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Why Join a Union in Sweden?

Explore how union membership can help you in your career in Sweden and learn about the advantages of being in a union as a university-educated professional.

The Power of Union Membership in Sweden

There are many reasons to join a trade union – and you will not be alone if you do so, as around 70 per cent of all employees in Sweden are union members. Freedom of association in Sweden ensures your right to join any union of your preference. Unions play a prominent role in Sweden, and employers commonly endorse and support union participation.

Explore Different Trade Unions in Sweden

In Sweden, there are different types of union that organise members based on various criteria. Some unions bring together individuals working in a specific industry, others are based on the sector you work in, and some unions focus on your educational background. You choose which union to join based on what matters to you.

Secure Your Workplace Rights in Sweden

When working in Sweden, you will probably have questions about your employment, such as:

  • Do I have the appropriate salary for my work?
  • How do I negotiate a higher salary?
  • What do various clauses in my employment contract mean?
  • How does parental leave work in Sweden?
  • Can my manager force me to work overtime?
  • What rules apply regarding termination of employment in Sweden?
  • I've been offered a position with a competitor. How should I go about making the right decision?
  • What happens if I am on sick leave?

In today's volatile labour market, being a member of a union gives you the security of knowing that you can always turn to an expert for support and advice. Unions have deep and broad knowledge about the Swedish labour market and the relevant legislation. As a member of Akavia, you have access to expert advice concerning your working life, whether you have questions or concerns about your current job situation, career development, salary for a specific role or industry, your employment contract or terms and conditions of employment. We also offer personalised advisory services to ensure that you have a secure working life in Sweden.

Get Access to Exclusive Membership Benefits

Each union develops its activities and membership benefits based on its members' specific needs. Some have discounts on insurances, holiday rentals, career support, advisory services, events and seminars about issues that are of interest to their members.

As a member of Akavia, you have access to over thirty membership benefits that are tailor-made for professionals. The membership benefits provide security and opportunities for professional development.

Our most popular benefits include:

  • Protect Your Income with Income Insurance

    If you lose your job, Akavia’s income insurance can compensate you so that you will receive 80 per cent of your salary up to a maximum of 100,000 kronor per month for 120 working days, (equivalent to about six months). This allows you to focus on other things than worrying about your finances if you should become unemployed.

  • Get Support When You Need It

    It is important that you feel secure about your rights at work. As a member of Akavia, you have access to support regarding employment law issues, advice before your salary negotiations and help with reviewing the terms of your employment contract.

  • Take the Next Step in Your Career

    As a member, you can get assistance in advancing your career. Receive personal guidance and advice from an expert, be inspired by events and webinars, and make connections through our mentor program.

  • The Right Salary for You

    We are experts on salary matters. Whether you want strong arguments to help you in your salary negotiation or want to learn more about the factors that impact your starting salary, we are here to provide guidance along the way.

Greater Influence in the Workplace

In Sweden, the labour market is regulated both by laws, which provide minimum levels regarding working conditions, and by collective agreements that supplement the legislation with additional and improved conditions. Unions and employers negotiate and agree on the content of collective agreements that regulate matters such as terms and conditions of employment, working time and salaries.

As a union member with a local union association, you and your co-workers are able to influence what happens in the workplace, for example with regard to organisational decisions, salary-setting processes, working conditions and employment terms. It is the strength of the collective that enables you to access the individual benefits negotiated by trade unions.

Advocacy on Issues that Affect Your Working Life

Not all unions in Sweden are openly party-political, but some are. Others influence social debate and drive societal development through advocacy on issues that are important to their members, regardless of political party. The power of a union lies in how many members it has and whether its members work in industries that are important to society as a whole.

Akavia is politically independent, allowing consistent advocacy to highlight the value of our members to societal development and address issues crucial to you as a member. One such area is equal opportunity careers, ensuring that all professionals can thrive in the workplace, regardless of gender or background.

We believe in the individual's ability to take responsibility for their professional development, employability and competitiveness. We focus on you as an individual, advocating for issues that important to you, from your studies throughout your working life.

Access Expert Guidance in Your Profession

By joining a union focused on your educational background, you can remain a member of the same union throughout your entire working life, regardless of sector, industry or role. Additionally, unions that organise based on their members’ education are specialists in their members' professions.

At Akavia, we recognise that your education is the foundation of your career as a professional. Our members are our number one priority, receiving expert advice tailored to their industry and profession. Moreover, members of Akavia are valuable parts of one of the best networks for university-educated professionals. Special memberships are available for students, business owners and managers, offering exclusive benefits tailored to each group.

Legal Support and Advice

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

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Union Membership in Sweden

What is a Collective Agreement?

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

The Foundation of the Labour Market

Learn about the foundation of the Swedish labour market, where collective agreements regulate most of your terms and conditions of employment.

This is Akavia

Akavia is committed to advancing your professional career. Join us for expert guidance, protection of your rights and exclusive benefits tailored to the needs of our members.

Who Can Join Akavia?

Akavia is a lifelong career partner that values education and supports your professional journey – regardless of your sector, industry or position.