Sweden has a lot of opportunities on the job market, but can often be perceived as a tough market for foreigners to understand and to enter. The structure of the job market is very important to be aware of before you can navigate it and start finding your dream job. Stockholm is dominated by the service sector and especially IT, Life Science and professional services industries.
If you want to work in Sweden and come from a country that is not a part of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you must have work and residence permits. You also need a residence permit to start or run your own business or become a part owner of a company. If you have had a residence permit for at least five years in an EU member state but are not an EU citizen, you may be able to obtain the status of long-term resident in that country. Long-term residents have certain rights which are similar to those of EU citizens. If you intend to reside in Sweden, you shall register at the local Tax Office. This process is called folkbokföring.
Most of the jobs advertised in Sweden are dedicated to those who speak good Swedish. However, there is always a possibility to find work for applicants who are fluent only in English-for example within large international companies where the corporate language is English.
Temp agencies and recruiting companies can be a good way to find employment.
If you are already living in Sweden, you can register as a job seeker at your local Public Employment Service office, Arbetsförmedlingen. Consult the website or contact them directly for more information on the help and services they can offer you. Addresses and phone numbers for all of their offices can be found at www.arbetsformedlingen.se
Many job ads in Sweden include telephone numbers you can call if you have any questions about the position.
It’s important that you come prepared; bring a stack of CVs and cover letters, and think of which companies you want to talk to and how to impress them. Send follow-up emails to the company representatives you spoke to – they could be a useful future contact.
A job in Sweden can be either a permanent or a temporary position. Most permanent positions are preceded by a trial period of three to six months during which the employer can fire an employee at will. Once a position is permanent, certain conditions must be met before an employer is allowed to fire an employee.
In accordance with EU law, Swedish employers must provide the employee with a written contract within 30 days if he or she requests one. The Eures network encourages all employees to request a written contract from their employer.
Sweden is well-known for prioritizing quality of life in its labour laws. For example, parents of children up to a certain age have the right to work part-time, a right of which many Swedes take advantage of. Parents who miss work in order to take care of a sick child (up to a certain age) can also receive compensation for lost income.
All workers in Sweden receive at least five weeks of paid vacation per year. Sweden also has generous laws for parental leave for new parents.
The three main trade union confederations are SACO, TCO and LO, each made up of a larger number of individual unions, representing most professions in Sweden.
The social insurance covers various benefits related to sickness, disability, having children and retirement. It is possible to take out extra insurance through insurance companies – this is sometimes offered by your trade union. Some employers also provide extra insurance coverage as a staff benefit.
If you have to stay home from work because of illness, you receive no wages or sick pay the first day. As part of the publicly funded social insurance, you only have to pay a moderate set fee when visiting a doctor or physiotherapist within the national health scheme. Dental care is free for children up to a certain age. After that, you have to pay part or the entire cost yourself.
The rules for parental leave in Sweden and the financial benefits paid during parental leave are very generous in comparison with most countries. For more information about parental leave and the amount of benefits paid, please visit The Swedish Social Insurance Agency’s website at www.forsakringskassan.se
You need to join a voluntary unemployment insurance fund in order to receive an income-based benefit if you become unemployment. Which fund you choose often depends on your profession, although there is one fund where membership is open to all professions and another which is open to anyone in a graduate profession.
In order to receive benefits you must meet certain criteria.
For both the basic unemployment benefit and the income-based benefit, work in another EU/EEA-country can be taken into account under certain circumstances to help qualify for benefits.
For 390 days, parents are entitled to nearly 80 per cent of their pay, the remaining 90 days are paid at a flat daily rate of SEK 180. Even those who are not in employment are also entitled to paid parental leave.
Of those 480 days, sixty days of leave is reserved for the father. In addition, one of the parents of the new-born baby gets 10 extra days of leave in connection with the birth, or 20 days if they are twins. Adopting parents are entitled to a total of 480 days between them from the day the child comes under their care. A single parent is entitled to the full 480 days.
Thinking about starting a business in Sweden? There is plenty of support available for setting up a business.
Here you can find all information about how to start up your business.
Starting a business in Sweden
Where can you work?IT
Useful vocabularyjob, work – ett jobb, ett arbete
to work – jobba, arbeta
job advertisement – en jobbannons
employer – en arbetsgivare
employee – en arbetstagare
employment contract – ett anställningsavtal
salary – en lön
company – ett företag
full - time employment – heltidsanställning
part - time employment – deltidsanställning