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Employment contract and content of the contract

An employment contract is an agreement between you as the employer and the employee. The employment contract can be oral, but certain essential parts must be in writing.

Employment contract

An employment relationship arises when you and the employee have agreed on a contract containing information about the employment and the position. An employment contract can be oral, but the employer must always provide written information about the terms of employment. It is therefore advisable to draw up an employment contract as soon as a person is hired, setting out everything that concerns the employment.

Check your collective agreement

If you are bound by a collective agreement (as a member of an employer organization or in the form of a so-called affiliated collective agreement), you must take into account the provisions it regulates between you as an employer and your employees.

See current agreements at the National Mediation Office (in Swedish)

What is required in an employment contract

The employment contract does not have to be in writing; an oral contract is also valid. However, you must provide written information about certain conditions of employment. As a general rule (see below), you must do this within 7 calendar days after the employee has started work. The obligation to provide information does not apply to employment lasting less than three weeks.

You must provide the following information in writing:

  • The name and address of the employer and the employee
  • Start date
  • Where the employee will perform the work. If the employee will not have a particular workplace, you should explain this.
  • Job duties, occupation or job title. If the position is special, you can add a detailed job description.
  • The type of employment – permanent employment or temporary employment.
  • If it is permanent employment, include the notice periods that apply, or make reference to the Employment Protection Act or collective agreement.
  • If it is temporary employment, you must state the end date of employment (or other conditions for ending employment).
  • If the contract is for probationary employment, you must indicate the probationary period.
  • Starting salary and other benefits (e.g. private use of company car and wellness care).
  • How often the salary is to be paid and what pay periods (record days) apply.
  • Normal working hours. The length of a normal working day or week.
  • Routines for notification of the arrangement of working hours and on-call hours.
  • Conditions for annual leave days and any advances on annual leave days.
  • Formalities when renting.
  • Training provided by the employer.
  • What applies if the employer or the employee wants to end the employment.
  • Information that the employer pays social security contributions.
  • Whether the employer is party to a collective agreement.
  • Conditions for working abroad if the assignment is intended to last longer than four consecutive weeks. You must provide this information before departure.
  • The employee's "social protection", i.e. sick pay, provision for occupational pension and other insurances that the employer pays for.

If the terms and conditions of employment change, you as the employer need to agree to new terms and conditions with the employee.

Employment Protection Act (LAS) on the Riksdag website (in Swedish)

In addition, the employment contract should/can contain the following

Describe the job duties

An employee is obliged to carry out their duties as specified in the employment contract. This is called the employee's work obligation. You must inform the employee in writing about the main tasks that the employee is expected to perform (see above). It is wise to state in the employment contract, e.g. that the employee has work obligations beyond current duties.

Duty of loyalty

All employees have a duty of loyalty to their employer. You can clearly state the terms of the duty of loyalty in the employment contract. In general terms, this means that the employee must put the employer's interest before their own.

Duty of confidentiality

The duty of confidentiality, which basically follows from the duty of loyalty, means that an employee must not disclose or use information that could harm the employer. For example, confidentiality may relate to who the company's customers are or secret production methods. Protection of business secrets is regulated in a special law

Some professions have particularly strict confidentiality requirements. In such case, you should describe this in the employment contract. In particular, it may be appropriate to include in the employment contract a condition that the obligation of professional secrecy also applies after the end of the employment period.

Non-compete clause

It is true that employees have a duty of loyalty to you as an employer. However, it may be useful to stipulate that an employee may not engage in competitive activities while employed or exploit knowledge of the company if they change employer or start their own business (for example, within a year). Under the Contracts Act (avtalslagen), general contract law principles must not be unreasonable. In order to formulate non-competition restrictions that will apply even after the termination of employment, you should consult an expert.

Employers operating at two or more workplaces (premises) will be assigned a workplace number for each workplace by Statistics Sweden (Statistikmyndigheten, SCB). The Swedish Act (1984:533) on workplace numbers, stipulates that Statistics Sweden must inform the employers of their workplace number by no later than November each year.

In certain cases, employers must submit information concerning the workplace number of each employee in a PAYE tax return to the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). The information is used for employment statistics.

If you operate at two or more workplaces and do not have a list of the company’s workplaces and workplace numbers, contact Statistics Sweden at foretag@scb.se or +46 10 479 60 65.

Employers who already have one or more workplaces can change or add new workplaces via verksamt.se. This is done by logging in with your Swedish electronic-ID, selecting the company concerned and then locating the Statistics Sweden tab.

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