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Different employment types

There are two types of employment: permanent and temporary. Permanent employment is also referred to as open-ended or indefinite-term employment.

The main rule under the Employment Protection Act (LAS) is that employment contracts are permanent and run for an indefinite term. In practice, this means that employment is always permanent unless otherwise agreed between the parties.

If employment is to be temporary and for a fixed term, this must be stated in a written contract since the employer has the burden of proof that the employment is limited in time.

Permanent employment

Permanent employment is the most common form of employment in the Swedish labour market. A permanent contract is characterised by the fact that the duration of the contract is not known in advance. Employment normally ends with notice after a set notice period.

Probationary period

A probationary period is a good way of getting to know the person and seeing how they cope with the work and social aspects of the company. The aim of a probationary period is to make the transition to a permanent position at the end of the probationary period.

It is the practice of many companies to always start an employment relationship with a probationary period. By law, the probationary period may not exceed six months, unless the employer is bound by a collective agreement providing for a shorter or longer probationary period. However, there must be a need for probation; for example, you cannot have been a temporary worker first and then become a probationary worker for the same type of work.

If it turns out that this does not work out, it is better for both the employee and you as an employer if the person is allowed to leave during the probationary period, rather than dismissing the person once they have become a permanent employee. You should therefore take the time to evaluate the person properly during the probationary period.

There is no notice period for probationary workers. Instead, they are entitled to 14 days' notice that the probationary period will end.

If you want to end the employment after the probationary period, you must notify the employee of this at least two weeks before the probationary period ends. If the employee is unionized, the union must be notified within the same time. The union and the employee have the right to negotiations with the employer. If the employee does not want to be permanently employed after the probationary period, they must notify you no later than the last day of the probationary period.


If you only need help for a few hours a week, you can hire a person on a part-time basis. This means that the employee works, for example, 25 percent of a full-time position. A person can be hired part-time for both permanent and temporary employment.

The main rule according to the law is that an employment contract refers to full-time employment. This means that the employment agreement applies to full-time, if you have not agreed on part-time.

If the employment is to be part-time, it should be stated in a written agreement, as the employer has the burden of proof that the employment is part-time.

Hourly employment

Hourly employment is not an employment type. Having hourly employees only means that you pay them by the hour. The employment itself must be permanent or temporary.

The following temporary employment types are permitted under the Employment Protection Act: special temporary employment, temporary substitute employment, seasonal employment and probationary employment.

Temporary employment

In the case of temporary employment, the employment is limited in time by the employment contract. The contract must state that the employment is for a limited time period. The contract should therefore be in writing.

Special temporary employment (SÄVA)

On 1 October 2022, the employment form “general temporary employment” (AVA) was replaced with “special temporary employment” (SÄVA). This means that if a temporary employee has worked for an employer for more than 12 months over a five-year period, then the temporary employment is converted into permanent employment. In addition, those who have a general temporary employment have preferential rights to a new special temporary employment after 9 months of employment in the last 3 years.

If an employee has had special special employment for a total of more than 9 months during the last 3 years, the employee must be notified in writing about the right of preference.

If an employee has had 3 or more special temporary employment contracts in a single month, the time between these contracts is also counted in the employment period.

For those who had a general temporary employment on 1 October 2022, the old rules of the law apply to that employment. If the same person receives a special temporary employment after 1 October 2022, they will - upon application of the above-mentioned conversion rule - be employed in general temporary employment from March 2022 and counted as employment in special temporary employment.

Temporary substitute

You can hire a temporary substitute when a member of your regular staff will be absent from work due to e.g.

  • illness
  • annual leave/holiday
  • leave of absence
  • military service
  • parental leave
  • studies

The contract must state for whom the temporary worker is filling in. The period of temporary employment must also be fixed in some way (for example: during A's study leave, however no longer than the date xx).

An employee who has been a temporary substitute worker with the same employer for a total of more than two years in a five-year period automatically becomes a permanent employee.

While waiting for a permanent position to be filled

A temporary substitute worker can also be brought in to fill a vacant position while waiting for the position to be filled permanently. In such case, the employment contract must specify which vacant position it concerns and the recruitment process must have started. This type of substitute position must also be for a fixed term, either with a specific date or by employment ceasing when the position is filled.

Preferential right to re-employment

An employee who has had temporary employment for a total of more than 12 months in the last 3 years has a preferential right to re-employment.

Include a notice period

It can be important to include a notice period in a fixed-term employment contract. Otherwise, neither you as the employer nor the employee can terminate the employment before the end of the temporary contract. If the employee refuses to complete the substitute assignment, you as the employer can claim damages from the employee. Please note that there must always be fair grounds for you as an employer to terminate an employment contract.

If the total duration of the employment exceeds 12 months in the last three years, the employee must be notified in writing of the termination at least one month before the end of the employment period. This also applies to other types of temporary employment.

Seasonal employment

Seasonal work is work which, because of the changing seasons, can only be carried out during a certain period of the year. The length of the season may vary from year to year, for example depending on the weather. Seasonal employment simply ends when the season ends.

Examples of seasonal employment are jobs in

  • snow clearing
  • gardening and landscaping
  • harvesting
  • berry picking
  • forestry
  • tourism

Preferential right to re-employment

A seasonal worker has a preferential right to re-employment if, at the end of the season, they have been employed for more than six months in the last two years. If you are unable to offer re-employment next season, you must give written notice at least one month before the start of the new season.

Over 69 years of age

Persons aged 69 or over can always be employed under the general temporary employment rules without the employment being converted into permanent employment (conversion - see above).. This also applies when a person who is already employed turns 69 and you agree that they should continue working. A person who has reached the age of 69 can be dismissed without cause. Those who have reached the LAS age do not have preferential rights to re-employment.

Collective agreements may contain other rules on which temporary contracts are allowed. So do not forget to check you collective agreement, if you have one.

Employer's responsibility to prove that the employment is temporary

It is up to you, the employer, to prove that you have agreed on temporary, fixed-term employment. The employment contract must be drawn up no later than the day the employee starts to work. You cannot come later and require the employee to sign a temporary, fixed-term contract.

If you agree on temporary employment, but the conditions for temporary employment are not met, the employee can go to court to have the employment converted into a permanent contract. This does not apply to general temporary employment, where there are no specific conditions for using this type of employment.

Temporary contracting of staff

If you do not have time to recruit yourself, you can bring in temporary staff from a staffing company. Bear in mind that it is more expensive to use this type of temporary staffing than it is to employ someone. However, it may be an option if you need help quickly for a limited time. The person is then employed by the staffing agency.


If you lack the skills to do a particular job, you can hire a freelancer. If the freelancer has their own business, you pay for the assignment they carry out. As the client, you do not have to make tax deductions or pay employer's contributions. Freelancers can be found in many different professional categories, and you can find them, for example, through various networks or by searching online in the field you need help with.