We have collected a number of frequently asked questions and answers and will continuously fill up with more. Is there any question you miss? Please contact kommunikation@sulf.se.

According to the collective agreement for the state sector, (Villkorsavtal-T), you are entitled to leave in order to work at another employer in the state sector for up to two years. This right only applies to a full-time position. Other cases concerning requests for leave of absence for other employment are to be decided on by the employer. My advice is to ask your employer if it would be possible to arrange a 50 per cent leave of absence to pursue this opportunity. Could it perhaps be something your current employer could also benefit from? Try to find good arguments and solutions for how the situation can be resolved in the best way for your current employer too.

You can find more information and advice here.

According to LAS, Section 15, (in Swedish) the employer must give written notice at least one month before the end of your employment period if you have been employed for at least twelve months by the same employer over the past three years. Consequently, you should have received written notice that your employment will be terminated. If you do not receive a new employment contract from your manager as soon as possible, contact your local trade union representative to help you with your situation.

Employment as a substitute is a fixed-term form of employment covered by the Employment Protection Act, (LAS). Therefore, according to LAS, Section 5a, (in Swedish) the substitute position must be converted to a permanent position if you have been employed as a substitute for a total of more than two years over a five-year period.

If your current employment is an ALVA employment position, however, deployment for a period longer than five years when adding up all the different fixed-term contract jobs may be counted as a basis for permanency. When adding up fixed-term employment contracts only ALVA, temporary or seasonal work may be taken into account. For periods to be considered for adding up, there may not be more than 6 months between contracts.

The employment contract you have when the two-year limit is passes will be converted into a permanent position. If it is a full-time position, then the permanent position becomes full-time, if it is a part-time position then the permanent job will be the equivalent part-time position. This is regardless of the extent of your previous employment history.

A decision on holiday scheduling is to be regarded as a legal contract with binding force that the employer cannot unilaterally withdraw from without justification. If this does occur, the employer may be liable to pay damages (according to case law in the Labour Court).

Remaining holidays must be paid at a value of 5.09 percent of the monthly salary per holiday day, including holiday salary supplement. The employer cannot schedule holidays retroactively, and saved holidays can never be scheduled without the employee’s consent, even if you know that an employment period is going to end. If the year’s holiday is scheduled without your agreement, this must occur at least two months in advance. In addition, holidays may not be scheduled during a notice period without employee consent if the notice period is a maximum of six months.

If you have a doctoral candidate employment in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance, you have the same benefits as other employees, (in accordance with Villkorsavtal-T).

Employees who terminate their employment at a university before taking out all paid holiday days are entitled to be paid holiday compensation by the university if they have not been able to take out all holiday days as free time while employed.

My advice is to check with the HR-department so there is no misunderstanding about the number of days you are entitled to and will be compensated for.

Sometimes the employer argues that you should take all your saved holiday days before the expiration of the employment. Here you can read some more advice if this happens.

A scholarship can never be considered as income on which to base unemployment benefits. However, it may be possible to discount the period on the scholarship if, for example, you have studied (on postgraduate education) or during a postdoc period and have had this period approved as studies by the unemployment insurance fund. Furthermore, your studies must have been full-time and you may only discount five years.

Read about the special regulations concerning unemployment benefits here.

The application form for SULF income insurance, (administrated by Folksam), has to either be sent by e-mail or printed out and sent to Folksam, to the address at the bottom of the application form. It is important that you attach the relevant decision if you are entitled to benefits from Trygghetsstiftelsen or other benefits in addition to Akademikernas a-kassa. Your income insurance will be activated directly after the period of benefits from Trygghetsstiftelsen expires.

Here is some more information about the SULF income insurance.

No. You must choose which income insurance you wish to use.

No. In order to receive payments from income insurance, you must be entitled to income-related benefits from an unemployment
insurance fund. This means that you need to have been a member of both SULF and an unemployment insurance fund, (for example
Akademikernas a-kassa), for at least twelve months in order to benefit from this insurance.

SULF income insurance does not apply if you voluntarily leave your job and this termination results in a non-payment period from
the unemployment insurance fund, (i.e. termination without employer action), which is normal. If, on the other hand, according
to the rules of the Akademikernas a-kassa there are valid reasons for your leaving, there will be no suspension of payments. Read more about valid reasons here.

Leave of absence

More information about leave of absence.

According to our central collective agreement, (Villkorsavtal-T, Chapter 13, Section 1), you are entitled to take leave of absence to try another job that is also covered by the same agreement. This includes a large number of jobs within the state sector. The agreement specifies that you have the right to take leave of absence when you have been permanently employed by an employer for at least twelve months. The job you want leave of absence for must be a time-limited contract position. If you are offered a permanent job that starts with a probationary period of six months, you are also entitled to take leave under the same rule.

You may take leave of absence in this manner for up to two years according to the central agreement. However, if you have been offered a fixed-term contract with reference to the Higher Education Ordinance, you may be entitled to a longer period of leave. Jobs that are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance include doctoral candidate positions
and assistant professor positions.

If you do not meet the requirements described above, you may still be granted leave for up to six months or more according to Chapter 13, Section 3 if the university considers that there are special reasons for this.

If you are employed by a state agency, the central collective agreement Villkorsavtal-T stipulates that you are entitled to leave of absence to take up any fixed-term employment regulated by the Higher Education Ordinance (in Swedish), for example employment as a doctoral candidate. Therefore, if you have been granted a doctoral candidate position, you are entitled to take leave of absence for the entire period of the fixed-term position as doctoral student.

If your permanent position is not in the state sector, you may still have the right to take leave of absence for doctoral studies under the provisions of the Student Leave Act (in Swedish). SULF’s interpretation is that employment as a doctoral candidate counts as education in accordance with Chapter 5, Sections 1 and 2 of the Act, and that you therefore have the right to take leave of absence for the entire period of the doctoral studies. The right to leave in accordance with the Act applies to employees who at the beginning of the leave have been employed by the employer for the previous six months or for a total of at least twelve months during the previous two years. However, the employer has the right to postpone the leave of absence for up to 6 months.

You have the right to appeal to the Higher Education Appeals Board (ÖNH). Your appeal must be made within three weeks of the announcement of the employment decision. The appeal must be made in writing.

If an employment decision is to be upheld against a possible appeal, the university must be able to show that the factors underlying the decision are the same as those presented in the qualification requirements in the advertisement, and that the qualification requirements are relevant in order to be able to carry out the job adequately. A state sector employer is not permitted to change qualification requirements during a recruitment process.

There is no limit, but in the case of a permanent job the processing period is often longer than for fixed-term employment contracts, and a benchmark is at least three weeks. In the case of job appointments where expert assessment is required, which is necessary for lecturer and professor appointments, the period between the final application date and the decision may be several months.

The first thing you should do is read through your employment contract. It is a binding agreement between both parties and may be oral or written. We recommend that you request a written employment contract so that no confusion or misunderstanding arises afterwards. Do not sign it until you have understood the terms of employment and agreed on the salary. Also, find out when the next salary review will take place and if you will be part of it.

The contract is to be signed by both you and your manager and the following information is to be included: The parties’ names, contact details, starting date, place of employment, form of employment, title, salary and any salary benefits and scope of employment.

Holidays, occupational pensions, working hours, notice periods and other terms of employment are usually regulated in collective agreements. The agreement that applies to your particular workplace may be obtained from your employer or your local trade union representative. Within the state, Villkorsavtal- T (in Swedish) applies. There may also be local collective agreements that regulate things like wellness allowances, doctoral candidate salaries or working hours.

If you are planning to start working in a workplace without a collective agreement, then all your terms of employment must be regulated in writing in your employment contract. Get help from SULF to check the contents of your contract by contacting the SULF Membership Helpline.

The question of employment contracts is regulated in the Employment Protection Act (LAS). An employment contract is valid regardless of form, so an oral contract is also binding. However, according to LAS, Section 6c, the employer must submit written information on any conditions that are material to the employment contract or employment relationship to the employee no more than one month after the employee has commenced work. (if the employment is for longer than three weeks). You must also find out which collective agreement applies at the workplace, as this regulates certain employment conditions such as on any conditions
that are material to the employment contract or employment relationship number of your paid holiday days.

More information

Things to consider when changing job
Employment conditions

When you are offered a position, you are entitled to negotiate your salary. You do this with your salary-setting manager. Prior to this negotiation, prepare yourself by thinking about the salary you will request, the lowest salary you are willing to accept and how to justify your salary request. According to the central salary agreement within the state, (RALS-T), salaries are to be individual and differentiated based on the level of difficulty of the tasks, your skills and expected results/performance and the responsibilities you have in your new job.

In order to obtain information about the salary situation at your university and to receive support in your salary negotiation process, contact your local Saco-S representative. They have an overview of local salary and benefit levels and can help you with things like local salary policies and statistics. Salary statistics for the entire country can be found on Saco Lönesök and in SULF’s salary statistics, which are available to SULF members. Before accepting your new salary, also find out when the next salary review will take place and if you will be included in it.

Information about salary level setting.

It depends on what kind of time-limited employment contract you have, i.e. what it says in your employment contract on the line under “Reasons for time limit” or similar. This determines your rights regarding extension of your employment period. The vast majority of time-limited employment contracts among our members are based on one of the following three regulations:

  1. The Higher Education Ordinance, HF
  2. The Postdoctoral Agreement, (a collective agreement on employment as a postdoc)
  3. The Employment Protection Act, LAS

Example 1: According to HF, a doctoral candidate’s employment is always extended on the basis of parental leave. Assistant professor or equivalent positions may also be extended for a maximum of two years.

Example 2: If you are employed according to the postdoctoral agreement
between Saco-S and the Swedish Agency for Government Employers, (Arbetsgivarverket), you are entitled to an extension for the period of your parental leave.

Example 3: Employment according to LAS does not give the right to extension for parental leave, illness or other circumstances. In these cases, It is therefore up to the employer to extend contracts based on needs and finances.

According to the Parental Leave Act 1995:584, an employer has no right to ask about pregnancy nor planned parental leave. For example, Section 16 of the Act states that it is prohibited to disadvantage an applicant because of pregnancy or parental leave. This means that you do not need to raise this with the employer during a job interview. However, there is an obligation to inform employers at least two months before planned parental leave, as well as to indicate how long you plan to be on leave (Section13).

Up until 2020, the employer must notify employees of the termination of their employment at least one month before their 67th birthday. However, you may continue working if you agree this with your employer. After your 67th birthday, one month’s notice period applies. From 2020, the LAS age, (i.e. the right to retain employment), will be increased to 68, and in 2023 it will be increased to 69.

Termination of employment

More information termination of employment

According to LAS, (the Employment Protection Act), if the employee is terminating the employment, one month’s notice period applies if the employment has lasted a maximum of one year. If you have been employed for more than a year, you have a two-month notice period. If you have had other government employment directly before your current position, then the employment
period includes this period too. If the employer agrees, it is possible to have a shorter notice period.

Read more here.

Here is information about the steps you should take when you become unemployed and the benefits you can receive, such as the SULF income insurance. The most important thing is that you register as a jobseeker with Arbetsförmedlingen, (the Swedish Public Employment Service), on your first unemployed working day.

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