How to hire and pay EMPLOYEES IN


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This guide was last updated on
March 1, 2023
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Before hiring


Before hiring employees in Sweden, there are some key things you’ll need to know. Firstly, Swedish employers offer very generous parental leave, with both mothers and fathers eligible to take 240 days of paid leave.

In Sweden, employees accrue vacation pay daily and it equates to 12% on top of their gross salary. It’s paid out when they go on vacation. In Sweden, employees are entitled to 25 days of paid holiday each year.

We know keeping track of all this might sound overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. A solution like Oyster eliminates the barriers for you. With Oyster, you can automate compliance across 180+ countries, easily managing HR and payroll—all in one, easy-to-use platform. 

Get an overview of what you need to know when hiring in Sweden below. 

At a Glance









(based on region;
see here



of gross salary

13th / 14th SALARY


Good to know

  • Vacation pay in Sweden is accrued daily and equates to 12% on top of the employee's gross salary. It is paid to employees when they go on vacation.
  • Sweden has very generous parental leave with both mothers and fathers eligible to take 240 days of paid leave.
  • Employment agreements are generally agreed beforehand with unions and so amendments are not necessarily trivial to make.

Employment in


Working hours and overtime

Employees are entitled to 25 days of paid holiday per year.

For a period of four weeks, the maximum overtime in Sweden is 48 hours, or for a calendar month, a maximum of 50 hours overtime.

Employment contracts

Employment agreements are generally agreed beforehand with unions, and so amendments to contracts are not necessarily trivial to make.

Probationary period

Sweden generally has some of the highest social security contributions, but also best social support in the world. Pensions are no exception. In Sweden, there are three types of pensions:

  • Public pension (allmän pension): This is provided by the state from contributions from social security taxes and is around 18% of an employee’s salary in total with 10.2% coming from employer taxes and 7% from employee taxes
  • Occupational pension (tjänstepension): This is an additional pension that can be provided by the employer to all their staff. It's typically 4.5% of an employee’s gross salary. This applies to a cap of a monthly gross salary of SEK 44,375. Beyond the amount of this cap, the cost for occupational pension is 30% of the gross salary. An estimated 94% of Swedish employers over this benefit, and any company offering it to one or more employees is legally required to offer it to all, so the occupational pension is considered a mandatory benefit for companies hiring through Oyster.
  • Private pension (privat pension): This is a voluntary additional private pension and contributions can be made by employer or employee. 
Notice period

The statutory notice periods to be observed by the employer vary in accordance with the employee's length of service and range from one to six months as follows:

  • Employed for less than two years: one month
  • Employed for at least two years but less than four years: two months
  • Employed for at least four years but less than six years: three months
  • Employed for at least six years but less than eight years: four months
  • Employed for at least eight years but less than ten years: five months
  • Employed for at least ten years: six months
Non-compete agreements

In Sweden, non-compete agreements cannot exceed a maximum period of 18 months. Employers must also compensate the employee for the duration of the restriction at a rate of no more than 60% of the employee's normal wages. The compensation is dependent on the loss of income caused by the non-compete restriction, and it can be reduced to reflect any wages earned in new employment during the period of the restriction.

Employment cost calculator


View a list of recognized public holidays in Sweden here.

View a list of recognized public holidays in Sweden here.

Employer tax

Employers in Sweden are taxed 31.42% on top of each employee’s salary. On top of this, with occupational pension, there is an additional tax called SLP tax. This is 24.26% charged on the gross occupational pension amount paid.

Individual tax

Employees in Sweden who make a salary of less than 509,300 SEK do not have to pay income tax. Employees who earn over 509,300 SEK are taxed 20%. Employees also pay a municipal tax of 32%. Employees who earn an income of 538,700 SEK per year also pay for pension insurance of 7%, but this is normally offset against other taxes and so effectively zero for the employee.

Termination of employment

In Sweden, there are no statutory rights to severance payments. The employee is entitled to normal wages during the notice period.

Start hiring employees in


Setting up a business entity everywhere you want to hire a new employee isn’t scalable—it takes too long and the legal fees are high. At the same time, understanding and adhering to the local labor laws and employee expectations can be complex and time consuming. And it’s hard to find reliable information on up-to-date employment information for all the countries where you’re considering hiring. Not to mention tracking down invoices and managing employee contracts over email and spreadsheets—that gets messy fast. 

We can’t afford to take risks when it comes to compliance—we need to make sure we follow the local guidelines, especially when it comes to taxes and legalities. 

With Oyster, you can manage HR and payroll, and automate compliance across 180+ countries—all in one, easy-to-use platform.

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