international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

Sweden: Proposed Changes to Employment Protection Act

On 1 June 2020, an Inquiry ordered by the Government regarding changes to the Swedish Employment Protection Act (Sw. Lag (1982:80) om anställningsskydd) presented a report with proposed changes to the Act. The suggested modifications are aimed at promoting the adaptability of organisations and, by doing so, to promote growth and the level of living standards.

Currently, an employer with a maximum of ten employees has the right to exempt two employees from the priority rules applicable for redundancy terminations. The Inquiry proposes that all employers, regardless of the number of employees, should have the right to exempt five employees from the priority rules, meaning that employees with shorter periods of employment may be more likely to retain their employment in case of a redundancy.

Another proposal from the Inquiry is that employers should be required by law to offer their employees competence development, to a reasonable extent. This was suggested to be required only for employments exceeding six months. If an employment is terminated due to redundancy and the employee in question was not offered competence development, the employer can face liability for damages.

Further, the Inquiry proposed that fixed-term employees should receive priority for new employment, after nine months instead of twelve months, which is aimed at giving them greater security in the labour market. The draft is proposed to enter into force on 1 January 2022 and will be sent out for referral to relevant authorities, organisations and other groups of interest.