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Processing leave of absence

We have collected information for managers about different types of leave.


In the Swedish labour market, there is extensive regulation regarding different types of leave. In addition, there are a number of specific provisions for government employees.

Normally, it is you as the manager, in consultation with the relevant HR officer, who decides whether an employee should be allowed to take leave or not.

Laws, regulations or collective agreements give an employee the right to leave in certain cases, which means that you cannot deny the employee leave if these conditions for leave are met. In other cases, leave may be granted provided that you judge that leave can be granted. You then must weigh the organisation’s interest in the employee being on duty against the employee’s interest in obtaining the requested leave. Such a balance is struck, for example, in cases of leave of absence that are assessed on the basis of the Ordinance respecting leave of absence. When processing an application, it is important, as an employer at a public authority, to be consistent on the basis of the so-called principle of equal treatment in the Swedish Constitution (Chapter 1, Section 9).

To support the handling of applications for leave, the HR Division has developed a quick guide that provides an overview of the most common provisions for leave relevant to government employees. However, the overview is not exhaustive and, in some cases, further support may be needed through the relevant HR officer, for example when deciding whether to reject an application or whether to interrupt a period of leave.  

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Leave, an overview (PDF, 219 kB, new tab)

For more in-depth information, please also refer to the regulations governing each reason for leave and the Swedish Agency for Government Employers’ publications on leave.

As can be seen from the overview of the most common provisions governing leave, some types of absence can be granted with pay.

Paid leave for medical and dental appointments as well as leave in connection with the serious illness and death of a close relative, moving house, the performance of union representative duties and the sitting of examinations are regulated in our central collective agreement (Chapter 9, Sections 1-2 of the General Agreements on Pay and Benefits for Government Employees). These periods of leave may be granted provided that the conditions for the leave and the right to retain a salary are met. Read more about the conditions for these types of leave in the following documents.

In addition to the regulations in the General Agreements on Pay and Benefits for Government Employees, Lund University has made a special decision that all employees at the University who choose to vaccinate themselves against Covid-19 are entitled to do so during paid working hours. However, in the first instance, employees should try to make time for vaccination outside working hours.

Read the Vice-Chancellor’s decision about vaccination against Covid-19 (PDF, new tab)