The new Employment Protection Act – what do the changes mean?
On 1 October 2022, new provisions came into force in the Employment Protection Act, LAS. Saco-S, of which SULF is a part, and the Swedish Agency for Government Employers have also signed an agreement on flexibility, transition and security in the state sector. The new provisions in the Act and the new agreement involve a number of changes. Here we present some of the changes that apply to employees who are covered by the state sector collective agreement.
If you do not have a state sector employer, you can find more information on the websites of PTK (in Swedish) or AkademikerAlliansen (in Swedish).
- Reduced scope to employ staff on fixed-term contracts. General fixed-term employment, which could be for up to two years, has been reduced to a maximum period of twelve months and renamed special fixed-term employment. In addition, it is still possible to use time-limited employment under other regulations in the same way as before, for example for doctoral candidates and postdocs.
- Possibility for certain employees to declare that they do not wish their special fixed-term employment to be converted to permanent employment. However, this only applies if you are permanently employed in the state sector, have started drawing your occupational pension or are primarily a student.
- A new form of fixed-term employment: state sector fixed-term employment. This form of employment can be limited in time for a maximum of two years, but may only be used in certain situations. One requirement is that it is financed by external funding, but not research grants, and another is that the work tasks are outside the framework of the employer’s regular activities. It must also be an assignment that the employer was given in a certain way. The need for employment must be for a period longer than twelve months, but no longer than two years. In addition, neither research nor teaching, including commissioned training or education, is regarded as being outside the ordinary activities of higher education institutions. It is also not permitted to employ professors on state sector fixed-term employment contracts. Higher education institutions will therefore only be able to use this form of employment to a very limited extent.
- The scope for employers to time-limit employment for individual short periods has been removed.
- Limitation of the three exceptions to the last-in, first-out rules that an employer may use under the legislation in connection with redundancy due to a lack of work.
- Job transition support for studies. If you have worked for at least eight years in the Swedish labour market, you are entitled to job transition support for studies. If you have been employed for at least one year, regardless of employer, you will receive basic job transition protection.
- Supplementary financial support. This applies if you choose to apply for the new job transition support for studies from the Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN) and this is granted, on condition that you have worked for at least 12 months at your current employer. This also applies if you have fixed-term employment. During employment, you can also in some cases receive short-term study support for up to four days without applying for compensation from CSN. You can also receive support after your employment ends if you are covered by the job transition agreement. If you are made redundant due to a lack of work, at least one year of employment with the employer is required for you to be covered, or two years of continuous employment with the employer if you have fixed-term employment. In such a case, if approved by the Job Security Foundation, you can also receive study support in other situations than where support was first approved by CSN, on the condition that you are at least 40 years old when your studies begin.
Support from the Job Security Foundation (Trygghetsstiftelsen)
- You are entitled to some support from the Job Security Foundation after one year of employment. The purpose of this support is to help you to find a new job or education. Support can be given both when you are still employed and after your employment ends.
- The support from the Job Security Foundation has been expanded for people with fixed-term employment that expires on or after 1 October 2022. This applies if you have had fixed-term employment for at least two years with the same employer. Previously, the requirement was three years of employment for you to be entitled to receive more than just basic support. In addition to comprehensive help to find new employment, this support includes some financial compensation for 44 days if you receive unemployment benefit. After that, you are entitled to receive compensation from the income insurance that is included in your membership of SULF. If you are made redundant due to a lack of work, you will still receive extensive support from the Foundation after just one year of employment.
The State Sector Job Transition Agreement
Fixed-term employment under the Employment Protection Act (LAS)
When fixed-term employment automatically becomes permanent employment
CSN’s information on job transition support for studies (in Swedish)
You can also find more information about the agreements and read the agreement texts in full on the Saco-S website (in Swedish)