Exemption from the Working hours act

It is possible to obtain an exemption from certain rules contained in the Working hours act, for example the rules on daily rest periods and night work.

The Swedish Work Environment Authority decides on exemptions in three cases, namely where

  1. There is no collective agreement at your place of work
  2. There is a collective agreement, but it does not deal with the specific rule for which you are seeking an exemption.
  3. There is a collective agreement, but you have negotiated and are unable come to an agreement. If you have a collective agreement at your place of work, you must first negotiate with the national union to seek a solution through the collective agreement.

How to apply

  1. Fill in the form (Swedish)
    Amongst other things, you must fill in information on
    • whether the application concerns daily rest periods or night work
    • how many workers are involved
    • if someone is under 18 years of age
    • why you are seeking an exemption
    • the business registration code
    • contact details for you as the person seeking exemption
      If the form does not have sufficient space, you can send attachments to the form, for example a Word document with further information.

      If you have a collective agreement at your place of work, you should also send the minutes of the negotiations showing that you have negotiated with the national union about what you want an exemption for, but have failed to come to an agreement. The minutes of the negotiations can be in, for example, Word or pdf format.

      Ansökan om undantag från arbetstidslagen om dygnsvila/förbud mot nattarbete, form in Swedish
  2. The authorised company signatory signs.
    The person who is the authorised company signatory is to sign the form. If another person signs or submits the application, that person must also attach a power of attorney from the authorised company signatory.

  3. Submit the application form with attachments to us.

We will contact you if anything is missing from your application. In that case, you may provide supplementary information. Normally, you will have three weeks, but you may request more time.

  1. We will adopt a position on your application.
    We will always contact the competent national union. The national union will be given two weeks to comment on the application. Its opinion is not binding for the Swedish Work Environment Authority. If the national union says anything which changes our view to your detriment, you will always be given an opportunity to respond to what the union has said.

  2. We will take a decision.
    We will send the decision to you by e-mail, usually within 4 to 8 weeks. 
  1. You may appeal.
    You have the right to appeal our decision. The appeal letter will set out how you do so. Set out why you consider that we should change our decision. Send the appeal to the Swedish Work Environment Authority.

  2. We will decide whether to reassess your application.
    If we do so and decide to change our initial decision, you will be notified by email.

  3. If we do not reassess the application, we bring it to a court of law.
    We will refer your appeal on to a court of law, that is to say the local administrative court. We will also send your application and all the other documents in your case.

  4. The court will decide in the case.
    The court will take account of all the documents in the case and take a decision. You will receive notification directly from the court.

Do you have any questions?

Contact our response service: 

010 730 90 00

Last updated 2024-03-27