Rights and obligations

You have both rights and obligations at your place of work and in relation to your employer. Issues concerning what applies to you as an employee and to your employer are called labour law.

Your rights

Employment contract

You are entitled to a written employment contract. The contract is to include

  • the employer’s name and corporate identity number
  • your name and personal identity number
  • duration of employment with both start and end dates
  • if your position is full-time, part-time or only as needed
  • what you will be paid
  • what tasks you are to have
  • what your professional title is.

Read about different forms of employment

Working hours

It is the employer who decides what working hours apply. At some workplaces, you register your working hours. Many offices have flexible working hours. Flexible working hours are governed by local agreements at the workplace or the employer has formally informed the employees.

There is also a Working Hours Act with rules governing how much you can work per day, per week and per year.

The Working Hours Act (av.se)

Work schedule

With a work schedule, it is agreed what days and hours you are to work. If a manager does not wish you to work on a date and at a time that are stated in your schedule, the employer must still pay you for the time you have agreed.

Work environment

It is your employer who has the primary responsibility for the work environment so that you can carry out your work without risk of ill-health or accident. The Work Environment Act lays down rules for employers and others responsible for safety in order to prevent injuries and create a good work environment.

The Work Environment Act (av.se)

If you are injured

If you have an accident or are injured at work you may be entitled to compensation. The first thing you need to do is to inform your employer, who is required to report the matter to Försäkringskassan and Arbetsmiljöverket (the Swedish Work Environment Authority). Contact your safety representative if you need help.

Report any occupational injury (anmalarbetsskada.se) (in Swedish)

If you fall sick

If you become ill you have the right to stay at home and not go to work. It is important that you report sick and it is your employer who decides ow, for example by phone, by e-mail or via a digital system.

Försäkringskassan - sick (forsakringskassan.se) (in Swedish)

If your child falls sick

If your child becomes ill, you are entitled to leave from work on temporary parental allowance until your child turns 12. In everyday language this is called VAB (vård av barn). Both mothers and dads have the right to be on leave to care for children.

Försäkringskassan - care of children (VAB) (forsakringskassan.se) (in Swedish)


In Sweden, all employees are entitled to 25 days’ holiday a year regardless of age and form of employment. You can have more holiday days depending on collective agreements and your employment contract. Holidays exist for you to be able to rest and recover.

Verksamt.se - about holidays (in Swedish)

Riksdagen.se - about the Holiday Act (in Swedish)

Parental leave

As a new parent you have the right to be at home until the child is a year and a half old. Your benefit while you are on parental leave is called “föräldrapenning” (parental allowance) and is paid to you by Försäkringskassan. The amount you receive is based on your wages/salary and any benefits from your employer. Parental insurance applies to both mothers and fathers. Three months are reserved for each parent.

Försäkringskassan - Parent (forsakringskassan.se) (in Swedish)


Your future pension will be affected by how much parental leave you take since it is based on how much you have earned during your working life.

What affects your pension? (pensionsmyndigheten.se) (in Swedish)

Your obligations

Briefly, your obligations as an employee are to

  • keep your working hours
  • carry out your tasks
  • follow instructions and rules of conduct
  • comply with safety regulations
  • use protective equipment if required
  • ask your employer if you wish to take on a secondary occupation
  • not do anything outside of work that could harm your employer
  • observe professional secrecy If you have signed a confidentiality agreement
  • remember that your right to criticise your employer is subject to conditions
  • not engage in activities that compete with your employer.

Equality and discrimination

In Sweden, women and men are to have the same rights, obligations and opportunities. Society must also be free from discrimination.

Equality and discrimination

Working in Sweden

Read more about what you need to remember and what you need to do to be allowed to work or run a company in Sweden.

Working in Sweden (sweden.se)