Work and livelihood

​​​Here you can find more information about how to look for work and how to start your own business, as well as information about employment contracts.

​There are two different types of employment:

  • Employment of unspecified duration, which means that you have permanent employment. There is no final date for this employment.
  • Temporary employment, which means employment for a limited period.

Looking for work

You can look for work in many different ways.

  • You can go to Arbetsförmedlingen (the Swedish Employment Service) and look for a job in their adverts for job vacancies.
  • You can contact staffing agencies and recruitment agencies. A staffing agency rents staff to various companies. A recruitment agency finds people for a company that wants to employ new staff.
  • You can reply to adverts in daily newspapers or on the Internet.
  • You can contact an employer by yourself.
  • You can ask people you know.


Arbetsförmedlingen (the Swedish Public Employment Service) is a government agency that operates throughout the country. Arbetsförmedlingen tells you how you can look for a job. You can get information about various occupations and education and training programmes and be told how to write a job application.

Arbetsförmedlingen posts adverts of job vacancies on its website. You can find job vacancies in platsbanken (the vacancies bank) on Arbetsförmedlingen’s website.

When you have been given a residence permit, it is important to register as a jobseeker at Arbetsförmedlingen. Then you have the chance to be admitted to one of their programmes. You must go by yourself to one of Arbetsförmedlingen’s offices to register.

Employment contract

When you get a job, you have to sign an employment agreement or an employment contract. The employment agreement or the employment contract has to state:

  • your name and personal identity number
  • your workplace
  • the date when your employment starts
  • your work duties and title
  • what type of employment you have
  • the period of notice, i.e. the period from the day when you are told that you must leave your job until the day when your job ends
  • your wage
  • how much paid annual leave you are entitled to

If you become ill or injured and are unable to work

Sickness benefit is pay you may be entitled to if you are unable to work because you are ill or have been injured. The first day you are ill is a qualifying day, which means you receive no pay for that day. From the second day of your illness you will receive 80 per cent of your normal wage. If you are employed, this money is paid by your employer during the first two weeks of your illness.

If you are off work for more than two weeks, your employer has to notify Försäkringskassan, which will then decide if you are going to receive sickness benefit. Försäkringskassan can only make its decision if you provide a doctor's certificate explaining why you are unable to work.

You can also receive compensation from Försäkringskassan if you are unemployed, self-employed or on parental leave and you become ill or injured so that you lose compensation. You have to notify Försäkringskassan yourself on the first day.

Read more about your rights and obligations on Försäkringskassan's website, or use the e-service Ersättningskollen to check approximately how much money you will receive if you become ill.

Work and children

Parental insurance

Parental insurance enables parents to be away from work to take care of their child. Parental allowance is the economic help that the parent receives to be at home with his/her child in the initial period. You can receive parental allowance for 480 days. The father of a newborn child has the right to 10 days with temporary parental allowance.

In case of joint custody, you as parents have the right to 240 days each for parental allowance. Of these, 60 days are reserved for each.

Child care

Child-care homes are those places where the children can be on the days the parents work or study, for example preschools, family day-care homes and leisure-time centres. When the parents work or study, the child is entitled to child-care. Parents who are unemployed or are on parental leave with another child are entitled to child-care. Child-care is provided by the municipality but private child-care is also available. Children between the age of one and five are entitled to attend preschool or family day-care home. If you are unemployed or home with the child's younger sibling, the child is entitled to child-care for about three hours a day or 15 hours a week.

Contact your municipality for more information on child care in the area you live.

If your child is sick

You can also get parental allowance if your child is sick. It is called temporary parental allowance or care of child, VAB. You receive 80% of your salary. You can avail a maximum of 120 days each year.

​Employer tips!

Look at the task of finding work as a job. Spend at least 4-6 hours per day on looking for work, sending CVs and following up with calls.

​Employer tips!

Never give up!

​Employer tips!

Promote yourself. Do not be afraid to show that you know something; say it loud and proud!

​Employer tips!

Update your CV with both Arbetsförmedlingen and Monster continuously. That way you will be high up in the rankings. Use both Swedish and English titles to create better search conditions.

​Employer tips!

Be clear about where you see yourself next. Be open about what you have done in the past and what your vision for the future is.

​Employer tips!

Draw on previous experiences. Everything you have done so far has allowed you to gain experience.

​Employer tips!

Take the initiative! Read up on the company/position you are applying for. Be proactive and actively seek out opportunities.

​Employer tips!

Be positive and friendly, put yourself out there! Looking neat and arriving on time will always give you extra points.

​Employer tips!

Make contact in person, ask for an appointment. Contact the employer yourself, do not ask a friend to do it for you.

​Employer tips!

Simple documentation and a simple presentation that does not take up too much time.

​Employer tips!

Learn enough Swedish to have a conversation over coffee or at the dinner table.

​Employer tips!

Contact Arbetsförmedlingen and make sure you get a job coach.

​Employer tips!

Intern and show what you are capable of to practice your language skills and make new connections.

​Employer tips!

Spend time in new environments where you meet new people in other contact networks.

​Employer tips!

Talk, talk, talk with everyone, in all the languages you know, and tell people you are looking for work.

​Employer tips!

Swedish, Swedish, and more Swedish! Learn the Swedish language.

​Employer tips!

Listen, take in advice and use it. It shows!​

​Establishment of newly arrived refugees

There are special rights that apply to those who are 20 years old (but not yet 65) and have a residence permit as a refugee, quota refugee, those in need of protection or those who are a relative to someone with any of these. Then for instance, you have the right to an establishment plan and establishment compensation. If you are of the age 18 (but not 20) and do not have parents in Sweden, you also have the right to assistance. A newly arrived person is a refugee or immigrant who is new in Sweden.

​Parental insurance​

Read more on Försäkringskassan’s website.​

Försäkringskassan (The Swedish Social Insurance Agency)

​If you have permanent illness or an impairment

More information about help you are entitled to.

This site contains information about the Swedish society and is run by the County Administrative Boards of Sweden
© Copyright 2016 County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland

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