Live and Work in Sweden did not start out as a book - it began as a knowledge base developed and maintained by Donald Baldwin and used by Aurenav to support contract workers and client organizations in Sweden over a fifteen year period. Whenever a new question came up, of which there were many that required considerable research, the answers were placed into a searchable knowledge base where they could be easily accessed. The knowledge base first served as a convenient resource for answering common questions from employees, contractors and clients and later became a central resource for payroll and human resources. Over time, many of the more frequently asked questions and answers were included in information pamphlets to help individuals and organizations navigate their way through the Swedish system. This eventually led to the idea of creating a book for expats and organizations living and working in Sweden. 

Live and Work in Sweden is intended to be used as important source of information backed by authoritative references consisting of over two-hundred URL links to English language web pages. Most of these links are to Swedish government websites. To help keep the references in the book relevant, each URL in the book is provided as a shortcut that in turn links to the book's companion website where the link is redirected to the source. The benefit of this approach is that each reference can be kept up-to-date as the third-party source website content and structure changes over time. When content becomes obsolete or is replaced by new rules, the companion website will be updated to reflect the changes. A subscription only portion of the website will be maintained where more detailed information will be provided on both planned and recent changes to the regulatory environment in Sweden. The intent behind the book is to provide a foundation of essential knowledge that a person conducting business in Sweden needs to understand and plan for. 

Some common examples include:

  • Special regulations apply to companies that provide contract workers
  • Sweden has a paid in unemployment insurance (A-Kassa) where the individual must sign up and make their own payments (unemployment insurance is not an automatic benefit)
  • An employer has an obligation to inform a union at least five days prior to taking disciplinary action against an employee if the employer either has a collective agreement or if the employee is a member of a Swedish trade union (the notification requirement applies even when the employer does not have a collective agreement with a union)
  • Employers must provide at least five weeks of vacation pay to their employees and vacation pay is paid at a slightly higher rate than normal pay
  • Bonuses and other forms of remuneration that exceed 10% of the base salary can impact the vacation pay benefit
  • Employment contract terms and conditions are rigorously constrained and defined under Swedish labor law – it is important to ensure that employment contracts are Swedish compliant and that an employee handbook can be considered part of the contract terms