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Unemployment Fund (a-kassa) in Sweden

In Sweden the trade union and the a-kassa are two separate organizations. Get answers to some of the most common questions about how much, when, and for how long you can receive a-kassa if you become unemployed.

What is an A-kassa (Unemployment Fund) in Sweden?

A-kassa is commonly referred to as both the organization that administers unemployment insurance and the compensation you receive from the unemployment fund, in other words, unemployment benefit.

An a-kassa is an insurance designed to secure individuals' financial well-being during unemployment. The first a-kassa was established in the early 1900s by trade unions. A-kassas are independent organizations often associated with various professional fields or unions. Akavia, like all unions within the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Saco), is affiliated with Akademikernas a-kassa which is Sweden's largest a-kassa.

How Does an A-kassa Work in Sweden?

A-kassa essentially functions as basic coverage for your salary. By being a member of an a-kassa, you have a foundational security that allows you to receive compensation if you become unemployed. All a-kassas in Sweden adhere to the same regulations: the Unemployment Funds Act and the Unemployment Insurance Act.

What is the Difference Between an A-kassa and Income Insurance?

An Income insurance complements the a-kassa and enables you to receive higher compensation if you become unemployed.

If you are unemployed and only a member of an a-kassa, your compensation from the a-kassa can, at most, be 80 percent of SEK 33,000 per month before tax, i.e., SEK 26,400. As a member of both the Akavia union and Akademikernas a-kassa, you are covered by Akavia's income insurance at no extra cost. Akavia's income insurance supplements the portion of your salary exceeding the a-kassa limit of SEK 33,000, up to 80 percent of SEK 100,000.

Which A-kassa Should I Choose?

The a-kassa you should choose depends on the professional field and industry you work in. A-kassas are often associated with various professional fields or unions. Akavia, like all unions within the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations (Saco), is affiliated with Akademikernas a-kassa, Sweden's largest a-kassa. This means you need to be a member of Akademikernas a-kassa to access Akavia's income insurance.

Who Can Join Akademikernas A-kassa?

Anyone who works or has worked in Sweden can join an a-kassa. To join Akademikernas a-kassa, you need to be a university graduate.

  • To be eligible for Akademikernas a-kassa, you need at least a bachelor's degree. Foreign university education is also considered.
  • If you have studied (or are currently studying) at the university, Akademikernas a-kassa is the right choice for you.
  • All types of employment are eligible, and you do not have to work in the profession you are qualified in.
  • You must have a general work permit to qualify for membership.

University graduates work in various professions and industries. Everyone, regardless of their form of employment*, can join. It is just as important—maybe even more important—that you are a member of an a-kassa when you have temporary employment.

*Your salary must be paid by your employer; if you receive compensation through Arbetsförmedlingen / Försäkringskassan, it doesn't count as employment.

The Trade Union Akavia and the Akademikernas A-kassa are Two Separate Organizations

Being a member of Akavia does not automatically make you a member of Akademikernas a-kassa. Akavia cannot enroll you in the a-kassa; you need to independently become a member of Akademikernas a-kassa.

Why You Should Become a Member of Akademikernas A-kassa

To be eligible for compensation from Akavia's income insurance, you also need to be a member of Akademikernas a-kassa. The income insurance complements the a-kassa and insures 80 percent of your income with a cap of SEK 100,000. Since Akavia and Akademikernas a-kassa are two separate organizations, you need to apply for membership in the a-kassa yourself.

Financial Safety with Income Insurance

As a professionally active member of the trade union Akavia and the unemployment fund Akademikernas a-kassa, you have our income insurance protection included automatically in your membership.

Legal Support and Advice

As a member of Akavia, you have access to advice and guidance concerning your career and employment terms and conditions from our negotiators/advisors who are specialists in Swedish labour law.

Your Partner Regardless of Career Path

At Akavia, your education is our focus. We support you throughout your entire working life – regardless of sector, industry or role. Become a member and excel in your career path.

Apply to become a member