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What to consider before taking on a new job

Employment contract - a contractual relationship made in accordance to the rules of the Contracts Act 

An employment contract is simply a contract like any other. It consists of two parties who have entered into a binding legal relationship and agreed that one party shall perform a certain job for the other party who in return shall pay a certain amount. 


What is unique about employment contracts in comparison to other types of contracts, is that the legal relationship is governed by legislation in addition to any collective or suspension agreements. The legislation consists of partly dispositive legislation and partly mandatory legislation. A dispositive law means that the parties can deviate from the provisions of the law through their contract. A mandatory law, on the other hand, means that the parties cannot deviate from the rules of the law - if the parties have agreed on something else, these provisions would not be upheld under judicial review. The provisions of the mandatory law would apply instead.

There are also laws that are semi-dispositive. These laws give some scope for the parties to deviate from some of the provisions of the law. It may also be the case that the law may be deviated from but only through a central collective agreement. The room for this deviation is usually clarified early on in the first paragraphs of the Act, via a list of which paragraphs the parties can agree on deviating provisions in an individual agreement. 

In labor law, legislation is majorly mandatory and semi-dispositive.


The Employment Protection Act (1982: 80) (LAS) is semi-dispositive which means that the parties may to some extent deviate from the provisions of the Act through their agreement.

There are no formal rules for drawing up employment contracts

In Sweden, there are no formal rules on how an employment contract should be designed in order for it to be valid and for it to bind the parties. This means that an oral agreement is as binding as a written one, and how it is written is irrelevant so long as it is possible to read what the parties have agreed on.


However, it is recommended, both from the point of view of clarity and from the point of view of evidence, that you write down what you have agreed upon. It usually saves time, energy and money if a dispute between the parties arises. 

Which form of employment should you choose?

As is often emphasized in employment law contexts, it is important to know if you are affiliated with a collective / suspension agreement (read about the difference here ) and what that agreement stipulates. This applies not least in the choice of form of employment.

The forms of employment that are available are those specified in the Employment Protection Act (LAS):

  • Permanent employment

  • General fixed-term employment

  • Substitute

  • Seasonal work

  • Employment of old-age pensioners (currently 68-year-old workers)

  • Probationary employment (information on extending probationary employment )

Permanent employment 

The presumption is that an employment is valid until further notice. Presuming something means that one assumes that something applies. This then means that unless otherwise expressly stated, the employment is considered to run without deviation from the main rule. The burden of proof that something else has been agreed on lies with the employer. 


Since, unlike fixed-term employment, there is no agreed end date for permanent employment, a so-called objective basis is required as a general rule for terminating the employment. 

General fixed-term employment

General fixed-term employment is a form of employment which, unlike other fixed-term employment, has no "authenticity requirement" for use.

Authenticity requirements relate to certain conditions that must be met for the form of employment to be available for use. This means that general fixed-term employment is the most common form of fixed-term employment.


In order to be able to terminate a fixed-term employment, the right to terminate the employment must be reserved in the contract of employment. This is done either by entering a mutual notice period, or by entering the period 'from date X, but no later than Y'._ cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_


One thing that may be worth noting is that according to LAS, there is no form of employment called "hourly employment" or "project employment" etc. Many people mistakenly believe that if hourly employment is written, it is automatically a time-limited form of employment whereby the employee is only employed for the hours they work. 

Since the presumption according to the LAS is that an employment is valid indefinitely and the burden of proof is on the employer to prove that something else has been agreed upon, there is a risk that "hourly employment" whereby the employee worked regularly and for long hours, would in dispute be considered a permanent employment.  _cc781905- 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_


Unlike general fixed-term employment, a temporary position must meet certain authenticity requirements. The substitute must either replace a regular executive for a certain period or fill a position during a specific recruitment period.

The ordinary executive may be absent as a result of illness, study leave, parental leave, military service, other leave or vacation. A substitute must be written as "XX substitutes for YY as long as YY is on parental leave, but no longer than xxx-xx-xx" if the substitute is to end when YY returns to work. Or it can be written as "however-longest-until-with" expires. You can write it in the same way if the substitute covers during a recruitment process. 

Seasonal work

This form of employment, like a temporary position, has an authenticity requirement to be available for use. That requirement is that the work to be performed must depend on nature's changes, seasons and weather or other reasons that mean that the business can only be conducted during a certain period of the year. Examples of such jobs are snow removal, certain types of agricultural or construction work, berry picking, tourist business work etc. 

It is therefore not a question of having a "high season" as a cafe or restaurant might during the summer - a restaurant can, as a general rule, conduct business in other parts of the year as well.

Employment of workers who have reached the age of 68

The previous rule stated that the employment of old-age pensioners in general fixed-term employment or temporary substitute employment is not transferred into indefinite-term employment - this rule has since been removed (it was in section 5 of the LAS, but was removed by an amendment implemented on 1 January 2020).

Instead, new provisions regarding old-age pensioners have been introduced in sections 33 and 33a-33d of the LAS.

Through these amendments, old-age pensioners are exempted from the rules on rotation and re-employment and no dismissal procedure is required to terminate their employment - a notice however is required to be given stating that the employment shall cease. An old-age pensioner is never entitled to a longer notice period than one month, regardless of how long the person has worked at the time of dismissal. In addition, the old-age pensioner is exempted from the conversion rule in the LAS - there is more about this below. 


The conversion rule 5a § LAS 


As a result of the insecurity involved in temporary employment, there is a maximum time for how long you can have an employee during a certain time period. If you have been employed in a general fixed-term employment for at least two years during a five-year period, your employment is automatically converted into a permanent employment. The same applies even if you have had various fixed-term employments such as temporary or seasonal work in combination with a general-fixed term period, if these have followed each other. The employment is considered to have followed the previous one if it starts within six months of the previous one ceasing. 

Please note that only employment according to LAS § 5 is converted to permanent employment according to LAS. Employment with support in collective agreements may be exempt (depending on what is stated in the collective agreement) and the same applies to employment with support in special statutes (eg teacher employment according to the Higher Education Ordinance, etc.) ._ cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

Templates and forms for employment

We offer opportunities for companies to gain access to legal advice and support through advantageous package solutions. We have employment law templates and forms, and can also help to prepare and review specific documents according to your needs.

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