SWEDEN: Annual Update – Expected Labour Law Changes in 2017


Expansion of current discrimination law:   The new rules extend an employer’s obligation to prevent discrimination and promote equal treatment in the workplace.

The changes include a requirement to conduct an ongoing risk assessment to ensure equal treatment amongst staff. Particular areas of concern include working conditions, salary and benefits and recruitment practices.

The risk assessment must comply with the new statutory procedure. Reasonable preventative action must be taken by the employer as soon as possible if the risk assessment shows (potential) unequal treatment.

Salary surveys must also take place annually to prevent disparity between men and women. Previously, the surveys had to be completed every 3 years.

Effective from January 1, 2017.

Action required:

(1) Get to know and understand the new rules and review existing policies and procedures to ensure compliance.

(2) Implement compliant risk-assessment practices.

(3) Consider appointing responsible personnel to manage the assessment process going forwards.

(4) Ensure personnel receive appropriate training on the new requirements.


Increased protection for employees who blow the whistle:  Employees who report serious wrongdoing in the employer’s business will have enhanced protection from victimisation.

Employers will be prevented from taking any detrimental action against the employee as a result of their disclosure.

However, employees will only be entitled to the protection if the disclosure satisfies certain requirements. These include raising the alarm internally before taking external action, and only making allegations that are “well-founded”.

Effective from January 1, 2017.

Action required:

(1) Get to know and understand the new rules.

(2) Review any existing whistleblowing policy and/or procedure(s) to ensure compliance.

(3) In the absence of an existing policy, consider preparing one for introduction in 2017.