Gå till Innehållet

Collective Agreements in Sweden

Explore what collective agreements entail in Sweden and what effects it has on the job market – both for employees and employers.

What Is a Collective Agreement in Sweden?

A collective agreement is an agreement between a trade union and an employer organisation. It is an agreed framework of rules and regulations for a specific area of business, and acts as a supplement to Swedish legislation. It provides all covered employees with a set of benefits that include for example occupational pensions, extra compensation during illness, and extra compensation during parental leave. A collective agreement may also grant a longer vacation and usually specifies overtime compensation.

It is essential to note that the decision to adopt a collective agreement is voluntary for employers, making it crucial 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 comes with a framework of clauses tailored to suit the branch of business the employer acts in. The collective agreement does not prevent individual employees from negotiating better terms in their individual employment contracts than what the collective agreement stipulates. The collective agreement sets a minimum standard and does not have a limiting effect on employment conditions.

Five Advantages Of Collective Agreements for Employees

As an employee, there are many benefits to having a collective agreement, among much more it gives you:

  1. Pension and Insurance

    The collective agreement guarantees you an occupational pension. You are also covered by sickness 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 is to determine your salary increase.
  1. Local Influence

    A local trade union organisation has a right by law to negotiate directly with the employer, providing you and other members with a direct influence and an opportunity to establish local collective agreements.
  1. Job Security

    The collective agreement establishes 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 an equivalent of employment conditions with your employer and include them in your individual employment contract.
  1. Security During Restructuring and Redundancies

    Your trade union or local trade union organization represents you in negotiations concerning changes in your workplace. In case of potential redundancies due to job cuts, you receive support and assistance during the transition process. This can involve guidance from advisors to advance your career 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 a collective agreement. These agreements not only add significant value to Akavia's members but also establish a stable foundation for the labour market, ensuring a minimum standard for employment conditions.

  1. Hallmark of Quality

    It is the mark of a good employer, it signals quality and acts as a means to attract new employees when recruiting.  An employer with a collective agreement is perceived as a reputable employer, which is advantageous when recruiting new staff.
  1. Industry Adaptation

    Collective agreements vary in content depending on the industry. This applies to factors such as working hours, temporary employment, the order of layoffs, and different types of compensation.
  1. Peace Obligation

    The collective agreement means that trade unions cannot initiate a strike among their members as long as the collective agreement is in effect.
  1. Order and Structure

    The collective agreement ensures that the conditions the employees are covered by are considered fair. The employer can also have peace of mind knowing that the employees have market-based insurance and occupational pension conditions.
  1. Expert Assistance

    As a member of an employers' association, the employer may obtain expert assistance in HR matters and legal assistance with labour law and contracts.

Legal Support and Advice

Get access to support and guidance concerning your career and employment terms and conditions from our negotiators/advisors who are specialists in Swedish labour law.

Apply to become a member

Sweden's Union for Academics

The Swedish Model

Learn about the foundation of the Swedish job market where collective agreements regulates most terms and conditions in your employment.

This is Akavia

Committed to advancing your academic career. Join us for expert guidance, rights protection, and exclusive benefits tailored for academics.