With the strained economic situation and the fact that prices throughout society are increasing, it’s also becoming more difficult for many companies to run their businesses without incurring a loss. For many companies, this means they’ll have to review the workforce and possibly lay off employees. If you think you might be laid off, or if you already have been, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Employees in Sweden have basic protection through LAS (the Employment Protection Act). It clearly states which rules apply when hiring and firing and employee and when an employee quits. LAS protects employees and prevents an employee from being fired without reasonable cause. For example, employers can’t fire staff due to personal reasons. And there is, for example, a certain procedure employers need to follow if they plan to fire several employees. According to LAS, collective agreements are to be used in cases where there is one. If not, the employment contracts should be used.
If an employer plans to lay off staff, there is a certain order in which the decisions must be made. The employer also has to contact the union for negotiation with the employees. According to law, you have the right to receive written notice of termination. And if you’re reassigned during your notice period, you also have the right to keep both the salary and benefits you previously had. Your employer isn’t allowed to lower your salary or remove any of your benefits as a result of the relocation.
What about leave when you are laid off?
If you’re on parental leave when you’re dismissed, the notice period only starts from the day you return to work. Your notice period can’t start to apply during your parental leave. And if you already have vacation planned, or if you have applied for vacation, you have the right to request that it not be taken during the notice period. Your employer can’t force you to take vacation during your notice period if you don’t want to. And your employer can’t force you to work during your notice period if you’ve already been granted leave before you’re dismissed. However, these rules only apply when the notice period is a maximum of six months.
You also have the right to look for a job while also receiving a salary. In other words, you’re entitled to time off to attend job interviews and such. You do have to apply for leave in advance. And it’s important to remember that you have a duty of loyalty to your employer even during the notice period. This means you have to follow the rules stated in your employment contract. This also applies if it’s decided that you’ll be released from work during the notice period. However, you can always come to an agreement that allows you to search for and start a new job before the notice period ends. But it’s important that you get this clarified with your employer and that you get it in writing.