Pay and benefits
At most workplaces you have the opportunity to negotiate your pay once a year. Here you will find tips about your pay and other benefits.
Check the industry – what pay can you ask for?
Make sure you know what it is reasonable to ask for. A good tip is to visit Statistics Sweden’s website, where you can search for your job and get all the information you need to ask for a suitable amount. At your job interview, let the employer make the first offer. This makes it easier to find a reasonable level.
Ask for a little more – but don't ask for too little
Allow yourself some room to manoeuvre in case the employer begins to bargain. It might therefore be a good idea to ask for one or two thousand above your lower limit. But be smart: if you have collected information and heard that others earn 25,000 kronor, you can’t ask for 35,000 kronor. This will scare the employer. Also remember not to ask for too little. At the next pay negotiation you may be 2,000 kronor below colleagues who have similar experience. Then it can take a long time before you catch up.
Ask the trade union and check the collective agreement
Check if there is a union representative at the workplace whom you can ask what it is reasonable to ask for. Another good way is to read the collective agreement for your industry. This will give you a picture of the pay levels and the rules that apply, for example in the case of overtime work.
Practise to feel secure
You might feel nervous about a pay negotiation so it is smart to practise before you meet the employer. Sit down with a good friend or someone you feel comfortable with and argue your case. Practise giving concrete examples of work tasks that you have carried out and what the results were. The more you practise the more secure you will feel when the time comes.
Benefits – what is there and what can you ask for?
In addition to pay, many employers have employment benefits that they offer their employees. Wellness support in the form of massage, gym passes or other kinds of exercise is relatively common. But there are also other things that you can ask for.
If your employer does not agree to a pay increase, ask if you can get extra holiday days; this can be valuable in the case of, for example, days between public holidays and weekends.
Ask if the employer offers courses or other training programmes. If so, you can develop your skills, which can be valuable in the future.
If you have a long way to travel to work, you can ask the employer if teleworking is a possibility.
There are companies that offer so-called supplementary pay as a complement to parental insurance. This means that you receive extra money from your employer when you are on parental leave.
Lunch vouchers or domestic services
Is free fruit provided or does the employer offer lunch vouchers? Some employers also have domestic services in their benefit package.
- Do not make any ultimatums regarding your pay. This might complicate the negotiation.
- Don’t promise too much but believe in yourself.
- Don’t accept the employer’s first offer. Even if you are satisfied with the offer you are given, you can make an offer yourself and see what the employer says. The employer will usually make a low first offer to be able to negotiate.
A collective agreement is an agreement between the trade union and the employers. It regulates the industry you work in and covers everyone at the workplace. The collective agreement determines pay, overtime payment, pay while on parental leave, conditions in case of sickness, holidays, periods of notice, pensions and insurance.
Trade unions - what is a collective agreement? (fackforbund.com) (in Swedish)