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Sweden Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Vacation, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Parental Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on Febuary 5, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Sweden

Vacation Leave Quota

25 days

Employees in Sweden are entitled to a statutory minimum of 25 days of vacation. Collective labor agreements offer additional vacation days in many instances. In practice, most companies provide 30 vacation days per year.

The number of vacation days that part-time employees receive is based on the number of days they work each week. This means that vacation days for part-time employees are adjusted on a proportional basis; their share of workdays per week is taken proportionately from the 25 maximum legal days.

Accrual and Carryover

The accrual period for the annual leave spans over 12 months: from April 1 of the given year through March 31 of the next year. Once accrued, these days are available to be taken in the following year.

Employees can take 4 straight weeks of vacation during the summer months, from June to August.

Workers have the right to carry over unused days of annual leave to the following year, but this transfer is limited only to the number of vacation days beyond the 20-day threshold. This means it is not possible to transfer the first 20 days of vacation, but all those days over that limit (5 or more days) are allowed for carryover.

These accrued but unused days remain available to be taken for up to 5 years.

Addtional Requirements
  • Employees who receive a termination of the contract with less than six months’ notice may not be forced to use their days of annual leave during the period after they have said or have been asked to leave the company. However, if an employee wants to take them, he or she is allowed to do so.
  • Sweden leave laws specify mandatory accrual of annual leave which is calculated as 12% of the worker’s total gross income.

Sick Leave in Sweden

Up to 90 days of partially paid sick leave.

Employees in Sweden have a legal right to paid sick leave, up to 90 days for common illnesses.

If the sick leave lasts longer than seven calendar days, the employee must provide a medical certificate.

An employer is required to report sick leave that lasts longer than 14 calendar days to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).

Starting on day 91, social insurance steps in for a sick employee. There are instances where an employee may not be able to return to work due to their illness, despite efforts made towards rehabilitation. In cases where an employee is eligible for unlimited full-sickness benefits, the employer is allowed to end employment. The termination of employment must be communicated in writing, even if the employee has already been verbally informed, as specified in Sweden leave laws.

Payout of Sick Leave

For the first 14 days of sick leave, the employer pays the costs; after that, the government takes over and pays them.

The exact pay and rates go as follows:

  • The employer pays for the first 14 days (1-4) at 80% of the regular salary. By day 8 of sick leave, the employee must submit a medical certificate to receive continued sick pay.
  • From the 15th day of sick leave (up to the 90th day), an employee can apply for sickness benefits from the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). The exact amount of money that an employee receives is provided in the following section.
Sick Pay From Day 15 to 90

Employees on sick leave after 15 days are entitled to under 80% of their salary, up to an income ceiling that corresponds to an annual salary of 10 price base amounts.

Price base amount in 2024:

1 price base amount = SEK 57,300

7.5 price base amount = SEK 429,750 (7.5 price base amount/12 = SEK 35,813/month)

10 price base amounts = SEK 573,000 (10 price base amounts/12 = SEK 47,750/month)


Some collective agreements have their own rules for how to calculate sick pay and make sick leave deductions.

Disability Leave

Employees who are disabled, either fully or partially, might be eligible for payment or sickness benefits provided by Swedish social insurance.

Maternity, Paternity, and Parental Leave in Sweden

Maternity, paternity, and parental leave in Sweden are integrated into a comprehensive parental leave system. Parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave, which can be shared equally between them as they decide how to distribute it.

Paternity and maternity leave fall under the category of parental leave, making sure that there are equal rights for both parents to take leave.

  • Maternity leave in Sweden specifically refers to the time a mother can take before and after the birth of a child. However, the concept of maternity leave is often included in the scope of parental leave as an integrated part of the 480-day entitlement for both parents.
  • Paternity leave in Sweden, however, includes the initial 10 days for a father or a partner, which are separate from the 480 days of parental leave.

Eligibility includes full-time and part-time employees; temporary workers; freelancers, etc., as long as they meet the conditions of the necessary 240 days of work prior to the expected date of birth of a child, social security coverage, and a legal residency in Sweden.

Maternity Leave in Sweden (Mammaledighet)

At least 14 weeks (part of the 480-day entitlement)

A mother can start her maternity leave 60 days before the due date. However, she is entitled to full maternity leave for at least 7 weeks prenatal and 7 weeks postnatal (49 days).

Paternity Leave in Sweden (Pappaledighet)

At least 10 days (separate from the 480-day entitlement)

The father of a child or other parent is entitled to at least 10 days of partially paid paternity leave, which may be used prior to or after the birth of a child.

Parental Leave in Sweden (Föräldraledighet)

480 days

Parents receive 480 days of partially paid parental leave for either the birth or adoption of a child. Each parent is entitled to 240 days of this leave. They can decide how to split up their parental leave days, but one parent must take at least 90 days off, which limits the other parent to taking a total of 390 days.

An additional 180 days of parental leave is granted if there are multiple births.

Payout of Parental Leave

Parental leave is paid by the government’s social insurance (Försäkringskassan).

If parental leave is shared by 240 days for each parent:

  • An employee receives 195 days of sick pay (80% of the regular salary).
  • The remaining 45 days for each parent are determined by the minimum amount determined by the government (180 Swedish Krona per day at the moment—around $18).

If only one parent takes parental leave (for single parents):

  • First 390 days: around 80% of the regular salary.
  • The remaining 90 days are paid with the minimum amount set by the government.

Generous Parental Leave in Sweden

Sweden is ranked first among the OECD’s countries regarding the participation rate of the labor force in parental leave.

These generous parental benefits put Sweden among the countries with the best maternity and paternity leave.

Bereavement Leave in Sweden

No fixed number of days.

Employees are entitled to unpaid leave for bereavement in the event of the death of a close family member, although the law does not specify how many days they are entitled to. Paid leave is not required by law, and it depends on a collective agreement, an employee’s contract, or company policy.

The specifics regarding bereavement leave can vary significantly depending on the employer, the presence of a collective agreement, and individual employment contracts. Sweden leave laws grant employees the right to take leave from work in the event of the death of a close family member, but this does not automatically include the right to paid leave. The specifics of such leave, including eligibility for paid leave, are often detailed in collective bargaining agreements or decided between the employer and employee.

Many employers in Sweden do offer paid bereavement leave, up to a maximum of 10 days (especially if there is travel involved), for the death of a close relative. This provision, however, is more likely to be found in workplaces with collective agreements. In workplaces without collective agreements, arrangements regarding bereavement leave are usually made directly between the employee and their employer. There may be internal policies in place that guide such arrangements.

Jury Duty Leave in Sweden

There is no legal definition of jury duty leave.

Military Leave in Sweden

There is no law defining military leave.

Voting Leave in Sweden

There is no law defining voting leave.

Public Holidays in Sweden for 2024

13 public holidays

There are 13 public holidays celebrated throughout the year. These national holidays include a mix of secular and religious events, reflecting the country’s traditions and historical milestones.

A complete list of official holidays celebrated in Sweden:
Date Holiday
January 1, Moday New Year’s Day
January 6, Saturday Epiphany (12 days after Christmas)
March 29, Friday Good Friday
March 31, Sunday Easter
May 1, Wednesday Spring Day
May 9, Thursday Ascension Day (40th day after Easter)
May 19, Sunday Whit Sunday (Pentecost)
January 6, Thursday National Day of Sweden
Jun 22, Saturday Midsummer Day
November 2, Saturday All Saints'
December 25, Wednesday Christmas Day
December 26, Thursday St. Stephen’s Day (2nd Day of Christmas)
December 31, Tuesday New Year’s Eve

When these public holidays fall on a weekend, they typically do not carry over to the next workday. This means that if a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is generally lost and not observed with an additional day off during the week.


  1. Local Laws & Regulations, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/sweden

  2. Payroll and Benefits Guide Sweden, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/sweden/

  3. Definitive Guide to Hiring in Sweden, https://www.globalexpansion.com/countrypedia/sweden

  4. Sickness pay and disability pension (Sjuklön och sjukpension) - in Swedish, https://www.unionen.se/rad-och-stod/sjuklon-och-sjukpension

  5. Sick leave (Sjukskrivning) - in Swedish , https://www.verksamt.se/driva/anstalla/sjukskrivning/nar-en-anstalld-blir-sjuk

  6. Swedish maternity leave and allowance(Svenske barselsdagpenge) - in Swedish, https://www.norden.org/en/info-norden/svenske-barselsdagpenge

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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