Experts on the working conditions in Sweden
Experts on the working conditions in Sweden
We at Unionen know what your rights are and are experts on the working conditions in Swedish business and industry. For just SEK 200 you will become a guest member and get quick and professional support concerning all aspects of your working life in Sweden. If you are employed in Sweden, we can also represent you in legal labour issues.
Being a guest member immediately entitles you to advice, and after three months entitles you to be represented in negotiations, as long as the matter occurred after your application for membership was accepted by Unionen. Guest membership is offered to anyone who has been granted a work permit to carry out work in Sweden and who is a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland.
If you need advice and support regarding your work situation, contact us by telephone on 0770-870 870, Mon and Wed between 08:00–20:00. Tue, Thu and Fri between 08:00-17:00. We will also help you if you have any questions, for example:
• How long is my notice period?
• How many hours am I actually allowed to work?
• What should I do if I feel I am being discriminated against?
• Can I refuse to work overtime?
• What is the average salary in Sweden in my profession?
• What should I do if my employer wants to give me notice of termination?
• What should I do if I do not get paid what I thought I would?
• Am I entitled to sickness benefits if I get ill?
• Am I entitled to holidays?
The collective agreements form the basis of “the Swedish model” in which the conditions in each sector are determined by the trade unions and employers’ organisations. The government does not interfere, though it may set the boundaries through labour laws, as the trade union and employers’ organisations are responsible. The model combines flexibility for companies with security and influence for employees.
When you start a new job, you take many of the terms and conditions for granted: pay increases every year, overtime pay, supplementary insurance schemes, the right to exert influence and so on. All of this can be summed up in the term “collective agreement”.
A collective agreement is a voluntary agreement between an employer and its employees regarding their rights in the workplace. If your employer has a collective agreement, you can be safe in the knowledge that there is a good agreement for you that covers your pay, form of employment, working hours, holidays, notice period and much more.
The collective agreement provides you and your colleagues with solid, basic security at work, but you or your local trade union branch can of course negotiate even better conditions and higher pay.
An employer cannot say that you are not allowed to join a trade union. The freedom of association that is in force in Sweden gives you the right to freely join a trade union of your choice. It is a violation of your freedom of association if anyone, in any way, tries to prevent you from joining a trade union. You do not have to reply if your employer asks you whether or not you intend to join a trade union.
Unionen is Sweden’s largest private-sector trade union and the largest white-collar trade union in the world. We have more than 600 000 members, of which 36 000 are elected representatives, in over 65 000 companies and organisations. Unionen has members in everything from major international conglomerates to small family companies. Our vision is to create security, success and satisfaction in working life.
Guest membership of Unionen is offered to all those who have been granted a work permit to carry out work in Sweden and who are citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland.
The offer applies to newly employed people who have been granted a work permit to carry out work in Sweden and who are citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland.
This guest membership is the same as regular membership for employees, providing the same services and benefits as other members are entitled to. However, guest membership differs from a regular membership in two important ways:
1. Guest membership ceases when the work permit expires, but cannot last longer than one year.
2. The price is SEK 200 for the year or period. Guest membership cannot be combined with the introductory (regular) membership offer of three months free. The total membership fee is payable on joining Unionen. The fee or part thereof is not refunded should the guest member leave his/her position earlier than was stated at the time of joining.
Being a guest member immediately entitles you to advice, and after three months entitles you to be represented in negotiations, as long as the matter occurred after your application for membership was accepted by Unionen. Exemption from the three month rule may be granted if there are special circumstances, for example if Unionen has a fundamental interest in the matter.
Exemptions may also be granted if the member is new to the labour market, for example has come directly from being a student, immigrated from another country or some other similar situation. The same applies when transferring membership from another trade union.
Other fees that may apply:
As a member of Unionen you are automatically and compulsorily a member of the local Unionen trade union branch. If such a branch exists in your workplace, any additional membership fee will be payable. Applications can be made to the Unionen Membership Registration Office.
• A local fee may apply if there is a local trade union branch in your workplace
• A membership fee for the unemployment benefit fund is added if you have chosen to be a member of an unemployment benefit fund
• The premium for the optional part of the Unionen income protection insurance scheme is added if you have chosen to subscribe to this