Posted employee’s rights and obligations

Here is information on what rights and obligations a worker has, who is posted to Sweden.

Permission to work in Sweden

In order to work in Sweden, the worker may need a permit. It is the Swedish Migration Agency that is responsible for issues concerning work permits.

Working in Sweden (Swedish Migration Agency website, opens in another window)

Good working environment

A posted worker has the same right to a good and safe working environment as Swedish employees. If you post workers to Sweden, you must comply with the Swedish Work Environment Act and all of the Swedish Work Environment Authority’s regulations.

The employer’s responsibility for the work environment

No discrimination or offensive special treatment

Nobody may be discriminated against in Sweden. This means that nobody may be disadvantaged on the grounds of:

  • gender
  • transgender identity or expression
  • ethnic background
  • religion or other faith
  • disability
  • sexual orientation

It is the Office of the Equality Ombudsman that is responsible for issues concerning discrimination.

As an employer, you also have a responsibility to prevent actions that are targeted at one or more employees in an offensive manner. The Swedish Work Environment Authority is responsible for issues that concern offensive special treatment in working life.

Bullying

What is discrimination? The Equality Ombudsman website, opens in a new window

Regulated working hours and the right to rest and breaks

The Working Hours Act, which regulates how much one may work, also applies to posted workers. It includes on-call time and preparedness, what rest and breaks one is entitled to and what applies to night time rest. But a Swedish collective agreement can replace it in part or in whole.

About the Working Hours Act

Right to holiday

The posted worker has a right to holiday according to the Annual Leave Act. But in certain assembly or installation work, the rules on holiday apply only if the posting exceeds eight days. Section 6 of the Posting of Workers Act states what rules in the Annual Leave Act apply during posting.

Posting of Workers Act, Swedish government offices website, opens in a new window

Annual Leave Act, Swedish government offices website, opens in a new window

Right to take parental leave

The Swedish regulations on parental leave also apply to posted workers. For example, the worker has the right to parental leave in connection with the child’s birth and may not be subjected to discriminatory treatment. For women who are pregnant or who recently had a child, there are also regulations on protective measures.

Employees on parental leave (in Swedish), Social Insurance Agency website, opens in a new window

Pregnancy and breastfeeding (in Swedish)

Wages

In Sweden, there is no minimum wage law and there is therefore no special wage level that automatically applies to posted employees in Sweden. However, wages may be stipulated in Swedish collective agreements that are negotiated by employer- and employee-representative organisations. Posted workers may also have the right to compensation for travel, room and board during the posting in Sweden, as well as a right to accommodation. The contents of the agreements vary from industry to industry.

Posting employers must seek information on the wages that apply to posted workers in the collective agreements that are on the page “The Swedish labour market model and collective agreements”. If you have questions about collective agreements or what wages apply in a certain industry, you should contact the relevant employer- or employee-representative organisation.

The Swedish labour market model and collective agreements

Obligation to pay taxes

Several factors determine if the posted worker must pay income tax in Sweden or in his or her home country, including how long the person stays in Sweden and how the tax treaty between Sweden and the home country is formulated. It is the Swedish Tax Agency that is responsible for issues concerning tax obligations.

Working in Sweden, Swedish Tax Agency website, opens in a new window

Right to social welfare benefits

A posted worker in Sweden is most often insured in the country in which the employer is located and has a right to the social welfare benefits that apply there. The worker can turn to an authority that corresponds to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency in that country to find out what applies if he or she falls ill while working in Sweden or needs medical or health care in Sweden, etc.

If the worker according to the EU rules on the coordination of social security systems is posted from a country within the EU/EEA or Switzerland, he/she or the employer in the home country should apply for certificate A1. Certificate A1 shows what country the worker is insured in and what country the worker or employer shall pay social security contributions in. In order to get the certificate, you contact the equivalent of the Swedish Social Insurance Agency in your home country.

Working in Sweden, Swedish, Social Insurance Agency website, opens in a new window

Further rights for long-term posting

If the posting has lasted more than 12 months, the posted worker has the right to almost all of the working conditions and terms of employment that apply to employees in Sweden in a corresponding situation.

The time does not apply to one single worker, but different workers’ time shall be counted together if they take over the work from each other and continue to perform the same service at the same place. The employer must inform a worker who replaces another worker of the combined total posting time no later than the date the worker begins the work in Sweden.

The employer may extend the time to 18 months if he or she notifies the extension and provides the reasons for it to the Swedish Work Environment Authority. The employer must do so no later than the date the worker has been posted for 12 months.

Help against authorities

If you have encountered obstacles in your contacts with authorities in the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you can get help from SOLVIT. SOLVIT helps companies and individuals solve problems with their right of free movement on the EU internal market.

SOLVIT, National Board of Trade website, opens in a new window

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Last updated 2020-10-09