Request for action on working conditions and working hours

Safety representatives may ask an employer to take action on working conditions or working hours.

An employee or you as a safety representative may discover that there are risks at the workplace or that the employer is not following the rules on working time. In that case, first contact the person who is responsible for working conditions at your employer and ask that the risks be rectified. That is normally enough – most employers do what is necessary to ensure that working conditions are good.

You may ask us to intervene in response to risks at the workplace and breaches of rules on working time

Sometimes, however, that is not enough and your employer will not act. In that case, you as the safety representative may request action on the part of the Swedish Work Environment Authority. You may ask the Swedish Work Environment Authority to intervene

  • where you discover risks on which there are rules in the Law on working conditions (Chapter 6, Paragraph 6a)
  • where the employer is breaching the rules on additional hours, extra overtime and emergency overtime contained in the Law on working time (Paragraph 19a).

You can only request action within your area of safety, that is to say the area in which you have been elected as safety representative.

We cannot intervene in all issues

You cannot ask us to intervene in so-called ‘collaboration issues’, as set out in Chapter 6 of the Law on working conditions. You may raise collaboration issues instead with the trade union organisations at your place of work. Collaboration issues can concern, for example, the fact that

  • you do not receive documents which you requested from the employer
  • you find yourself prevented from performing your duties as safety representative
  • the employer fails to provide sufficient information about his plans in relation to the undertaking's financial position or production
  • the staff have no confidence in the employer
  • the employer punishes criticism by not awarding pay increases, promotion etc.

Nor can you ask us to intervene as regards

  • the employer's obligations under the Law on workers’ participation in decisions
  • the employer's human resources policy
  • matters governed by the Law on employment protection
  • business strategies
  • conflict management at individual level
  • interpretation of collective agreements.

Working time rules: if you have a collective agreement you cannot act as a safety representative

If you have a collective agreement, the rules contained in the Law on working time setting out the safety representative's right to act do not apply. It is instead the union and the employer who are to monitor compliance with the collective agreement. Neither the safety representative nor the Swedish Work Environment Authority may act in this respect.

How you as safety representative ask your employer to take action

  1. Find the person who is responsible for working conditions and tell them about the risks or problem which you see at the workplace or with working hours. Always try to resolve the issue first together with that person.

  2. If that is not enough, write a letter to the person who is responsible for working conditions. That can be a letter on paper or an email. Set out very clearly and specifically
    • the risks at the workplace or the problems concerning additional hours, extra overtime or emergency overtime
    • the action you propose, that is to say what you want the employer to do.

      The action can be to investigate the working conditions to rectify a specific deficiency. The more clearly and specifically you set out the risks and what you want the employer to do, the better!

      Also write

      ‘I hereby exercise my right as safety representative under Chapter 6, Paragraph 6, or the Law on working conditions or Paragraph 19a of the Law on working time.’
    • when you want a response at the latest from the employer – give the employer a reasonable time to give his response or take action.

  3. Submit the letter to the person responsible for working conditions. Ask him or her to sign for receipt of the letter. If you send an email, ask for acknowledgement of receipt. Please note that you should not send the letter to us for information, only to the employer.

The employer must give you a response before the response time has expired and inform you of what action it plans to take to rectify the risks or whether action has already been taken.

You as safety representative should also be permitted to take part in the action. If the response is slow in coming, feel free to contact the manager responsible and ask why.

If the employer's response is received within the response time and you are satisfied with it, you do not make a request for use to intervene.

How to ask the Swedish Work Environment Authority to intervene

  1. Fill in our form and submit it to us with an attached copy of your letter to the employer and any response from it. You should set out the same requirements you placed on the employer. You may not tighten the requirements. It is good to tell us if you have accepted one part of the employer's response but not another, for example the timetable for action.

    You must also fill in information about
    • yourself as safety representative
    • the employer.

      You may withdraw your request for intervention at any time.

  2. We will check to establish that the formal requirements laid down in law are met (Chapter 6, Paragraph 6a of the Law on working conditions or Paragraph 19a of the Law on working time). If the requirements are not met, we cannot process your case. In that case, you will receive a letter stating why we are rejecting your case.

  3. If the formal requirements are met, we will proceed with your request. In most cases, we will contact you within one week.

  4. We will normally come to you and inspect the workplace. Our inspection will cover only what you have written about in your request.

  5. We will then decide on one of the following courses of action:

    • an order: we will compel the employer to take action
    • prohibition: we will compel the employer to stop doing something which is prohibited
    • no order or prohibition.

  6. You may appeal our decision, as may the employer. Follow the instructions contained in the decision which you receive from us. Appeal to the administrative court no later than three weeks from the date on which you received out decision. Otherwise, the administrative court cannot consider your appeal.

    You do not have the right to appeal if there is a chief safety representative. In that case, it is the chief safety representative who must appeal.

Form for requesting our intervention regarding work conditions (6:6a), (in Swedish)

Form for requesting our intervention regarding work hours (19a), (in Swedish)

Form for requesting our intervention regarding work conditions (6:6a), pdf in English, opens in new window 

The english form in pdf format needs to be sent manually with attachments in, for example, Word or pdf format

See also

Examples of 6:6 a request to the employer

Do you have any questions? Contact our answering service by telephone on 010-730 90 00.

Last updated 2024-04-17