There are many good reasons to consider looking for seasonal employment in Sweden. It gives you a chance to learn new skills, try a new job, meet new people, and get to know another country. It also gives you a chance to experience Sweden and Swedes, while getting paid.
As a student or young person, it can be a chance to get a temporary job during the course of a holiday.
Many Swedish employers need extra staff in the high season, and are therefore interested in you working for them for a short period and then returning home. In Sweden, you can generally find seasonal jobs in tourism, the hotel and restaurant sector, entertainment, and the care sector.
Before each season, hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars are looking to recruit staff before the busy period, and you could very well be the person they are looking for!
Work in Sweden for less than a year
Nordic citizens can live in Sweden for up to twelve months without registering in the Swedish Population Register. You must apply for a temporary Swedish personal identity number, called a coordination number. You can do this at the same time as you apply for a Swedish tax card and SINK tax from the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).
Tax in Sweden
If you are working in Sweden for less than six months, you are generally taxed through the SINK scheme (Special income tax for foreign residents), which is a tax rate of 25%. In the SINK scheme you do not need to submit a tax return (deklaration) in Sweden. You can print out the SINK form from the website of the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) and submit it to the Swedish Tax Agency. Remember to attach a copy of your passport or some other proof of identity. By submitting this application you also apply for a coordination number. Your employer must have your coordination number in order to pay your salary. Make sure you apply in good time, as case processing time can be long.
If you earn more than 90% of your taxable income in Sweden, you can choose to pay tax according to the standard Swedish tax regulations instead of SINK. In that case, you use the same form, but under “Other information”, write that you want to be taxed according to the Swedish Income Tax Act. Under the same heading, you apply for your standard tax allowance. This means that you do not pay tax on the first SEK 20,000 that you earn. You pay 30-35% tax on the rest of your income. If you pay tax according to the Swedish Income Tax Act, you must submit a tax return (deklaration) in Sweden. Income from abroad must be stated in the tax return, which has much information already filled in, and is sent to you during the course of the year.
Open a bank account in Sweden
Ask your employer if you need a Swedish bank account. It may be easier to open a bank account after you have received your coordination number.
Not all employers demand that you have a Swedish bank account. Some employers instead pay your salary to your account in your home country.
At the end of the summer, you can decide whether you want to close your bank account or keep it until next year.
Rights and obligations in the labour market in Sweden
If you are a seasonal worker in Sweden, you are entitled to the same employment conditions as Swedish employees in terms of salary, working time, work environment, and safety.
The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) has compiled useful information for when you are taking a summer job in Sweden. Contact LO if you want to know more about rights and obligations when you work in Sweden.
If you are looking for a summer job in Sweden or some other form of temporary employment, it is important to ensure that you are working under proper conditions.
Ask about a Swedish collective bargaining agreement
Ask the Swedish employer if the workplace has a collective bargaining agreement. Salary, holidays and other conditions are regulated in collective bargaining agreements, and if you do not have a collective bargaining agreement in the workplace you must negotiate these conditions yourself. Collective agreements are made between the trade union and the employer.
If there is a collective bargaining agreement in place, it applies for all employees, regardless of whether you are a member of a trade union or not.
Never work without pay in Sweden
An employer may sometimes offer someone looking for a summer job a trial without pay. Even if you really want the job, you should never work without being paid.
Check your Swedish contract before signing it
By Swedish law you are always entitled to an employment contract. This is a contract between employer and employee, and shows that you work for the employer. The contract should include, for example, what your work tasks are, the length of the employment, and who you are employed by.
If there is anything in the employment contract you do not understand, it is important that you ask the employer about this before signing.
If your work is weather-dependent, your employer may tell you that you will not be working on the days the weather conditions are not optimal, and that you must go home without pay. However, if the number of hours per week is stipulated in the employment contract, the employer may never send you home without pay.
You have rights as a seasonal worker in Sweden, so make it clear that you expect the employer to comply with your agreement.
Check the work environment regulations
It is important to know about the work environment regulations, so that you know how to perform certain work tasks in a way that prevents mental or physical injury or sickness.
Certain regulations may concern you if you are under 18, if you for example work in a warehouse and must lift heavy objects. Some work tasks are prohibited for young people under 18, For example, if you are under 18, you may not work nights, nor may you work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.
Right to holiday pay
Even if you are not entitled to holiday leave when you have a summer job, you are entitled to holiday pay. An employer may sometimes try to incorporate holiday pay in the salary, but by law, holiday pay must be paid separate from salary.
No later than one month after you have stopped working, you should receive your holiday pay.
Undeclared work (svartjobb) in Sweden
If your work is undeclared, you are not an employee, and you are not formally working at the workplace. If anything happens while you are at work, you are not covered by any insurance.
You should always demand a salary slip that shows both your gross salary, i.e. the salary before tax, and your net salary that you receive after you have paid tax. Your salary slip is proof that tax has been deducted from your salary.
Seasonal work in Sweden
You can find seasonal jobs in Sweden through the Swedish Public Employment Office (Arbetsförmedlingen). You can also enter “seasonal work” into a search engine.
If you are a Nordic or EU citizen aged between 18 and 30 may apply for a summer job through Nordjobb, which arranges both work and accommodation for young people in the Nordic countries.
Sick in Sweden
If you become sick during your stay in Sweden, you are always entitled to necessary health care. This is medical help that cannot wait until you return home. Nordic citizens also have the same rights to dental care as Swedish citizens.
In order to receive treatment, Nordic citizens must show their passport, ID card, or some other proof of identity. Contact the regional health authority in Sweden where you are staying for help and information. You can also find information in the 1177 Healthcare Guide (Vårdguiden).
If you have any questions, please fill in our contact form.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.