Employment Law News – What’s new in Swedish Employment Law (Second Quarter 2019)

New rules limit the right to take industrial actions

On 18 June 2019, the Parliament passed a bill to expand the peace obligation in workplaces with a collective bargaining agreement in place, and in disputes, through amendments to the Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act (1976:580). In order for an employee to participate in an industrial action against an employer who is bound by a collective bargaining agreement, the purpose must be to achieve a collective bargaining agreement and the trade union must have negotiated its demands with the employer. Further, it will not be allowed for an employer or an employee to take industrial actions to exert pressure in a dispute.

The new rules will enter into force on 1 August 2019.

The employment protection is extended until the employee reaches the age of 69

On 18 June 2019, the Parliament passed a bill on extended employment protection until the employee reaches the age of 69. The employment protection provided for under the Employment Protection Act (1982:80) is intended to give employees security in their employment and protect the employee from being terminated without just cause. Today, employees have a right to remain in their employment until they reach the age of 67. Through amendments to the Employment Protection Act (1982:80), employees will have a right to remain in their employment until they reach the age of 69. After that, it will become possible to terminate the employee by a simplified termination procedure and without just cause. Other rules in the act, such as notice periods and priority right to re-employment, will also be affected by the new age limit.

The new rules will enter into force gradually; on 1 January 2020, the new age limit will be 68 years and on 1 January 2023, the age limit will be 69 years.

Special investigator appointed to review the Swedish labour law

The Government has decided to appoint a special investigator to investigate a modernization of the Swedish labor law. The directives are to focus on four sub-assignments and the inquiry shall be presented to the Government by 31 May 2020. In short, the sub-assignments entails that the special investigator shall prepare legislative proposals on extended exemptions from the rules on the order of priority, employers’ responsibility for competence development and employee adaptability, lower termination costs, and consider legislative proposals in order to create a better balance in the employment protection for employees with different employment conditions.

The inquiry and its given directives are based on the January Agreement, a political agreement between the Social Democrats, the Centre Party, the Liberals and the Green Party. According to the January agreement, amendments to the Employment Protection Act (1982:80) shall be implemented by 2021.

Reduction of employers’ contributions for persons under the age of 18

On 18 June 2019, the Parliament passed a bill on reduced employers’ contributions for persons under the age of 18. According to the new rules, the employers’ contributions for employees who are 15-17 years of age with a maximum salary of SEK 25,000 per month shall be 10.21 per cent. The aim is to provide opportunities for young people to receive summer jobs and part-time jobs during their studies so that they get work experience and become attractive for future employers.

The new rules will enter into force on 1 August 2019 and shall apply to all remuneration paid after 31 July 2019.

Cecilia Bergman, Associate

If you would like more information, or specific advice, please contact our L&E team.

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