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Global employment briefing: Sweden, October 2015

  • Sweden
  • Employment law - HR E-Brief


New central collective bargaining agreements

On 2 July 2015, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and the Federation of Salaried Employees in Industry and Services introduced new central collective bargaining agreements regarding the use of non-compete clauses and the right to employee patentable inventions.

The new collective bargaining agreement regarding the use of non-compete clauses replaces the old 1969 central agreement in respect of non-compete clauses in white collar employment agreements. The old agreement mainly applied to technical development within the industry whilst the new collective bargaining agreement has a broader application and covers all kind of businesses in which trade secrets can be found. However, non-compete clauses are, as a main rule, still only to be used in restricted circumstances and after careful consideration.

The new collective bargaining agreement regarding the right to employee patentable inventions replaces the 1994 collective bargaining agreement that dealt with this area. The main change regarding the right to employee patentable inventions is that employees will have a mandatory right to compensation. The employer will decide whether or not to compensate the employee through standardised compensation. If such standardised compensation is not sufficient, the employee does not lose the right to claim further compensation if the patentable invention merits higher compensation.

Any dispute regarding non-compete clauses and employee inventions will be resolved through arbitration, in accordance with the new arbitration rules

The new agreements will be passed by the trade unions and will come into force on 1 December 2015. New Official Report of the Swedish Government regarding procurement and collective bargaining agreements

On 1 September 2015, the committee dealing with the study of procurement and the conditions of collective bargaining agreements submitted its interim report to the Swedish government. The committee had been requested to analyse how the use of the explicit requirement to provide terms and conditions under collective bargaining agreements can be enforced through future Swedish procurement laws, which need to implement the three new EU Directives regarding public procurement. The report proposes, among other things, that the contracting authorities should require that work performed in public procurement should be carried out with reasonable employment conditions rather than a requirement to adhere to terms under collective bargaining agreements. The proposal implies that contracting authorities should instead, as an example, specify wages, vacation and working hours as a condition of contracts in public procurement.

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