Working and social benefits in Sweden

As someone living and working in Sweden, you can expect great and generous benefits:

  • You have flexible working hours;
  • You are allowed to take days or half days off, since you can work more on some days;
  • You are entitled to 25 paid holidays per year (and you can only save 5 days/year for coming years);
  • You can choose your holidays whenever you want, including the 25 days in a row (no questions asked!);
  • Being a parent, you can stay for 16 months with the baby at home – this period can be split between both parents, as they wish;
  • Parental leave is extended until children turns 8;
  • Education is free (yes, even University!);
  • Healthcare at a very low cost for everyone;
  • Dentalcare free until you turn 20;
  • If your sick, you are still getting paid (80% of your salary);
  • Unemployment benefit (also 80% of your salary);
  • If you become unemployed, you have priority towards another candidates getting a job in the same sector;
  • Companies in Sweden strongly advise employees to get unionized;
  • Though retirement age is 65, you can retire as soon as 55 – your pension will be less generous, of course;
  • When you retire, you are entitled to the state pension plus the pension your company has provided for you (if you think this is not enough, you can, however, save for a private fund);
  • The elderly care is surprisingly good – there are services for cleaning, meal delivery, shopping and transportation assistance – just to keep people independent and in their homes as long as possible;
  • You pay a high tax (though not so high as I paid in Portugal – wow!) to assure people can all have these benefits. Although, you don’t pay for social welfare – your company pays!

Regarding these working benefits, each company has a lot more to offer, depending on what’s arranged between itself and the Unions. There’s a lot of benefits for immigrants or refugees (housing benefits, unemployment benefits…), and considering Sweden has 20 % of immigrants, this is quite a high expense. Still, there seems to be money for this and much more. Just because there’s no corruption. Yes, the solution is this simple.

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