Collective agreements

Do you know what rules and regulations apply at work? Collective agreements and the Swedish model make sure that you have the same rights and benefits as your colleagues.

You might have heard of the Swedish model, but do you know what it entails? Swedish labour laws give a framework for rules, rights and responsibilities on the labour market, but many of the benefits you enjoy as an employee are actually established in our collective agreements (kollektivavtal). These agreements are negotiated between employers or their representatives and the various trade unions.

The collective agreements regulate things that are not covered by legislation and will often add to the rights and benefits that you already have by law. For instance, collective agreements will cover things like your work hours and wage, the right to a yearly salary review, overtime, pensions, wellness allowances, sickness benefits, insurance coverage, notice period and the number of vacation days, among many things.

No minimum wage? Not a problem

More often than not, the agreements will give you better conditions than you might be able to negotiate for yourself in an individual contract or that the law affords you. You might get more vacation days or a shorter work week than the minimum required by law. Among other things, the law doesn’t mention compensation for overtime, just the number of hours allowed. 

Sweden is one of the few countries that doesn’t have a statutory minimum wage. But that doesn’t mean that our wages are lower. Quite the opposite in fact. The collective agreements that we co-sign don’t generally include a starting salary, which gives you a lot of leeway to negotiate for a salary that corresponds to your individual skills and experience. However, as a union we updated on salaries and make sure that they are not unfair or discriminatory. All wages and compensations should be set according to clear criteria and with a great deal of transparency on behalf of the employer.

Around 90 percent of the labour force in Sweden is covered by one of many hundreds of collective agreements. You can find some of them right here on our web page. If any collective agreements apply at your place of work, your employer is required to let you know which ones. If your employer doesn’t have any collective agreement in place, when you're a member we can help you draft a contract that assures you the same rights that a collective agreement would afford you. Contact our ombudsmen at SSR Direkt if you have any questions regarding our collective agreements. 

Interested in membership? Call us at 08-617 44 00 or join here.