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Sweden – Staffing association files complaint to EU over AWD implementation

15 March 2012

The Association of Swedish Staffing Agencies (SSA) has sent a letter of complaint to the European Commission criticising the “the inability of the Swedish Government to manage the transposition of the Agency Work Directive (AWD) into Swedish law,” SSA said to Staffing Industry Analysts

The letter states that the SSA was “greatly concerned” over the current state of the AWD as the Swedish Government has failed to provide information on the progress of the directive despite the three-year transition period having already expired a few months ago.

The SSA particularly disapproves of the “inconsistent practice regarding the right to receive unemployment benefit following fixed term employment in the staffing industry” and says that the Swedish Government has proposed no measures that would rectify “these instances of unjustified discrimination.”

“The Government tells us nothing,” complained the SSA to Staffing Industry Analysts. But the SSA also confirmed that a draft bill on the AWD “must be presented to the Swedish parliament by next week in order to be adopted during its spring session, and then enter into force by 1 July. So maybe we will have a bill shortly. Even so, rumour has it the Government has looked into the size of fines/damages for late implementation.”

The staffing association also commented that it is difficult to assess the impact of the AWD on the Swedish industry once it has been fully integrated into law. “Hopefully it [the impact] will be limited. Our aim has been ‘business as usual’ for our membership and their clients. But, who knows. It is difficult to say since we have not seen the draft.”

Interestingly the SSA also implied that the directive may be unnecessary due to current regulations. “In our view, this directive is actually superfluous in the Swedish labour market since the Swedish staffing industry is fully integrated into the Swedish model of labour market relations/regulations. The SSA has its own collective agreements (with 29 counterparts); Swedish labour law is generally applicable, we have an authorisation scheme that sets the standards for the industry. Hence, we are mainly interested in the lifting of restrictions and the possibility of having a bar to new restrictions in the new legislation.”

To read the full letter of complaint, click here.


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