New rule set out to limit misuse of general fixed term employments under Swedish law

By Dasha Gafur, Carl Ström


On 1 May 2016, a change to the rules regarding general fixed term employments (Sw. allmän visstidsanställning) under the Swedish Employment Protection Act took effect. The aim of the amendment is set out to improve the situation of employees' at risk of being caught up in repeated fixed term employments. The previous rules regarding general fixed term employments have been subject to critique by the European Commission for allegedly not meeting up to the requirements under the so called fixed term directive (Directive 99/70/EC).

The most important change relates to instances where general fixed term employments are automatically transferred into indefinite term employments. The rules prior to 1 May 2016 that occasioned in a general fixed term employment automatically transferring into an employment of indefinite term once an employee has been employed for two years within a five year period, are still in force. However, the new rule entail that in addition to the aforementioned rule, an automatic transfer will also take place in circumstances where an employee has been employed in a combination of different types of fixed term employments (e.g. temporary substitute employment or seasonal work employment) during a consecutive period of two years. An employment will be deemed consecutive if a gap of no longer than 180 days has taken place between each employment. Under the new rule, the consecutive period does not have to be calculated within a five year period thereby limiting the possibility for employers "piling up" different types of fixed term employments for the purpose of avoiding such employments from automatically transferring into indefinite term employments is thus limited.

In Finland a fixed term employment requires a justified reason. As an exception to this main rule, from 1 January 2017 an employer may hire long-term unemployed employees on fixed term employments without a so called justified reason for a certain period of time. 

If you wish to learn more about general fixed term employments in Denmark and Finland you are welcome to contact Mia Boesen [] for Danish matters and Lotta Kumpuniemi [] for Finnish matters.