Sweden > Work

last update: October 2015

The effects of the labour law introduced in 2008 have received some attention. The rules introduced in 2008 make it easier employers to hire cheap labour from outside the EU, and so create slave-like working conditions for those coming to work in Sweden. Workers with temporary work permits are entirely dependent on their employers and can be deported any time they are surplus to the employee requirements or try to demand their rights.

The new parliamentary agreement on migration policies (2015-10) include several draw-backs for migrants' rights on the labour market.

1. Many more will refugees will receive only temporary residence permits – when that expires you will have to redo the asylum process or be dependent on your employer to 'give' you continous work.

2. The employers offering so called “proffession introduction-jobs” to asylum-seekers and other newly arrived will no longer have to have agreemants with the Unions in order to get the state-funded subsidies.


The following has been copied from “Good Advise” published by FARR 2015 - PAGE 72 >

For Asylumseekers

If you have identity documents approved by the Migration Agency, you as an asylum seekerare entitled to work without a work permit. Even if you are not in possession of identity documents, you may work if the Migration Agency caseworkers are of the view that you aretrying to participate in your own identification. If you are to be expelled with immediate enforceability you may not work even if you have identity documents. If you do not need to have a work permit this should be recorded on your LMA card. When you start working, your daily grant will be decreased (see below) in accordance with your income, and can be withdrawn completely. The conditions for asylum seekers are different from those of other workers in Sweden.For instance, you are not entitled to a sick grant if you become ill. You just keep your normal daily grant. However, you do have the right to join a union if you please. Even if you cannot find work straight away it is in your favour to apply for a so-­called A-­tax document as soon as you have received your LMA card. The tax document can make it easier for you to get a real job, and later on you can prove that you are eager to earn your own way and work legally in Sweden.

   >end of copy from Good Advise>

For undocumented

Union organizing of undocumented workers SAC (syndicalism) union, which is the only trade union with a regular organizing of undocumented workers, have continued this work by using a method called ”the index/register”. The index method is a classic/old syndicalist struggle to put workers in charge of wage setting. The basic principle of this method involves setting a minimum acceptable wage for a particular job, below which no one will accept jobs. If an employer still offers a lower salary they will be subjected to a blockade. During 2010 the SAC has managed to highlight undocumented workers' conditions in sectors such as hotel and restaurants by strikes, blockades and advocacy work.

SAC union website: http://www.sac.se

The Social Democratic Trade Unions have a centre for undocumented workers: http://www.fcfp.se/


The following has been copied from “Good Advise” published by FARR 2015 - PAGE 76 >

If you had the right to work prior to your decision, you lose it once you have definitivelybeen denied asylum. If you have had a normal job and paid taxes you might be able to continue doing this, for instance if your employer does not discover or care about your change of status. The taxation authorities do not automatically disclose information to the police about individual workers. However, the taxation authorities and the police do occasionally control work and residency permits in workplaces.

If you have a black-­market job you do not enjoy any employment security or right to sick leave. You do however always have the right to a salary appropriate to the type of work that you do, and you have a right to the salary that you have been promised, whether verbally or in writing. This has nothing to do with a work permit. The work injury insurance covers everyone, regardless of work permits.

The trade union can try to assist you in protecting your interests and can support you incase of conflict with your employer. However, most labour unions do not organize people who lack work permits. One exception is SAC, the syndicalists. Other unions have ongoing discussions about the subject. In Stockholm LO has a trade union centre.

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