Julén Votinius, Employment Representation at the Enterprise- Sweden, in JILPT Report No. 11 2012, Systems of Employee Representation at the Enterprise, at p. 51, (available at: http://www.jil.go.jp/english/reports/documents/jilpt-reports/no.11.pdf);

      Sec 29 EPA: “Sections 11 - 14 of the Employment (Co-determination in the Workplace) Act (1976:580) shall apply in respect of the duty of employers to enter into negotiations before deciding on termination of employment on the grounds of a shortage of work, lay- offs or re-engagement following lay-offs (SFS 1989:963)”.

      Sec. 11 of the Employment (Co-determination in the Workplace) Act (1976:580): “Before an employer takes any decision regarding significant changes in its activities, he shall, on its own initiative, enter into negotiations with the employees' organisation with which he is bound to negotiate under a collective bargaining agreement. The above-mentioned shall also apply prior to any decisions by an employer regarding significant changes in working or employment conditions for employees who belong to the organisation. Where there is extraordinary cause, the employer may take and implement a decision before he has fulfilled his duty to negotiate under the first paragraph of this Section”.

      Sec.15 of the Employment (Co-determination) in the Workplace Act: “Any party who is under an obligation to negotiate shall, in person or through a representative, appear at negotiations meetings, and, where necessary, put forward a reasoned proposal for a solution of the matter to which the negotiations relate. The parties may jointly decide upon a form for negotiations other than through a meeting. In conjunction with negotiations regarding a decision to terminate employment due to shortage of work, the employer shall in good time notify the other party in writing of the following matters: 1. the reason for the planned termination; 2. the number of employees who will be affected by the termination and the employment categories to which they belong; 3. the number of employees who are normally employed and the employment categories to which they belong; 4. the time period during which it is planned to carry out the termination; and 5. the method of calculation of any compensation to be paid in conjunction with termination in addition to that which is required by to law or applicable collective bargaining agreements The employer shall also provide the other party with a copy of any notices that have been filed with the Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) under the first and second paragraphs of Section 2 a of the Act (1974:13) Concerning Certain Measures to Promote Employment (SFS 2007:402)”.

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): Yes

    Remarks:
    • The EPA establishes mandatory priority rules for the employers: length of service, then age and then qualifications are the criteria taken into consideration. However, workers with reduced working capacity shall be given priority.

      Sec. 22 EPA: “In the event of notice of termination on the grounds of shortage of work, the employer shall observe the following rules on priority. Before order of termination is determined, an employer with at most ten employees, irrespective of the number of in the group subject to order of priority rules, may exempt at most two employees who, in the opinion of the employer, are of particular importance for the future activities. When computing the number of employees at the employer, employees referred to in Section 1 are not included. The or those employees who are exempted have priority for continued employment. Where the employer has several operational units, the order of termination shall be determined separately within each unit. The circumstance alone that one employee has his workplace at his home, does not mean that the workplace comprises a separate operational unit. If the employer is, or is usually, bound by a collective bargaining agreement, a special order of termination shall be established for each agreement sector. Where, under circumstances as mentioned above, there are several production units in the same locality, a single order of termination shall be drawn up for all the units in the locality that fall within the agreement sector of an organisation of employees, provided the organisation makes a request to this effect not later than the time for negotiations under Section 29. The order of termination for those employees who are not exempted is determined on the basis of each employee's total time of employment with the employer. Employees with longer employment times shall have priority over employees with shorter employment times. In the event of equal employment times, priority shall be given to the older employee. Where it is only possible to offer continued work to an employee with the employer following a re-location of the employee, priority shall be contingent on the employee possessing satisfactory qualifications for the continued work (SFS 2000:763)”.

      Sec. 23 EPA: “An employee who has reduced working capacity and who has, therefore, been given special duties by the employer shall be given priority for continued work, notwithstanding the rules on priority, where such can be accomplished without serious inconvenience to the employer”.

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

    Remarks:
    • An employer is according to sec. 7 para. 2 EPA required to provide other work in his service for the employee before establishing an order of priority in connection with termination of employment in sec. 22 EPA. Sec. 7 para 2 EPA provides that: "Objective grounds for notice of termination do not exist where it is reasonable to require the employer to provide other work in his service for the employee."

    Priority rules for re-employment: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Sec. 25- 27 EPA cover rights to re-employment, etc.

      Sec. 25 para 1: “Employees whose employment has been terminated as a consequence of shortage of work shall have rights of priority for re-employment in the business in which they were previously employed. The above-mentioned rights shall also apply with respect to employees who have been employed for a fixed term as provided in Section 5 and who have not been given continued employment due to a shortage of work. The right to priority, however, shall be contingent upon the employee having been employed by the employer for a total of more than twelve months during the last three years or, in the case of a former seasonal employee's right to priority for new seasonal employment, six months during the past two years, provided the employee is sufficiently qualified for the new employment”.

      Sec. 25 para 2: “The right to priority shall apply from time of the notice of termination or when notice was given or should have been given under Section 15, first paragraph, and thereafter until nine months from the date that the employment ceased. With respect to seasonal employment, rights of priority shall instead apply from the time when notice was given or should have been given under Section 15, second paragraph, and thereafter until nine months have elapsed from the commencement of the new season. Where during the above-mentioned periods of time the undertaking, the business or the part of the business in which the activities are conducted has been transferred to a new Non-official translation employer by such a transfer as is subject to Section 6 b, the right to priority shall apply with respect to the new employer. Rights of priority shall also apply in circumstances where the previous employer was put into bankruptcy”.

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2017    

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    Notes / Remarks
    No statutory severance pay or redundancy pay, but generally provided in collective agreements.

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2017    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

    Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
    1) Dismissal is invalid:

    Compensation for losses in respect of the period following the cessation of employment may not exceed 6 months' pay for less than 6 years of service, 16 months' pay for less than 5 years of service, 24 months' pay for at least 5 years and less than 10 years, 32 months' pay for ten years of service or more."

    2) Dismissal is invalid and the employer refuses to comply with the court decision: employment is terminated and damages shall amount to 6 months' pay for less than 6 years of service, 16 months' pay for less than 5 years of service, 24 months' pay for at least 5 years and less than 10 years, 32 months' pay for ten years of service or more.

    Remarks:
    • Sec. 38 EPA: “An employer who violates this Act shall be liable for damages for loss suffered by the employee as well as pay and other employment benefits to which the employee may be entitled. An employee who fails to comply with the notice obligations mentioned in Section 11, first paragraph, shall be liable for damages to the employer.
      Damages under the first paragraph may comprise both compensation for losses sustained and for violation of the Act. Compensation for losses in respect of the period following the cessation of employment may not, under any circumstances, exceed the amount mentioned in Section 39. Where reasonable, damages may be reduced, in whole or in part”.

      Sec. 39 EPA: “Where an employer refuses to comply with a court order that notice of termination or a summary dismissal is invalid, or that a fixed-term employment shall be valid for an indefinite term, the employment relationship shall be deemed to have been dissolved. As a consequence of the employer's refusal to comply with the court order, the employer shall pay damages to the employee under the following provisions.
      Damages are to be determined according to the employee's total period of employment with the employer at the time of dissolution of the employment relationship, and shall correspond to the following amounts:
      - 16 months' pay for less than five years of employment;
      - 24 months' pay for at least five years but less than ten years of employment;
      - 32 months' pay for ten or more years of employment;
      Damages may not be determined, however, in such a manner that such damages are calculated on the basis of a greater number of months than have actually been commenced with the employer. Where the employee has been employed by the employer for less than six months, the amount assessed shall correspond to six months' pay. SFS (2007:389)”.

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Remarks:
    • If an employee has been dismissed, without the dismissal being justified by an objective reason, the employee is according to sec. 34 EPA upon request, entitled to have the dismissal annulled. If the court rules that the dismissal is invalid, the employment continues on the same terms as before. Sec. 37 EPA states that if the Court has ruled that the dismissal is invalid, the employer may not suspend the employee from work as a consequence of the circumstances that caused the notice of termination or summary dismissal.

      Sec. 34 EPA: “Where notice of termination is given without objective grounds, the notice shall be declared invalid upon the application of the employee. However, the above-mentioned provision shall not apply where the notice of termination is challenged solely on the grounds that it is in breach of the rules regarding priority.
      If a dispute arises concerning the validity of a notice of termination, the employment shall not terminate as a consequence of the notice prior to the final adjudication of the dispute. Nor may the employee be suspended from work as a consequence of the circumstances that caused the notice to be given, in the absence of special reasons for such. The employee shall be entitled to pay and other benefits under Sections 12 - 14 for the duration of the employment.
      Pending final adjudication of the dispute, a court may rule that employment will terminate at the expiration of the period of notice, or at a later time determined by the court, or that a current suspension shall be discontinued”.

      Sec. 37 EPA: “Where a court has issued a final order that a notice of termination or a summary dismissal is invalid, the employer may not suspend the employee from work as a consequence of the circumstances that caused the notice of termination or summary dismissal”.

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

    Remarks:
    • The Labour Disputes Act (1974:371) requires the trade union and the employer or the employers’ organization to have completed negotiations before bringing an action to court. However, the right to negotiate does not apply to individual employees. Source: Jenny Julén Votinius, Sweden, in ILO (eds. Ebisui, M; Cooney, S; Fenwick, C), 2016, Resolving Individual Labour Disputes, A comparative overview, at pp.241-242. Available at: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_488469.pdf

      Ch.4, sec. 7 Labour Disputes Act (1974:371): “An action may not be considered by the Labour Court before such negotiations in respect of the issue in dispute as may be requested under the Employment (Codetermination in the Workplace) Act (1976:580) or as are provided for in a collective bargaining agreement, have taken place.
      The provisions of the first paragraph shall not apply to actions under Section 31, first or third paragraph, of the Employment (Co-determination in the Workplace) Act (1976:580), nor to any dispute as to whether an industrial action has been taken in breach of a statute or collective bargaining agreement, nor to any dispute concerning the sanctions for such action. However, in cases referred to in Section 43 of the Employment (Co-determination in the Workplace) Act (1976:580) where the duty of the deliberation has not been discharged, the Labour Court may not consider the dispute before this is done.
      Notwithstanding the provisions of the first and second paragraphs, an action may be considered as regards an interim order pending a judgment or decision in the case entering into final legal force. Following such examination, a stay of proceedings shall be ordered pending the completion of negotiations or deliberations concerning the issue in dispute, under the first or second paragraph. The case may not be finally determined until such negotiations or deliberations have been concluded.
      Where negotiations or deliberations as referred to in the first or second paragraph have not taken place, the claim may nevertheless be considered by the court if there is some impediment to such negotiations or deliberations which is not attributable to the plaintiff (SFS 1992:441)”.

      The Employment (Co-determination in the Workplace) Act sets out the legal framework for trade union negotiations. Sec. 10 of the Employment (Co-determination in the Workplace) Act: “An employees' organisation shall have the right to negotiate with an employer on any matter relating to the relationship between the employer and any member of the organisation who is, or has been, employed by that employer. An employer shall have an equivalent right to negotiate with an employees’ organisation.
      Employees' organisations shall also have the right to negotiate, in accordance with the first paragraph, in relation to any organisation of which the employer is a member, and similarly employers' organisations in relation to any organisation of which the employee is a member”.

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): ordinary courts; labour court

    Remarks:
    • The Labour Court has jurisdiction over labour disputes provided that the parties are bound by collective agreements and that they are members of an employers' association or a trade union. If individual workers want to bring a case on their own, without support from their trade union or because they do not belong to a union, they can only do so in a district court. Note that in Sweden, around 70 % of workers are union members.

      Ch. 2 sec. 1 of the Labour Disputes Act (1974:371): “The Labour Court shall, as a court of first instance, take up and determine any dispute where the action is brought by an employers’ or employees’ organisation, or by an employer who has concluded its own collective agreement, where the case involves:
      1. a dispute relating to a collective agreement or any other labour dispute referred to in the Employment (Co-determination in the Workplace) Act (1976:580);
      2. any other labour dispute, provided that a collective agreement is in force between the parties or that an individual employee who is affected by the dispute is employed for work covered by a collective agreement that is binding on the employer.
      The Labour Court is the competent court under the first paragraph even when a collective agreement is temporarily suspended.
      Any other labour dispute between the same or other parties may be consolidated with a labour dispute under the first or second paragraph, if the Court considers such processing appropriate having regard to the material presented and other circumstances. The Court may separate the cases again if there are grounds to do so.
      The Labour Court is always competent as a court of first instance to take up and determine disputes concerning industrial action referred to in Sections 41, 41b and 41c of the Employment (Co-determination in the Workplace) Act (1976:580)” (SFS 2010:230)

      Ch. 2 sec. 2 of the Labour Disputes Act (1974:371): “Labour disputes other than those referred to in Section 1 shall be dealt with and determined by a district court.
      Actions referred to in Section 1 which are brought by an employer who has himself concluded a collective bargaining agreement, or by an employers' or employees' organisation on its own behalf, may be brought at a district court instead of the Labour Non-official translation Court. Where the defendant is an organisation, or where the dispute would have been commenced against an organisation under Chapter 4, Section 5, second paragraph, if the dispute had been commenced before the Labour Court, the foregoing shall apply only in accordance with such agreement as referred to in Chapter 10, Section 16 of the Code of Judicial Procedure.
      In a labour dispute under the first or second paragraph of this Section, the employer may be proceeded against at the court in the district in which the employee is resident (SFS 1977:530)”.

    Existing arbitration: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Labour disputes may be settled through arbitration by agreement. However, certain restrictions apply, such as the restrictions set out in ch.1 sec.3 of the Labour Disputes Act (1974:371).

      “In most areas, arbitration is a permitted alternative to judicial review in individual labour disputes. The only general exception is discrimination cases, where there is a prohibition on arbitration clauses that have been concluded prior to the dispute, and that deny the parties the possibility to appeal the arbitral award. In other disputes, an arbitration clause is normally valid provided that it is not deemed unreasonable, which is very unusual”. “In individual employment contracts, arbitration clauses typically appear in the contracts of employees holding prominent positions, mainly CEOs. For other categories of employees, it is very unusual for an individual employment contract to stipulate that future disputes shall be made subject to arbitration”. Source: Jenny Julén Votinius, Sweden, in ILO (eds. Ebisui, M; Cooney, S; Fenwick, C), 2016, Resolving Individual Labour Disputes, A comparative overview, at pp.255-256. Available at: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_488469.pdf

      Ch.1. sec.3 of the Labour Disputes Act (1974:371): “Disputes to be dealt with under this Act may by agreement be referred for determination by an arbitrator instead. However, this shall not apply to cases referred to in Section 31, first or third paragraph, of the Employment (Co-determination in the Workplace) Act (1976:580). Nor shall any agreement that was concluded prior to the dispute whereby any dispute should be determined by an arbitrator without reservation of the right of the parties to challenge the arbitral award be applied in disputes concerning the right of association or in disputes under
      – the Prohibition of Discrimination of Employees Working Part Time and Employees with Fixed-term Employment Act (2002:293); or
      – the Discrimination Act (2008:567). (SFS 2008:574)”.

      Sec. 31 of the Employment (Co-determination in the Workplace) Act (1976:580): “Where an employer, employee or organisation bound by a collective bargaining agreement has committed a gross breach of such an agreement or of this Act and where such provisions have a fundamental significance on the contractual relationship as a whole, a court may, upon motion of the other party, declare that a collective bargaining agreement by which the parties are bound is no longer applicable to such parties.

      Where a collective bargaining agreement has been concluded by several parties on either side or on both sides and where a declaratory judgment has been made under the first paragraph of this Section in respect of only some of them, any other party may, within three weeks thereafter, terminate the agreement on its own behalf with immediate effect.

      Where a court determines that particular actions are contrary to a collective bargaining agreement or to this Act, it may, upon application, release an employer, employee or organisation from its obligations under the collective bargaining agreement or this Act, to the extent it cannot be reasonably required that such obligations be fulfilled (SFS 1977:532)”.

    Length of procedure: 6 month(s)

    Remarks:
    • Statistics for 2002.
      This figure refers to all the cases brought to the labour court acting as a first instance.
      http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/eiro/2004/03/tfeature/se0403102t.htm

    Source of additional information - 2017    

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    Links

    ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations - Comments on the ILO Termination of Employment Convention, 1982, No. 158, (1990-2009) »