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Commission requests Sweden to tighten the safety net required by the Fixed-Term Work Directive

21/02/2013 Man on telephone in busy office

The European Commission has requested Sweden to bring its legislation in line with Directive 1999/70/EC on fixed-term work and prevent the abuse of successive fixed-term employment contracts.

The current system in Sweden distinguishes several types of fixed-term employment. Some of these are not subject to any limitation. Other types have limits, but these limits do not take each other into account. Employers may therefore circumvent these limits by combining different forms of fixed-term employment for the same employee. As a result, the system cannot guarantee that there are no endless successions of fixed-term employment contracts. This is contrary to the Directive.

The problem had been raised with Sweden already in 2007. The Swedish government launched two initiatives for legislative action in order to comply with the Directive. However, none of the attempts to pass legislation were successful. The Commission therefore requests Sweden to intensify its efforts.

The request takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures. Sweden now has two months to notify the Commission of the measures taken to fully implement the Directive. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer this Member State to the European Court of Justice.

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