Employment Law News – What’s new in Swedish Employment Law (First Quarter 2021)
Prolongation of Covid-19 support measures
Several Covid-19 support measures have been prolonged and will continue to apply during the spring of 2021, amongst others:
- The short-time work allowance will continue to apply until 30 June 2021.
- The restructuring support will continue to apply until April 2021. A prolongation to June 2021 is awaiting approval from the European Commission.
- The Swedish state will continue to bear the employers’ higher costs for sick pay until April 2021.
- The temporary abolishment of the requirement for employees to present a doctor’s certificate from sick day eight and onwards has already been prolonged until April 2021, as well as the abolishment of the qualifying deduction for sick pay (Sw. karensavdrag).
Several appeals regarding the short-time work allowance
The media has reported that the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth in several cases has not applied the law regarding short-time work allowance correctly and thereby made wrong decisions regarding allowances to companies during the pandemic. In at least 20 cases tried by the Administrative Court of Stockholm, the court has stated that the agency has not applied the law correctly and over 60 employers have had their appeal ruled in their favor. However, in a clear majority of the over 500 cases tried by the court so far, the court has ruled in favor of the agency. Over 5,000 appeals have been made to the Administrative Court of Stockholm and more can be expected.
Ruling from the Labor Court regarding the requirement to give notice of termination in person
In a recent case from the Labor Court, the court ruled that it was not reasonable to demand that the notice of termination, with mandatory information on actions to be taken in order to claim damages or invalidity, should have been given to the employee in person (as is the main rule). The court accepted that the employer had sent the notice in a registered letter to the employee’s last known address when the employee did not show up at the meeting with the employer because the employee had symptoms of Covid-19. Thus, the time limit had begun to run ten days after the employer had sent the registered letter to the employee, despite the fact that the employee did not collect the letter and thus did not receive any notice of action for invalidity. [AD 2021 nr 3]
Consequences of the employer not correcting misunderstandings regarding a termination
In a recent case from the Labor Court, the court tried whether an employee had been summarily dismissed or resigned voluntarily when she after a meeting with the managing director did not perform any work. The employee thought that she had been terminated during the meeting whereas the employer held that the employee had taken time off and thereafter did not show up for work. The court stated that where the employer has reason to believe that an employee perceives himself as dismissed, the employer must clarify the situation and correct any misunderstandings regarding the employment. The employer may not use any uncertainty or ambiguity to allow the employment to end. Since the employer had not corrected the misunderstanding, the court found that the employee had been summarily dismissed. Since there was not just cause for termination, the employer was obliged to pay damages in accordance with the Swedish Employment Protection Act. [AD 2021 nr 14]
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