Are employers required to give notice of termination?

Yes, if an employer wishes to terminate an employment, certain formalities must be observed. A notice of termination by the employer must be in writing and should include information about the procedure that the employee must follow if he or she wishes to dispute the termination or claim damages from the employer. Further, the employer must inform the employee about any rights of priority concerning re-employment.

The notice of termination should be delivered to the employee personally and if this is not possible, sent by recorded post to the employee’s last known address.


What are the rules that govern redundancy procedures?

The rules that govern redundancy procedures are set forth in the Employment Protection Act.

Redundancy as a ground for termination of employment applies to all situations other than where notice of termination is based on circumstances relating to the employee personally. However, the employer does not have objective grounds for notice of termination if it is reasonable to require that the employer provide other work within the business to the affected employees.

Further, the employer must observe certain rules on priority when establishing the order of termination among the affected employees. Special orders of termination may be established for each agreement sector if the employer is bound by a collective bargaining agreement.

The order of termination for the affected employees is based on each employee's total length of service. Employees with longer lengths of service (senior employees) have priority over employees with shorter lengths of services (junior employees). However, in order for a more senior employee to claim the position of a less senior employee successfully, the more senior employee must possess the satisfactory qualifications for the continued work. If not, the more senior employee may be given notice of termination despite the length of service.

Employers of 10 employees or fewer may give priority for continued employment to at most two employees who are of particular importance for the future activities of the employer’s business, despite their having a shorter length of service.   

Are there particular rules for collective redundancies/mass layoffs?

No particular rules exist for collective redundancies. However, the employer must provide a written notice to the Public Employment Agency before the procedure starts if the redundancy affects more than four employees. 


What protections do employees have on dismissal?

Swedish law does not provide for ‘at-will employment’. The termination of employment must be based on objective grounds, either redundancy or personal reasons. Dismissal for personal reasons is often connected to misconduct. The obligation to terminate the employment based on objective grounds includes, for example, a far-reaching duty for the employer to correct any wrongdoings by informing the employee in advance, so that the employee can adjust and remedy the situation.

If the employee suffers from a physical or mental illness in a way that affects his or her working ability, the employer must provide for rehabilitation.

There is a distinction between dismissal with notice and summary dismissal. Summary dismissal may take place only where the employee has grossly disregarded his or her obligation towards the employer.

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