The State Transition Agreement covers both fixed-term contract and permanent employees. The Job Security Foundation administers, designs support and pays out unemployment benefits. Qualifications for the right to support vary depending on employment status and qualification period.
For employees of:
- Government sector colleges or universities in Sweden
- Foundation universities, such as Jönköping University or Chalmers
Transition support consists of the measures you are entitled to if you become redundant or if your fixed-term contract expires. Support may consist of help from the Job Security Foundation to get a new job or start up your own company, individual training or education measures, topping up of unemployment benefit to 80% of your actual salary or topping up of salary when taking a new job with a lower salary.
The Transition Agreement in brief
The Transition Agreement applies to employees who are made redundant and to employees whose fixed-term contracts have expired, however qualifying periods and support vary. Here is a brief summary of what applies in each case.
If you are made redundant:
- The qualification period is one year of employment by the specific employer.
- The Agreement brings an extended period of notice.
- Individual support from the Job Security Foundation with the aim of getting a new job or starting your own company. Financial support may be paid during the notice period and up to five years after.
- Financial topping up of unemployment benefit, together up to 80% of previous income during your unemployment period.
- Financial topping up for up to three years if you take a new job with a lower salary.
- After an individual assessment, there are opportunities to receive special pension benefits (early retirement).
If your fixed-term contract expires:
To be covered by the contract, you need to fulfil the qualifying period requirement. Your benefits depend on how long you have been on a fixed-term contract at your employer.
Overview of different forms of support from the Job Security Foundation
If your employment ends after two years of fixed-term contract employment:
Qualifying: at least two years of fixed-term contract employment with the same employer. The employment period must be continuous although breaks of a few days may be allowed.
Benefits: support for transition through the Job Security Foundation for the equivalent of six days plus a planning call and one follow-up call. These activities may partially take place in the last month of employment (during working hours).
If your employment ends after three years of fixed-term contract employment:
Qualifying: at least three years of fixed-term employment with the same employer. The employment period must be continuous although breaks of a few days may be allowed.
Benefits: support for transition through the Job Security Foundation in the form of a planning call and one follow-up call and expanded individual support. In addition, limited financial support (44 benefit days, which is equivalent to two months’ unemployment, full time) during the period you receive unemployment benefit. These provisions also apply in full to employees with doctoral candidate positions (PhD).
If your employment ends after six years of fixed-term contract employment:
Qualifying: total six years of fixed-term contract employment within a period of seven years with the same employer. To qualify for benefits, an initial period of employment of at least three years in which employment must be continuous, although breaks of a few days may be allowed, and then at least three years within a four-year period. Length of employment as a doctoral candidate does not count here.
Benefits: support for transition through the Job Security Foundation in the form of a planning call and one follow-up call and expanded individual support. Financial assistance in the form of topping up of unemployment benefits under an entire unemployment insurance period or salary topping up if you get a new job with lower pay at approximately the same level as other employees who were made redundant.
Good to know about the Transition Agreement
- This Agreement is valid until the employee becomes 67. Earlier agreements only applied until the age of 65.
- Your functional employer is the employer that you are working for when your employment ends. Previously it had been possible to include all government employment in the qualifying period. In some cases, employment at other government employers may also be included under the new Agreement, for example if you go straight from one permanent position to another.
- The concept of educational employment refers, in the Transition Agreement, to doctoral candidate positions. The new Agreement distinguishes employment as a doctoral candidate from other fixed-term contract employees and this affects how the qualification period is calculated in some cases.
Two important transitional regulations
- For those whose employment terminated in 2015 or 2016:
There are transitional regulations applying to all fixed-term contract employees (including doctoral candidates) at year end 2014 who have been government sector employees for at least three years (within a four-year period). For those who meet this requirement, all transition benefits are granted in the same way as for those who qualify for full support (6 years of employment) under the new Agreement. This is regardless of length of employment in general.
- For those who become 61 years old and are made redundant after December 31, 2016
If you are 61 during the notice period and will be made redundant no later than 31 December 2016, you have the option to choose pension benefits, i.e. early retirement for the period until you become 65. However, as before you must have at least 10 years of continuous state employment.
Want to read the agreement itself? Here is a link.
How do I know if I am covered by the Transition Agreement?
All permanent employees and some fixed-term contract employees in the state sector are covered by the Transition Agreement.
The Transition Agreement applies:
- if you have been served notice of redundancy in January 2015 or later.
- if your fixed-term contract expires and your last day of employment on this contract is 1 January 2015 or later.
Those who have been fixed-term contract employees for at least three uninterrupted years with the same employer are entitled to topping up of unemployment benefits according to the Transition Agreement.
If you are unsure of whether you are covered by the Job Security/Transition Agreement/other job security agreement, please contact your previous employer(s) for information. Or get in touch with the Job Security Foundation (if you have been a government employee). If any uncertainties remain, contact SULF and we will help to sort things out.
What if I am covered by the Transition Agreement?
If you are covered by the Transition Agreement you will be contacted by the Job Security Foundation. It is important that you establish contact with them in order to be able utilize the support they provide, including topping up of unemployment benefits. If you have qualified for financial benefits, i.e. topping up, this must be used up before applying for support from SULF income insurance. SULF income insurance allows those who are only qualified for 44 days topping up to then apply for all 150 days from SULF income insurance. No days are deducted because you received financial support from the Job Security Foundation.
What support, in addition to topping up of unemployment benefits, can I get from the Job Security Foundation?
In addition to financial benefits, the Job Security Foundation provides qualified support for finding a new job or starting up your own company. This support is also provided if you are not qualified for financial support.
What is severance pay or topping up?
Severance pay or topping up are other words for additional unemployment insurance cover. Apply to the Job Security Foundation for topping up. The AEA assessment of your eligibility for income-related benefits determines the level of your benefits. Learn more about the qualification periods for this support from the Job Security Foundation.
Can the Job Security Foundation really do anything for me, a doctoral graduate?
The high proportion of fixed-term contract researchers, teachers and students at universities means the Job Security Foundation is very accustomed to offering help and support to PhDs. This support goes well beyond topping up of employment benefits and is tailored to suit your needs. TRR results show that within six months, 60% of permanent workers and 90% of fixed-term contract employees find a solution and that almost all have found a new job within a year. More information on support to doctoral graduates can be found on their website.