On becoming an employer you must register with the Swedish Tax Agency. You are required to report and pay employer contributions and deduct income tax for your employees.
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When you have registered as an employer, you will automatically receive a PAYE return every month from the Swedish Tax Agency. You submit the PAYE return to report and pay employer contributions and deduct tax for your employees.
Select the form of employment
There are two forms of employment - indefinite employment and temporary employment. Indefinite employment is the same as permanent employment. The main principle according to the Swedish Employment Protection Act is that an employment contract is in effect until further notice. In practice this means that employment is always indefinite unless otherwise agreed.
If the employment is to be temporary, this must be clear from a written agreement in order to apply. There may be other employment alternatives - you may engage temporary workers from a staffing agency, for example. Contact the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) or recruitment companies.
Write an employment contract
An employment contract is a personal agreement between you as employer and your employee. The contract does not need to be drawn up in writing; a verbal contract may be appropriate. Under the Swedish Employment Protection Act, you are required to provide written information containing the following particulars:
- personal data, the workplace and the commencement date of the employment
- description of the employee's duties, occupational designation or title
- form of employment and period of notice
- pay, employee benefits and the intervals at which the pay will be paid
- length of the paid annual leave and length of the normal working day or week
- applicable collective bargaining agreement, where relevant
It may also be worth including information about any insurance you have taken out for the employee.
Swedish Contracts Act
Unreasonable terms in an employment contract may be modified or declared invalid under the provisions of the Swedish Contracts Act.
Collective and tie-in agreements
If you are a member of a trade association, you may be bound by a collective agreement. A collective agreement is an agreement between an employer and an employees' organization which defines the conditions that will apply in areas such as salaries and employment. Collective and tie-in agreements are considered part of the personal employment contract and you are required to inform your employees of their content.
In the event of illness, an employee must report sick. This will involve making a claim for sick pay. The first day of illness is a waiting day and the employee does not receive any sick pay. The employer then pays sick pay from the second day of illness until the fourteenth day (inclusive). After the fourteenth day, the employee receives sickness benefit from the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).
Salaries and employer contributions
You pay your employees according to the employment contract. The most common form is salary paid on a specific date each month, but you may have other terms in the employment contract, as wage by the day or weekly pay.
Employer contributions and employees' tax deductions must be paid into your tax account by the 12th of the month. The employer contribution is in reality composed of several different fees which provide the basic social security cover. For 2013 the employer contribution is 31.42 per cent.
Every month the Swedish Tax Agency sends out a tax return form to registered employers. You are required to report salaries, employee benefits, deducted tax and employer contributions on this form.
When you submit the return, you also pay the tax and contributions into your company's tax account at the Tax Agency.
Employing people from other countries than Sweden
Special regulations apply to certain occupations and citizens of certain countries. Most citizens of non-EU countries need a permit to work in Sweden. If you plan to employ a person who is not a Swedish citizen, please contact the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) for more information.
Frequently asked questions