In a market sensitive branch such as that in which architects work, termination due to redundancy is not unusual.
Here you will find the answers to the most commonly asked questions Here you will find the answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding the subject. If you have more questions or if you want advice, you are very welcome to contact our lawyers.
What is redundancy?
Redundancy is a collective name for different situations wherein personal circumstances are not the basis for the termination. Employers must, however, show that there is just cause for termination due to lack of work. Redundancy is a broad concept that encompasses economic and organisational changes in a company, and it is the employer who determines whether redundancy applies.
What happens if you are terminated on grounds of redundancy?
Redundancy is the most common reason for termination. Before you are terminated, as a rule the employer is obliged to contact your union representative at your place of work – or Architects Sweden – for negotiation. Termination must, in accordance with MBL, Medbestämmandelagen (Co-Determination in the Workplace) not be implemented until after the conclusion of the negotiation. You also have, according to LAS, Lagen om anställningsskydd (the Employment Protection Act), the right to written notification of termination which must be delivered personally and comply with certain formalities.
What is notice?
In connection with termination, the term notice is frequently used. There is no requirement to give notice to employees or the relevant trade union organisations in connection with termination due to redundancy. The obligation that exists is to notify the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) of a reduction in activity, provided that at least five employees are affected by the terminations.
What is the obligation to negotiate?
In accordance with MBL, the employer has an obligation to negotiate before decisions on important changes. If Architects Sweden has a collective agreement with the employer, then the employer is obliged to negotiate with the local representative (trade union at the company) or with Architects Sweden before terminations are implemented. If an employer has no collective agreement, the employer concerned, if they are members of Architects Sweden, is obliged to negotiate with Architects Sweden in the question concerning termination on the grounds of redundancy.
Before termination takes place, the employer must also look into whether there are any other vacant positions in which to relocate redundant employees. If there are no vacant positions, then the employer must follow LAS regulations on the sequence of termination. The foremost principle is summarised by the well-known phrase ‘last in first out’. The employee must always possess the appropriate qualifications for the position. Prior to determining the sequence, employers with a maximum of ten employees have the right to exempt two employees who, according to the assessment of the employer, are of particular importance for the continuation of operations.
When negotiations are concluded (they can be concluded in agreement or disagreement), the employer may implement the termination, that is to say, deliver the notice of termination. The notice of termination must comply with certain formalities, including that the notice of termination be in writing and delivered personally to the person concerned.
How much notice do I get?
The decision on the length of notice period to which you are entitled is regulated under LAS, the collective agreement, and the individual employment contract.
Below you will see the length of notice period when the employer terminates the employee on grounds of redundancy, in accordance with LAS and for those who work for private architecture firms who have, or follow, a collective agreement.
Total length of employment notice period:
- Less than 2 years, 1 month
- 2–4 years, 2 months
- 4–6 years, 3 months
- 6–8 years, 4 months
- 8–10 years, 5 months
- 10+ years, 6 months
Note, if you work for a private architecture firm that has a collective agreement, and you are at least 55 years old, and have had continuous employment with the firm for a minimum of ten years, then you have a twelve-month period of notice of redundancy. For those employed in the public sector, different notice periods apply.
What applies during the notice period?
During the notice period, you have the right to keep your salary and other employment benefits. You also have the obligation to work throughout the notice period. You have the right to reasonable paid leave in order to visit the Public Employment Service or seek work. You must, however, apply for this leave.
Holidays during notice period
You are always entitled to take your holiday leave during the notice period if it has already been applied for and granted. If on the other hand the holiday has not been arranged, you may not take your holiday during the notice period if the employer is not in agreement. During notice periods not exceeding six months, the employer may not impose holidays if you are not in agreement.
What do you yourself need to do when the notice period has begun?
- When you get notice of termination, notify your claim for preferential right of re-employment. Note that your preferential right does not apply before you have notified your employer of your claim. Do it in writing.
- If there is a collective agreement – make a notification to TRR, Trygghetsrådet (employment security foundation) together with the employer.
- Register as an employment seeker at the Swedish Public Employment Service.
- Make sure you get a Certification of Employment with references.
- Discuss with your employer whether you may take copies of projects that you have been involved in, to put into your portfolio.
- Discuss with your employer how you might complete or hand over current projects, and what you can say to potential clients, all in order to achieve as good a closure as possible.
- Collect a Work Certificate from the Swedish Public Employment Service or print one out from AEA, Akademikernas a-kassa (unemployment insurance for university graduates) and make sure your employer completes it when you leave. You must have a Work Certificate in order to get unemployment benefit from A-kassan (the unemployment fund) if you have not obtained a job before the notice period is finished. The employer is required by law to complete the form.
Am I entitled to unemployment benefit?
If you are a member of A-kassan (the unemployment fund), you may apply for benefits based on your previous salary. If you are not a member, you may still have the right to benefits at a lower rate.
In order to get unemployment benefits based on your average salary, you must fulfil three conditions:
- You must comply with the conditions of work, that is, have worked a minimum of six months, 80 hours per month.
- You must be a member of A-kassa and have been so for at least twelve months.
- You must be unemployed and registered at the Swedish Public Employment Service.
If these three conditions are met, you can receive up to SEK 910 per day for the first 100 compensation days, 760 kronor per day thereafter.
As a member of Architects Sweden you may have the right to income As a member of Architects Sweden, you may have the right to income insurance. The income insurance complements the unemployment benefits above the ceiling set by A-kassan. Follow this link to read more about income insurance and the conditions for obtaining compensation.