HR Solutions & Employee Relations in Sweden with IRIS

IRIS HR Consulting has experience in helping businesses grow in Sweden. Without expert guidance, it can otherwise be risky and costly to leave local laws and legislation open to interpretation. For a scalable, compliant operation, IRIS can manage your HR in Sweden to help your business hire, recruit, and pay staff overseas in new, unfamiliar countries. As a popular destination for businesses, IRIS can navigate local barriers – from culture to compliance – to arrive at a rewarding opportunity for your business to thrive in this exciting marketplace.

Take your business to Sweden with IRIS HR Consulting.

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    Global Expansion in Sweden

    The fourth most competitive economy in Europe, Sweden has one of the best performing economies globally. The commercial prowess of the country, boosted by its conducive business climate and innovation, sets it apart from other European settings for global businesses. Sweden is known for its free-market openness, competitive geography, skill availability (especially for languages), and for its developed education institution.

    A Guide to Employing Staff in Sweden

    Everything you need to know about the employment laws and compliance requirements in this country

    A Start-Up Nation

    Perhaps two of the most attractive features of Sweden is its open economy, including bustling marketplaces, and its commitment to innovation as a device for economic growth.

    The openness, and consequent freedom, of its economy is bolstered by a proactive government that regularly invests, supports and promotes its ongoing growth. The biotechnology industry, for example, receives firm governmental support. The country’s major export, however, is in petroleum products (including automobiles). Closely behind the country flourishes when it comes to medicine and communication. In recent years, activity in Baltic countries, such as India, have become key examples of how Sweden has flexibly approached trade deals.

    Establishing Your Business in Sweden

    Starting a business in Sweden will depend on various factors, including rules and eligibility that will apply to foreign citizens: these rules will depend on whether you’re an EU/EEA or a citizen of a non-EU/EEA country.

    To establish a business in Sweden:

    1. Plan for a business type

    The first step for any business to plan your business type. Commonly, this will be as a sole trader, which means that you operate and govern the business, taking on responsibility for it. With full accountability, you’d be liable to organise tax contributions,  which is referred to as “personal contributions” (egenavgifter).

    Explore the business types available, according to the Government Service for Business here.

    • Register your company

    You should consider your company with the Swedish Companies Registration Office, especially to protect your company name.

    This becomes mandatory if you’re starting a limited company, a trading partnership, limited partnership, or economic association.

    • Register/ connect with the Swedish Tax Agency

    All companies must register with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).

    On registration:

    • apply for F-tax approval
    • register for business VAT
    • register as employee

    Swedish Employment Laws

    When first expanding your business into Sweden, familiarising your business with employment laws and remaining compliant at the same time isn’t always so simple. Employment is reflected in local policies and is constantly shifting in Sweden.

    Labour relations in Sweden are highly regulated by statute, case law as well as by collective agreements concluded with well-established, nationwide trade unions.

    Did you know?

    Swedish employees enjoy solid protection and employers may not terminate the employee’s contract without cause. The Employment Protection Act applies to both public and private employees

    Hiring & Recruitment in Sweden

    When getting your first hire in Sweden, you will need to comply with local employment laws. Local laws are not a matter of interpretation, but rather help create lasting employment relations that can thrive.

    Work Visas to Sweden

    All visitors will require a Schengen Visa to travel to Sweden, unless you’re a passport holder from a country identified by the embassy. In many circumstances, and depending on your country of origin, visas will be issued on limited terms. In the US, for example, passport holders will be issued with a visa for a three-month stay. EU citizens, on the other hand, have the right to live, work and travel into, and out of, Sweden.

    For a complete list of countries where a visa is required, check the list

    Employment Contracts in Sweden

    According to Swedish law, employers must provide written contracts (to be completed within 30 days as requested by the employee). There is a legal requirement to have an employment contract firmly in place ahead of a role commencing. This should include:

    • compensation
    • benefits
    • any termination requirements

    Offer letters should capture salary expectations, along with any compensation or extras. Amounts should be in Swedish krona, rather than other (foreign) currencies.

    Equal Opportunities in Sweden

    Under the Equal Opportunities Act (no. 433 of 1991), the equal rights of employees are protected by law and any form of discrimination is strictly forbidden. This extends to a kind of ‘Swedish approach‘ that fosters equality as a key opportunity for workers to develop and grow.

    What are the Working Hours in Sweden?

    The Working Hours Act provides for a limit of 40 working hours per ordinary week. This may be averaged over a four-week period, where the needs of the business require more than 40-hour working week.

    Working Overtime in Sweden

    The Working Hours Act does not regulate the right for extra pay; instead, extra pay – including overtime, on-call, standby – is usually mentioned in collective agreements. If this is not established within the collective agreement, employees must confer with their employer about any additional hours beyond the normal limit.  

    Overtime may be recognised as any of three catagories:

    • General overtime is extra hours worked up to a maximum of 48 hours (per four-week window).
    • Extra overtime is worked with strict agreement with the local trade union.
    • Emergency overtime refers to extra hours worked in case of emergency/ disaster (for up to two days and nights).

    Maternity Leave in Sweden

    A female employee is entitled to maternity leave of at least 7 consecutive weeks prior to childbirth and 7 weeks thereafter. From the 60th day prior to the expected due date, an employee with heavy work duties is entitled to be given different duties or to take leave.

    Parental Leave in Sweden

    Parental Leave and benefit equates to 480 days and can be shared by both parents, with the exception of 90 days. Parental allowance for 390 days is paid at a capped rate of 80% of 10x PBAs; an additional 90 days can be paid at SEK 180 per day.

    Vacation in Sweden

    Employees in Sweden are generally entitled to 25 working days’ paid vacation per year.

    In addition to this entitlement, enhancements may be provided for under a Collective Agreement. Additionally, unless otherwise agreed, employees are entitled to a vacation allowance of 0.8% per vacation day.

    Public Holidays in Sweden

    In total, there are thirteen national public holidays’ celebrated in Sweden:

    • New Year’s Day – 1 January
    • Epiphany Day – 6 January
    • Good Friday
    • Easter Monday
    • Labour Day/May Day – 1 May
    • Ascension Day
    • Sweden’s National Day – 6 June
    • Midsummer’s Eve
    • November All Saints Day
    • Christmas Eve
    • Christmas Day
    • Boxing Day (Second Day of Christmas)
    • New Year’s Eve

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    End of Service

    HR in Sweden means being compliant throughout an employee’s service, including the end of it. End of service might include severance, termination, redundancy, and leaving packages. For globally mobile companies with teams entering foreign markets, this could include repatriation services for those returning from an assignment overseas.

    For these more complicated matters, where errors are costly, you will need expert HR consulting in order to comply with Swedish employment laws.

    HR in Sweden


    Prior to the termination of a contract, an employer must offer reasonable grounds (if the employee is covered by the Employment Portection Act).

    Termination can occur if:

    • The employer chooses, with or without notice
    • The employee chooses, with or without notice
    • By matter of retirement
    • On expiry of a fixed-term contract, which runs its course
    • By mutual consent

    Social Security Coverage in Sweden

    Social security contributions borne by the employer and employee taxes, provide funding to State benefits which include the following:

    • retirement
    • health cover
    • work injury insurance
    • parental benefits

    Workers Compensation (FORA)

    Sweden has a statutory social insurance-based scheme. The Work Injury Compensation System, in Sweden, is a combination of the statutory social security cover and those arising from collective bargaining agreements.

    Common Supplemental Benefits

    ITP Pension Plan

    Where an employer is adhered to the Confederation of Swedish Enterprises, the main private retirement benefit vehicle for salaried employees is the ITP plan.

    Benefits include a combination of defined benefit and defined contribution in nature, depending upon the individual’s date-of-birth.

    Death & Disability Insurance

    Members of the ITP are also entitled to lump sum life assurance (TGL), which is payable in the event of death prior to retirement.

    Working in Sweden

    Why Partner With IRIS?

    When entering new, exciting countries such as Israel, you will need an employment specialist to navigate the parts of Swedish employment law. Delivering a compliant solution, IRIS can help your business arrive into new marketplaces whilst protecting your workforce – our partners can discover power and protection through us.

    Overseas expansions can seem risky to those who dare it alone. Understanding the complexity of a fully compliant solution, IRIS can help businesses establish a foreign branch in Sweden without the hassle.

    Our cost-effective, knowledgeable approach to HR in Sweden makes us an ideal partner to commence your overseas plans.