Work and Wages

This page was last updated on: 2021-09-28

Minimum Wage

Sweden has no national legislation concerning minimum wages. Minimum wage rates are determined under collective agreements. Wages are set taking into account the responsibility and level of difficulty of the work tasks and the way in which the employee performs these tasks. More difficult work that places greater demand on education, skills, responsibility and competence of a worker renders a higher salary than less demanding work tasks. Regard is also paid to the work environment and the conditions for carrying out the job. Market forces also affect salary assessments.

When work requirements are raised through increased experience, more demanding duties, increased authority, greater responsibility, increased knowledge or competence, salary of employee increases proportionately.

Wage rate for workers under the age of 18 years are different than for the other workers. Workers' wages are differentiated on the basis of placement in four different groups. These wages also increase with uninterrupted increase in the length of service within the organization.

A worker is placed into one of the 4 wage groups according to the type of work:

i. the performance of work involving little effort in good to slightly difficult workplace  conditions and the work is performed in accordance with the detailed instructions and following a given routine (Group 1);

ii. Work involving moderate effort or work performed in difficult workplace conditions  (Work that calls for some degree of special training and practical experience  and is, as a rule, performed in accordance with oral or written instructions  is classified in this group) (Group 2),

iii. Qualified work  requiring technical or other theoretical training and practical experience  and that also calls for judgment and initiative in addition to oral or written  instructions. Work that involves heavy effort and is performed in difficult workplace conditions is also classified in this group(Group 3)

iv. Especially highly qualified work involving a large amount of technical or other theoretical training and practical experience as well as calling for a great deal of judgment, initiative and responsibility for the performance of work requiring technical or other heavy effort and is performed in difficult workplace conditions is also classified in this group(Group 4).

However above mostly applies to blue color workers. For most of the white color works and professional in private and public sector, the minimum wages are nor determined.

Since minimum wages are generally determined through collective bargaining, trade unions and employers are responsible for compliance with the minimum wage rates. In the event of a dispute, Swedish Labour Court determines disputes that could not be solved through negotiations. If a party to a collective agreement is found guilty of breaching that agreement, it may be ordered to pay damages as determined by the Labour Court.

Source: Working Hours Act No. 673, 1982

Regular Pay

There are no statutory provisions governing matters such as the method or frequency of payment of wages, or provision by employers of itemised pay slips.  These matters are governed by collective agreements or individual employment contracts. Employees are typically paid on weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. The pay related statutory protections deal only with deductions, pay in lieu of notice; payment of wages in the case of employer's insolvency, equal pay and a prohibition on withholding of pay by employers during an industrial dispute.

According to the IF Metall agreement (2013-16), wages are disbursed at least once a month. If the payment period comprises four weeks or one month, then upon due application, a previously fixed amount may be disbursed on one occasion between the regular paydays. The latest payday is nine (09) working days after the end of the payment period. Payment periods and paydays should also be settled for determining working hours and the annual leave period for the calendar year.

Source: Working Hours Act No. 673, 1982; IF Metall Agreement No. 16, 2013


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