Agreement on flexibility, adaptability and employment security in the state sector
On October 1 2022, the Employment Protection Act, LAS, will be amended. If you have worked in the labour market for at least eight years, you will be entitled to special study support for employment transition. If you have been employed for at least one year, regardless of employer, you will receive basic protection in the event of employment transition. Another change is that the scope to employ someone on a fixed-term contract will be reduced. This is because general fixed-term employment, which today can be for a period of up to two years, will be reduced to a maximum of twelve months and will now be known as special fixed-term employment. However, the scope to allow fixed-term employment for positions such as doctoral candidate and postdoc under other regulations remains unchanged.
Saco-S, of which SULF is a member, and the Swedish Agency for Government Employers have signed an agreement on flexibility, adaptability and employment security in the state sector. The most important parts of the new agreement are as follows:
- Supplementary financial support will be introduced for anyone who chooses to apply for the new study support for employment transition from CSN, the Swedish Board of Student Finance. The support will be granted to people who have worked for at least 12 months with their current employer. This also applies if you have fixed-term employment. While employed, in some circumstances you can also receive short-term study support for up to four days without applying for compensation from CSN. You can also receive support after your employment has ended if you are covered by the job transition agreement. If you are given notice due to lack of work, you must have been employed for at least one year by the employer, or for two years continuously if you have fixed-term employment. In such circumstances, you can also apply to Trygghetsstiftelsen, the Job Security Foundation, for study support for cases other than those where support has been approved by CSN provided that you are at least 40 years of age when your studies commence.
- Even after just one year of employment you can receive some support from the Job Security Foundation for seeking new employment or education. Support can be granted both during and after employment.
- The support from the Job Security Foundation has been increased in the case of fixed-term employment that expires on or after 1 October 2022. This applies if you have been in fixed-term employment with the same employer for at least two years. Previously, the threshold was three years of employment to receive more than just basic support. In addition to comprehensive help finding a new job, the support includes some financial support for 44 days if you are receiving unemployment benefit. After that, you can receive compensation from the income insurance that is included in your SULF membership. If you are made redundant from your job due to lack of work, you will still receive extensive support from the Job Security Foundation if you have been employed for no less than one year.
- The agreement limits the three exceptions from the “last in, first out” rules that the law allows an employer to make in connection with redundancy due to lack of work.
- A new form of fixed-term employment will be introduced, state sector fixed-term employment. Such employment may be limited in time for up to two years, but it may only be used in certain situations. One requirement is that the position is financed using external funds, though not research grants, and another is that the work tasks are outside the scope of the employer's normal activities. It must also be an assignment that the employer has been given in a certain way. The need for employment must be longer than twelve months, but no longer than two years. In addition, neither research nor education, including commissioned education, are regarded as being outside the normal activities of higher education institutions. It is also not possible to employ professors in state sector fixed-term employment. This form of employment will therefore only be used to a very limited extent at higher education institutions.
- Certain employees will be allowed to notify the employer that they do not want a special fixed-term employment to become permanent employment. However, this will only apply if you are permanently employed in the state sector, have begun to draw your occupational pension or are primarily in education.
- The employer will no longer be allowed to limit the duration of employment for one-off short-term periods.