End of the year questions – How many vacation days must be taken!


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. This so called standard relates to the collective agreements with the unions and vacation days is an important part of that. 

So what are these requirements? 

  1. There are four obligatory insurances to purchase.
  2. The salary must be the same for a foreign employee as a Swedish resident.
  3. The employer and employee need to be attentive to follow the Swedish Annual Leave Act which means holidays have to be taken and paid for. It’s also important to understand the difference between a fiscal year, an employment year and the time a person has been employed to make the right decisions. 

There are some formalities around how the vacation is taken and a number of boxes must be ticked. The Annual Leave act is a tricky one.

Also, having foreign employees that may be saving vacation days to go far away to their home countries can cause unexpected problems. Another scenario is that a product launch is all consuming and an epmployee forgets to vacation and not only that. The timing is crucial and everyone is looking forward to time off after the launch, but this can be very dangerous for the employee on a work permit. 

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. Entrepreneurs that have not met the vacation requirements or for the purpose of getting a company off the ground has had a lower salary for a while. Most entrepreneurs are seasoned at making do from time to time when cash is low assuming it can be recouped later. That isn’t possible for people that want to renew their work permits. 

The Migration Agency validates that the terms have been fulfilled up until the expiration date and will only renew the permit if that has happened. At this time of year we get many question around the Annual Leave Act and if you are nervous read on. 

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. 

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.

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