Being employed

Last updated: 21 9 2018

Image Boken om Sverige
This material is from the book About Sweden.

​When you have a job, it is important to think about what rights and obligations you have in relation to your employer. You can read here about matters that are important to be familiar with when you have a job.

Forms of employment

There are two different forms of employment:

  • permanent employment
  • temporary employment

Permanent employment applies until further notice. This means that it doesn't have an end date.

Temporary employment is employment for a limited time.

Examples of temporary employment:

There are different types of temporary employment.

General fixed-term post

A general fixed-term post means that you are employed for a certain period, from one date to another date, or that you are employed for a certain period in order to perform a specific task. One example of fixed-term post is when you work as part of a temporary project. You may have a general fixed-term post when the employer calls you and you get paid for each hour you work. This is sometimes called being employed by the hour.

Working as a substitute

If you are employed as a substitute, you are doing someone else's job, for example someone who is on parental leave.

Probationary period

When you are given permanent employment, it is common for the post to being with a probationary period. A probationary period is one way for the employer to test you as an employee. The idea is for the probationary period to become permanent employment. A probationary period may not last longer than six months, but can also finish sooner than this.

If you have had several temporary posts with the same employer, the law gives you the right to permanent employment. This applies if you, over a period of five years, have worked for the employer for more than two years. Your employment then becomes permanent. These rules are described in the Employment Protection Act (LAS).


A fixed wage that is paid out once per month is called a monthly wage. If you are paid an hourly wage, you receive a certain amount for each hour you work.

Employment contract

When you are given a job, you sign an employment contract. The employment contract will state:

  • your name and personal identity number
  • your work duties and title
  • the employer's name and workplace
  • the date your employment starts
  • what form of employment you have
  • notice period, i.e. the time from the day you learn that you must finish or resign until the day your job finishes
  • the wage you receive before tax – gross wage
  • how much paid holiday you have a right to

Working hours

Normal working hours are by law a maximum of 40 hours per week in the same workplace. If you work 40 hours in the daytime, that is a full-time job. If you work at other times, e.g. at night, a full-time job can be less than 40 hours. When someone who has a full-time job works more than their normal working hours, this is called overtime. You have the right to extra remuneration if you work overtime.

The Annual Leave Act

According to the annual leave act, you have a right to at least 25 days holiday per year, regardless of which form of employment you have or whether you work full time or part time. However, this does not apply to those who are employed on a temporary basis with an hourly wage. If you are employed on a temporary basis with an hourly wage, you instead receive a supplement of twelve per cent of your gross wage (wage before tax), this is called holiday pay.

You can receive money instead of holidays if you finish a job and cannot take your holidays. You then receive twelve per cent of the wages you have earned over the course of the year.

If you become ill while working

If you are an employee and you become ill, you have to tell your employer on the first day you are ill. The employer pays sick pay for the first 14 days. The first day you are ill is a qualifying day. This means that you do not get paid for this day. From the second day you are ill, you receive 80 per cent of your wage. If you are ill and off work for more than seven days, you must have a certificate from a doctor to confirm that you are ill in order to continue receiving sick pay. This is called a doctor's certificate (medical documents).