article / 23 Nov 2022
What employers need to do following the new EPA
In 2022, Swedish labour law has undergone the biggest change in decades. As an employer, it is important to be aware of the new rules, to investigate how the changes affect the business, and adapt routines and administration of staff. Below is a presentation of what overall measures companies need to take to be compliant with the biggest regulatory changes. First, however, we will give a summary of what the new rules mean.
This article was published in Sydsvenskt Näringsliv nr. 3 2022, and is also available in Swedish via this link.
Expanded information requirement
Since June 29, 2022, employers have an expanded obligation to provide information. In addition to what used to be, employers are now required to provide written information to employees on a variety of additional conditions that are of material importance to the employment relationship. The expanded information obligation applies to all employments that have started on or after 29 June 2022. The obligation to provide information applies regardless of the duration of employment and for all employees, i.e. also for persons who in other important aspects are exempt from the Employment Protection Act (Sw. lag (1982:80) om anställningsskydd)) (“EPA”), such as employees who hold a senior management position and the employer’s family members. What information that is to be provided by the employer follows from Section 6(c) of EPA. For employment agreements concluded before 29 June 2022, the act’s older provisions on the obligation to provide information will still apply, but if the employee so requests, the employer must supplement the information.
As an employer, it is important to ensure that all the necessary information is provided to employees in writing within the time frames specified by the law: in most cases, seven calendar days or a month after the employee has commenced their work, depending on the type of information.
Additional new EPA rules
In addition to the expanded information requirement, a number of additional new labour law rules will apply from October 1, 2022. The new rules entail changes in, among other things, EPA and in collective bargaining agreements. Employers without a collective bargaining agreement only have the new legal rules to relate to, whilst employers who are bound by collective bargaining agreements also need to pay attention to changes in collective bargaining agreements.
The new rules limit, among other things, the scope of use of fixed-term employments, restrictions on how the employer can reduce the employment rate, a prohibition on preventing employees from having other employment and new rules on termination of employment in the event of a dispute regarding the validity of a termination. The rules also impose an obligation to offer temporary agency workers (Sw. bemanningspersonal) indefinite employment in certain cases and new aspects to consider regarding the reasons for termination due to circumstances attributable to the employee personally.
Checklist – important measures following the new EPA
- Employment agreement. Update templates for employment agreements to, among other things, meet the information requirement and for proper handling of prohibitions on preventing secondary occupations.
- Templates. Review the need to update other templates and documents linked to staff, such as personnel handbook and exit agreements.
- Collective bargaining agreements. Investigate whether your company is covered by the new Main Agreement on Security, Transition and Employment Protection between the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, PTK and LO (Sw. Huvudavtalet om trygghet, omställning och anställningsskydd mellan Svenskt Näringsliv, PTK och LO), which applies in addition to the statutory rules on employment protection, etc. for companies with collective bargaining agreements.
- Reassignment due to personal reasons. Create procedures for dealing with misconduct and reassignment of employees.
- Information to employees. Review the need to update procedures to ensure that all employees receive written information about the terms of employment at the start of their employment and about new or changed terms and conditions during their employment.
- Fixed-term employment. Inventory of staff with fixed-term employment, including staff who are hired based on demand in so-called intermittent employment (also called on-demand or hourly employment). Create routines to monitor the aggregate term of employment and pay attention to the time of transition into indefinite employment.
- Temporary agency workers. Create procedures to pay attention to the hiring time for temporary agency workers and the obligation to offer indefinite employment and take stock of any costs associated with the possible takeover of staff.
- HR systems. Review and update payroll systems and other HR systems regarding, for example, different types of employment as well as time limits for fixed-term employments.
The content is a general description of informative nature only and is not legal advice to use as a basis for assessments in an individual case.