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Sweden – Employment immigration policy called into question

26 June 2013

The Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) has called for reforms to labour immigration policy in Sweden, saying that employers should have to prove a real need for foreign workers to fill gaps in the labour market. Prior to 2008, employers were required to prove such a need for foreign workers.

Originally, the recruitment of foreign workers, outside the EU and EEA, had to be approved by the Swedish Public Employment Service. Legislation was amended in 2008 to allow increased flexibility and efficiency in the labour market. Employers are now able to apply directly to the Swedish Migration Board for the right to recruit foreign workers.

LO has called for the Swedish Migration Board, or some other authority, to examine the need for employers to recruit from outside Sweden before approving their applications. The employers association has criticised the proposal, claiming that changing the regulation would hamper market efficiency and flexibility.  

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