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MBL Negotiations

Negotiations in accordance with the Swedish Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act

There are times when as a manager, you will need to negotiate significant organisational changes with employee organisations. Here we have collected information about how to go about this.

Contents on this page:

The Swedish Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act outlines the fundamental regulations for collective labour rights. The Act aims to increase employee participation and influence. This is ensured by employers having an obligation to inform and negotiate with employee organisations. Nevertheless, the employer will make the final decision.

Lund University has collective agreements with Saco-S, OFR/S and Seko, and must continually communicate and negotiate with these organisations. Negotiations in accordance with the Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act may be conducted for several purposes. At Lund University, different matters are negotiated in different ways. The delegation of authority rules specify who is entitled to represent the authority during the various types of negotiations.

When do managers negotiate?

Before an employer may issue a decision regarding significant changes to their organisation, a negotiation must be conducted in accordance with Section 11 of the Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act. This is to follow the Lund University rules of procedure for this type of negotiation.

Read more in the Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act rules of procedure (in Swedish,PDF 87 kB, new tab)

As a manager, you must have a thoroughly considered proposal before inviting the employee organisations to negotiations. However, negotiations need to be conducted as early as possible to give employee organisations the chance to influence the employer’s decision. The appointed contact person for this type of negotiation at the relevant faculty/equivalent will issue the notification of the case.

The employer has an obligation to conduct negotiations in the event of any significant changes to organisational activities. Examples of significant changes include expansion, reorganisation or discontinuation of an organisation. It can also apply to major investment decisions, long-term decisions affecting work organisation, matters of staff policy, organising work premises, or addressing social issues that are viewed as a significant alteration. Decisions that an employee organisation typically wishes to negotiate are also included in the negotiation obligation.

Negotiations are to be a natural and effective component of the preparations leading up to a decision. The employee organisations are to be given the opportunity to present their opinions before the employer commits to a particular solution.

When changes to an organisation are planned, the employer must determine whether the changes carry a risk of illness or accident that may require measures. Risk assessments must be documented in writing and included in the proposal prior to negotiations regarding organisational changes.

Read more about risk and impact assessments from a work environment perspective

There are specific rules in place for negotiations prior to redundancies. Contact your local HR officer for advice and support.

Read more in the rules of procedure regarding co-determination negotiations in cases of redundancy, order of priority and termination (in Swedish, PDF 43 kB, new tab)

As a manager, you must also negotiate before any significant changes in working or employment conditions for employees who are members of employee organisations. In these instances, contact the relevant employee organisation.

For simpler matters, summarised minutes can be used according to procedures and templates created jointly by all parties.

​​​​​​​A specific procedure has been created should there be a need to withdraw from a negotiation that was initiated based on summarised minutes. Contact your local HR officer for advice and support.

Specific procedure for negotiation of resource allocation and budget, plus information about the quarterly report

A specific procedure is in place for negotiation and information about financial matters that facilitates transparency and discussion as prescribed by the Swedish Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act.

Read the specific procedure for negotiation and information about financial matters

Specific process for primary negotiations pertaining to state sector fixed-term employment (STAVA)

Swedish Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act negotiations pertaining to state sector fixed-term employment are conducted according to this process.

Read about the process for primary negotiations pertaining to state sector fixed-term employment (STAVA) (in Swedish) 

When the parties disagree

Both the employer and representatives from the employee organisations must clearly state their position on the matter being negotiated and give their reasons. The opposite party’s opinions must also be addressed and considered objectively. Once negotiations have concluded, the employer can implement the decision. Unless otherwise agreed, negotiations end once the minutes have been approved by the parties or when one of the parties has withdrawn from the negotiation in writing.

If the parties are unable to agree on the matter being negotiated, the employee organisation can request a central negotiation. Central negotiations must be requested no later than five working days after local negotiations conclude. Therefore, it is essential that both parties can agree on when the negotiation has ended. If a central negotiation is requested, your decision must wait until the central negotiation has ended. The HR Division must be contacted immediately when a request is made for central negotiation and dispute negotiations. 

The employer’s obligation to inform

Section 19 of the Swedish Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act stipulates that an employer has an obligation to provide information. The employer must regularly update employee organisations about developments at the organisation concerning production, finances and staff policies.

The employer also has an obligation to share information about any investigations linked to decisions made on complex matters. This obligation can also apply to investigations that are not linked to decisions if they are: comprehensive, long-term, require special resources or address particularly important matters.

The employer decides whether the information will be provided verbally or in writing. However, written information is preferable as it enables the employee organisations to prepare.


In the first instance, contact your nearest HR function.

You may also use the HR Division’s case management system to ask questions about different areas connected to HR encompassed in your role:  

Find the right HR information and support