Forms of employment

There are two forms of employment in Sweden: permanent employment and limited-time employment. But you may encounter many different terms.

Permanent employment

Permanent employment means that the employment continues until you chose to end it, the employer dismisses you or you retire. There is no set date when the employment ends.

Trial employment

When you get a new job it may start with a period of trial employment. That means that both you and your employer have a trial period of a maximum of six months to see if you are suitable for the job. If the employer is happy and you want to continue, the trial employment will automatically become permanent employment.

Limited-time employment

This might be an ordinary, public limited-time employment position (tidsbegränsad anställning), a substitute, or seasonal employment. If you have worked as a substitute or in a limited-time employment position for more than two years in a five-year period, you are entitled to a permanent employment position.

Different types of limited-time employment:

Substitute position

A substitute position is a time-limited form of employment and means that you stand in as a substitute for someone who is sick, on holiday, temporarily has another task or is on parental leave. There are many industries where the road to a permanent job goes via a substitute position.

Seasonal work

Summer jobs or seasonal work during, for example, the Christmas period are often referred to as holiday jobs. For example, this may involve a seasonal job at a camp site in the summer or at a ski resort in winter.

Other forms you may come across

Specific project employment

Specific project employment is when you are employed to carry out a specific project. When the project is finished the employment also ends.

Commission-based job

A commission-based job means that you are paid on the basis of your performance. For example, this can involve telesales or signing up customers for TV channel packages. Sometime the commission-based salary is combined with some form of basic salary.


An apprenticeship is a special form of employment which involves you continuing to train within your profession but in a workplace, with an apprentice’s salary, rather than in school.


When you work as self-employed you have a contract with an umbrella company. The umbrella company manages invoicing and other administration between you and your client. The umbrella company also has employer’s liability, reports employer's contributions, makes tax deductions and pays your salary.

Labour leasing

If you are employed by a company that leases staff to another company, you are leased out as a consultant. You receive a monthly salary from the company but carry out your work for its client.


A freelancer is not employed but is instead self-employed and sells their products or services. Professions where it is common to work as a freelancer are journalists and photographers.

Full time or part time

A normal full-time employment in Sweden is 40 working hours per week. Full time is the same as working 100 per cent. If you work part time you will receive a salary calculated on the basis of what percentage of a full-time position your working hours are equivalent to. You could also be employed on an hourly basis.


Some employers are trying to get young people to "try a job" for free for one or several weeks and wrongly call this probationary employment. A basic rule is that you should never work without being paid. You are to be paid even if you are trying out a job.

Pay and benefits

At most workplaces you have the opportunity to negotiate your pay one a year. Get tips about your pay and other benefits.

Pay and benefits

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