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Collective Agreements in Sweden

Explore the role of collective agreements in Sweden and their positive impact on the labour market – both for employees and employers.

What Is a Collective Agreement?

A collective agreement is an agreement between a trade union and an employers’ organisation. It is a framework of rules and regulations for a specific industry and acts as a complement to Swedish legislation. It provides all covered employees with a range of benefits, including occupational pensions, extra compensation during illness and additional compensation while on parental leave. A collective agreement may also give employees more annual holiday leave than specified by law and usually regulates overtime compensation.

It is important to note that the decision to sign a collective agreement is voluntary for employers, making it essential for you to ensure that your employer is covered. The presence of a collective agreement signifies the employer's commitment to high standards.

Collective Agreements Set a Foundation, Not a Limit

The collective agreement provides a foundation for employment contracts and includes a range of clauses tailored to suit the industry in which the employer is active. The collective agreement does not prevent individual employees from negotiating better terms in their individual employment contracts than those stipulated in the collective agreement. The collective agreement stipulates a minimum standard and does not set limitations on employment conditions.

Five Advantages Of Collective Agreements for Employees

As an employee, there are many benefits to having a collective agreement, including:

  1. Pension and Insurances

    The collective agreement guarantees you an occupational pension. You are also covered by health insurance, occupational injury insurance (TFA) and group life insurance (TGL).

  1. Salary Review

    The collective agreement grants you an annual salary review, where your performance forms the basis of your salary increase.

  1. Local Influence

    A local trade union organisation has the legal right to negotiate directly with the employer, giving you and other members direct influence and the scope to sign local collective agreements.

  1. Job Security

    The collective agreement provides a stable foundation for employment conditions, such as sick pay and parental leave. If you are not covered by a collective agreement, you need to negotiate equivalent employment conditions with your employer and include such benefits in your individual employment contract.

  1. Security During Restructuring and Redundancies

    Your trade union or local trade union association represents you in negotiations concerning changes at your workplace. In case of potential redundancies due to job cuts, you will receive support and assistance during the transition process. This can involve career guidance from advisers and financial support while seeking new employment.

Five Advantages Of Collective Agreements for Employers

For Akavia, it is important that as many employers as possible are covered by collective agreements. These agreements not only add significant value for Akavia's members, but also establish a stable foundation for the labour market, ensuring a minimum standard for employment conditions.

  1. Hallmark of Quality

    A collective agreement is the mark of a good employer. It signals quality and is an effective means to attract new employees when recruiting. An employer with a collective agreement is perceived as a reputable employer, which is a great advantage when recruiting new staff.

  1. Industry Specific

    Collective agreements vary in content depending on the industry. This applies to factors such as working time, temporary employment, order of priority rules in case of redundancy and different types of compensation.

  1. Peace Obligation

    The collective agreement means that trade unions cannot bring industrial action against an employer as long as the collective agreement is in effect.

  1. Order and Structure

    The collective agreement ensures that the employees’ employment conditions are considered fair. The employer can also enjoy peace of mind, knowing that the employees have competitive insurance and occupational pension solutions.

  1. Expert Assistance

    As a member of an employers' association, the employer has access to expert assistance on HR matters and legal assistance regarding labour law and contracts.

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