Granting Leave – Employee vs Employer Rights

Lön & HR | 14.03.2024

by Katarzyna Kaniecka

There are various types of leave, each governed by different laws regulating the rights of the employee as well as the employer's right to plan and manage their operations. It's a complex framework that you, as a manager and employer, must consider when granting different types of leave – partly to meet the needs of employees and partly to keep your company functioning. 

Questions regarding various types of absences arise continuously but often come up during the planning of summer vacations - when employees may apply for other types of leave in addition to vacation. Therefore, it's a good idea to review leaves well in advance of vacation times.


What applies to different types of leave? 

Certain types of leave are regulated by laws such as the parental leave act, the Right to Leave to conduct a business operation act, or the law on Total Defence Service. Other types of leave are further regulated by the company's collective agreement or the company's policy, while there are also types of leave that are not regulated at all. In these cases, it's up to the employer to decide whether to grant leave or not.


Examples of leaves 

Below we list some types of leave regulated by law where it's important to understand what applies to each: 

  • Leave for care of close relative 
  • Leave for disease carrier allowance 
  • Permission 
  • Leave in connection with pregnancy allowance if the expectant person cannot work 
  • Study leave 
  • Leave due to urgent family reasons 
  • Leave for flextime or compensatory time off 
  • Leave for emergency service 
  • Leave for political assignments 
  • Leave for certain military services 
  • Leave for community service 
  • Leave to search for employment 
  • Leave for union assignments 
  • Leave to try a different job 


What should the employer consider? 

The laws are designed to protect both the individual, their family, and to ensure that Swedish companies have reasonable conditions to plan their operations. As mentioned, different rules apply depending on the type of leave, but the questions you as an employer generally can ask yourselves before granting leave are: 

  • Does the employee have the right to the current type of leave? 
  • When should the employee apply for leave? 
  • What rights do you have to deny or postpone leave, or are you obliged to grant leave? What conditions apply in these cases? 
  • What other obligations do you have for the current leave? 
  • How does it affect payroll calculation? What deductions can be made, how should they be calculated, and how should other benefits than salary be handled in different situations? 

Depending on the type of leave, it quickly becomes complex to understand the regulations. We at Azets offer advisory where you can get help understanding what applies when your employees want to take various types of leave. We can assist in developing the company's policy on various types of leave, help in dialogue with employees during tough negotiations and disputes, or support managers who want to increase their competence in a particular area.

Contact us at Azets if you want help with these rules or other topics in payroll and HR. We are experts in payroll administration, accounting, and HR, and offer advice to companies of all sizes.


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About Katarzyna Kaniecka

Katarzyna arbetar som Business Process Improvement Manager på Azets