Working hours in Sweden

EHS Global Moments: Working Hours in Sweden

July 8th, 2019

The world is full of environment, health and safety regulations, with new ones being added every day. Most of these requirements focus on manufacturing operations, but a surprising number of regulations apply to offices and other non-manufacturing, lower-risk operations! Check in with us once a month for our new blog series: EHS Global Moments, where we highlight a country-specific EHS regulation applicable to non-manufacturing operations, organized by place, topic, or theme.

Sweden has its own regulation (separate from the EU) that defines what a regular workweek should look like in terms of hours and overtime—it’s known as the Working Hours Act (1982:673). This law, which applies to the majority of employees in Sweden, presents a standard set of guidelines and procedures for calculating time worked, and places the onus of timekeeping on the employer, not employee, in almost all circumstances. Because of this, it is suggested that offices use systems to monitor working hours and to send reminders to personnel when they are getting close to their maximum hours for the week (or month)—ensuring that they don’t work longer periods than this regulation permits. Learn more about work hours and overtime in Sweden:

  • Regular working hours may not exceed 40 hours a week. If it is necessary to work more than 40 hours, employees can work no more than 48 hours per week for a period of four weeks.
  • When calculating the total working time, annual leave and sickness absence during times when the employee would otherwise have worked shall be treated as hours worked.
  • When there is a special need for overtime (any working time in excess of regular working time), overtime may be worked up to a maximum of 48 hours per employee over a period of four weeks, with a maximum of 200 hours per calendar year.
  • If there are special grounds for doing so, extra overtime (any overtime in excess of general overtime) may be worked up to a maximum of 150 hours per employee over a calendar year.
  • Together, extra overtime and general overtime may not exceed 48 hours per employee over a period of four weeks, or 50 hours over a calendar month.

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