Work allowances in Sweden
EU and EEA citizens are allowed to work and reside in Sweden without restrictions. However, after three months, EU and EEA citizens must obtain a residence card, which will formally register individuals for tax and social benefit purposes. A residence card can be obtained from Migrationsverket.
Citizens from countries outside the EU and the EEA must apply for a residence and work permit at a Swedish Embassy or Consulate at least six weeks before estimated date of arrival in Sweden.
If you are entitled to unemployment benefits in the UK you can apply to “take that with you” while looking for a job in Sweden for a maximum of three months. For regulations and application forms, please contact your local employment office.
In order to obtain unemployment benefits from any of the Swedish Unemployment Insurance Funds you must have been working in Sweden for at least a year. Anyone granted unemployment benefit receives a maximum basic sum of SEK 320 a day, five days per week, irrespective of previous income. Anyone entitled to loss of income benefit receives 80% of previous income subject to a maximum of SEK 680 a day. The unemployment benefit is taxable.
Regulations and tax
Normal working hours are 40 hours per week and all employees are entitled to at least 25 days paid holiday per year. You are also allowed to postpone part of your holiday for up to five years.
The relatively high tax pressure in Sweden is due to the nature of the Swedish social model, based on a tax system to create social welfare for the whole population.
Your tax rate is dependent on a number of things, e.g. the length of your contract. If you stay in Sweden for less than 6 months, your tax liability is limited. More information about the tax system in Sweden can be obtained from The Swedish Tax Agency. After registering at the local Tax Office, new residents should also register in person at their local Social Insurance Office.
There are four different taxes which will be deducted from your income: regional and state tax and taxations for pension and welfare. Church tax is optional and depends on membership.
The regional tax is the highest tax and it varies depending upon where you live. The average regional tax (regional and local) is 31.44% but can vary from 25-35%. In addition, if you earn more than 328 800 SEK per year you also pay a state tax which usually is 20%. For more information contact the Swedish Tax Agency.