Co-determination at work

The Employment (Co-Determination in the Workplace) Act, known by its Swedish acronym MBL or medbestämmandelagen, concerns the relationship between the employer and the employees through their local employees’ organisation. Thus, it does not give individual employees any specific rights.

The most significant areas of the Co-Determination Act, as we will refer to it here, are the collective bargaining agreement and the peace obligation, the right to negotiate, the right to information, the employees' organisation's right of interpretation and right to veto.

Some of the provisions of the Co-Determination Act are semi-discretionary and may be derogated from or supplemented by collective bargaining agreements, so called co-determination agreements. Without such an agreement it is somewhat misleading to speak of co-determination. The right of co-determination does not in principle go further than a right to information and consultation before the employer makes a decision regarding significant changes.

Co-determination should not be interpreted as an obligation for the employer to reach an agreement with the employees' organisation.

As certain areas of the Act are semi-discretionary, some of the provisions of the Act, such as mediation, time limits for initiation of central negotiations and litigation over breaches of the Act do not apply to Teknikföretagen member companies. Through such agreements as Industriavtalet, Utvecklingsavtalet and the Saltsjöbaden Basic Agreement other rules apply.