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10 Swedish working benefits that will delight your international recruits

May 25, 2016 anne_pihl
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It’s easy and normal to take benefits for granted when you are used to them. However, many of the work benefits which Swedish employees enjoy are unheard of in other countries, let alone considered standard. These include both benefits guaranteed by Swedish law and discretionary company benefits.

Leverage benefits when recruiting

These benefits could play an important role when you are trying to recruit internationally so make sure that you outline them as part of the total benefits package. They will definitely provide an extra sugar coating to your job offer.

Highlight these benefits again when your employees start work

It’s always a pleasant surprise to get a new or unexpected benefit. There’s so much to take in at interview stage that often only the most major aspects stick in people’s minds, such as the role itself and salary. Reminding your new recruits of additional benefits when they start work will certainly help to get them off to a happy start.

1. Long holidays
Apart from the length of holiday entitlement, taking 3 weeks holiday or more at a time (e.g. in the summer) would be unthinkable in many countries. This is the sort of thing that would only be authorised for special occassions such as getting married. Knowing that this is a possiblity each year would be seen as a huge advantage by many as it would enable them to return home for a longer period or to explore new destinations.

2. Parental leave
It is difficult to overstate how unusual the Swedish parental leave system is, both in terms of the length of time available and the fact that it is open to both mothers and fathers. Check out”7 things I wish I’d known about parental leave in Sweden”.

3. Flexible work times
General flexiblility such as leaving early on Fridays or to pick up kids from school or daycare, which is common in Swedish work places, will also come as a big surprise to many of your international recruits.

4. Staying home to care for sick children
The fact that employees are entitled to stay home and take care of sick children will come as a particularly pleasant surprise. Employees in many other countries have to pretend to be sick themselves to get time off or face immense difficulties in coping with this situation.

5. Holiday pay
Many of your international recruits will be delighted to discover that they will receive additional payments for holidays.

6. Public holidays
Some Swedish public holidays are unique to Sweden. Provide your employees with a public holiday list when they start. Not only will they have extra free days to look forward to but this will also help them plan their work and deadlines accordingly. Check out ”The Essential Swedish Calendar guide”.

7. Squeeze days
The concept of squeeze days (klämdagar), if operated by your company, will also need to be explained and will come as a welcome surprise.

8. Shorter working time in the summer
If your company operates different working times throughout the year, be sure to explain about this system and how it works.

9. Subsidised lunch (e.g. Rikskuponger)
Always welcome news if provided by your company.

10. Subsidies for gym membership or other training
Not only will it help your new employees stay fit, many will also be very pleasantly surprised by this common Swedish benefit.

Other benefits

Additional benefits offered by some companies such as access to a summer cottage or a ski lodge at a reduced rate will delight your new interationational recruits. Make sure you highlight them as part of your employee benefits package.

We hope you found this article helpful. Don’t forget to follow our blog for more advice or simply contact us if you need help with relocating your employees.

Relocate to Sweden provides expert advice and hands-on help for companies recruiting internationally or transferring staff to Sweden. We help your international recruits with the entire relocation process including work and residence visas, home finding, tax consultancy, registration with Swedish authorities, schools, health care, translations, language and intercultural training. Email us at or call us on +46 8 361011 if you would like help. You can also read more about our relocation services at or follow us on social media for tips and advice.

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