stermalm:SWEDISH IMMIGRATION 101: WHY VACATION IS IMPORTANT

Photo by Tove Freij / http://mediabank.visitstockholm.com/

Swedish immigration practices rely on employers living up to the so called “Swedish standard” requirements of the labor market. Understanding The Holiday Act is an important piece of legislation, within this standard, to understand.

 

These requirements are:

  1. The salary must be on par with the Swedish market and collective agreements.
  2. There are four mandatory insurances to purchase.
  3. The employer and employee need to be attentive to follow the Swedish Annual Leave Act

 

There are some formalities around when and how the vacation should be taken out and paid for. All these boxes must be ticked. The Annual Leave act is one of the trickier ones because there is a holiday year (1 april - 9 april), while most companies plan their business and vacation days according to the fiscal year, ie. Jan 1 - Dec 31st.

 

Also, it can be overlooked that someone hasn't taken out all the vacation days needed, and given that this works differently in different countries, perhaps someone is saving up for a long holiday in a year or two and assumes that it should be fine. Or a person is so excited about a project and innovation that they completely forget about vacations because time is of the essence for the entire company's success; therefore, vacation is the furthest thing from their minds and hence it's overlooked.

 

The Annual Leave Act mandates at least 25 days of vacation per year, with some exceptions to the rule. There have been well broadcasted evictions caused by employees not having taken enough vacation and hence the requirements for employment have not been met.

 

The Migration Agency looks very closely to ensure that the terms have been fulfilled during the last permit period, meaning that a serious review is done to protect employees from being subject to abuse. There have been situations where the consequences have been dire for both employee and employer even when they have had good intentions. Not fulfilling the Annual Leae Act properly can cause a denied application to renew a work permit.

 

There are also companies that have overlooked this, not least due to the confusion around the fiscal year and the vacation year stipulated in the law. It’s not so easy to figure out whether all requirements are fulfilled, especially for companies that don’t have salary specifications that list all vacation days, taken, saved and what remains to be used.

 

Another, administratively small mistake can be HOW the salary compensation is made and that also relates to the length of the employment where seasonal workers are paid differently to ensure that they get the full salary paid out.

 

Recently we had reason to dig deep into this matter, and apart from our presentations of the Annual Leave Act, we have made the Annual Leave Act: Nimmersion Fact Sheet. This has been produced to help clients with the most important information. 

 

Swedish Annual Leave Act Handout

 

More to read on vacation in Sweden

 

Vacation for HR and Relocation For Employees

 

Here are some articles of interest on Swedish Immigration:

 

How to Safely Bring Your New Hire To Sweden

 

Why HR Should Encourage Work Permit Holders to Get The Resident Card Before Entry

 

Top 2 Questions Employers Ask about Swedish Immigration

 

For more information on immigration to Sweden, go to our Immigration Guide guide on our website which contains loads of articles and helpful information.