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If you are employed full time, overtime is work that you have been ordered by your employer to do beyond your normal daily working hours. To avoid any misunderstandings, it is important that you document all overtime that you are ordered to work.

Ordered overtime

The only form of overtime that entitles employees to compensation in pay or in time off in lieu is overtime that has been ordered in advance by the employer. No compensation is paid for other work outside normal working time. It is therefore important that you do not make any decision to work overtime yourself, as it may then be difficult to receive compensation.


According to Villkorsavtal-T, a terms and conditions agreement, (Chapter 4, Section 17), overtime may be ordered if the employer considers that there are special circumstances that warrant such work. However, there are some limitations to what can be ordered.  Employers must primarily schedule employees who agree voluntarily to work overtime. Employees who have acceptable reasons for not working overtime are able to decline to do so.

Employees who are on partial sick-leave, partial leave of absence according to legislation or are taking care of children may not be requested by the employer to work overtime. If an employee is partially retired, the employer may at the most request work for 25 overtime hours per calendar year.


If your employer proposes a separate agreement on overtime, we recommend that you contact your local union representative.

Compensation for overtime

If you work overtime, you are entitled to compensation. According to Villkorsavtal-T, compensation may take the form of time off, (time off in lieu), or money, (overtime pay).

More information about the how qualified overtime is defined and how compensation is calculated ca be found in Villkorsavtal-T Chapter 4, Section 23. There may also be local working time agreements that cover overtime pay.

Local regulations

In many cases, some or all of Villkorsavtal-T may have been replaced or supplemented by local collective agreements. You should therefore contact your Saco-S association/committee or the SULF organisation at your higher education institution for further information on any local regulations regarding overtime.

Further information

The full text of Villkorsavtal-T can be found on the Swedish Agency for Government Employers’ website (in Swedish).

Here are the contact details of your local union representatives.

You can find the local working time agreements that we have access to here (in Swedish). Search for arbetstidsavtal.

Tips on overtime and heavy workloads.