Employers with serious financial difficulties that are temporary in nature can, in some cases, apply for support relating to salary costs connected to short-time working for employees. The difficulties must be due to unforeseen or unavoidable external events. Support is available to otherwise healthy businesses and involves a temporary reduction in employees’ working hours and salary. This is known as short-time work allowance.
Please use our e-services if you have Swedish e-identification. This gives you access to our calculation tool and enables you to see the receipt for your submitted application and any attachments.
If you represent a legal entity, you must register a representative who is authorised to submit applications and notifications on your behalf in connection with short-time work allowance. If you are the sole signatory or a sole trader, you do not need to register as a representative. If you wish to appoint a representative, please use the e-service “Representatives and authorisation” (“Ombud och behörigheter”) or fill in a paper form.
The conditions for approval are strict and the allowance is only granted if there are special circumstances. You must submit a detailed and well-supported application which clearly demonstrates that you have fulfilled the requirements.
To qualify for the allowance, you must be able to show that:
A business can only be granted the allowance if it is competitive in the long term. Approval cannot be granted if, at the time application, the business is:
A condition of eligibility for short-term work allowance is that you are registered as an employer with the Swedish Tax Agency. You need to do this before your application for the allowance is assessed, and three months before the decision on approval is made, i.e. in the comparison month. You must also have signed an agreement with your employees before the period of short-time work begins.
The costs of short-time work allowance are shared between the employer, the employee and the state. The state covers one-third of the cost, regardless of the reduction in working hours.
Reduction in working hours
Employees (reduction in salary)
Du kan använda e-tjänsten om du är ensam firmatecknare för arbetsgivaren eller om du är utsett ombud.
The application process has two steps.
If you are granted preliminary short-time work allowance, you are obliged to make reconciliations on an ongoing basis during the allowance period. Once you have submitted a reconciliation statement, the Swedish Tax Agency will assess your final allowance.
In order to receive preliminary short-time work allowance, you must first be granted approval by the Swedish Tax Agency. The conditions for approval are strict and the allowance is only granted if there are special circumstances. An employer who is applying for the allowance must demonstrate that these conditions have been fulfilled by submitting a detailed and well-supported application.
Once your application for approval has been granted, you can apply for preliminary short-time work allowance for a maximum of six calendar months. To qualify for support for all six months, you must apply for preliminary short-time work allowance for consecutive months without interruption.
If you need additional support, you can apply for an extension of the allowance period by three calendar months. The application for an extension must be made within four calendar months of the start of the allowance period. You must again demonstrate that the serious financial difficulties which were the basis for your support approval are expected to continue. You must also be able to show that the difficulties are temporary and are expected to cease after the extension period.
You can reapply for approval at the end of the extension period. However, the earliest it will normally be granted is 24 calendar months from the end of the allowance period. This is a qualifying period for support. However, the qualifying period rule does not apply between 1 April 2022 and 31 December 2023. This means that if you received short-time work allowance from the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth between March 2020 and September 2021, you can apply for approval from the Swedish Tax Agency. You can be granted short-time work allowance for a maximum of 24 months over a total period of 36 months.
To enable the Swedish Tax Agency to assess whether the difficulties are temporary, you must submit financial data that gives a clear picture of the company’s economic development. For example, this could be a compilation of statistics and key figures showing profitability development, debt ratio, growth and order intake. You must be able to show a negative trend that coincides with an unforeseen external event.
You should also be able to demonstrate the likelihood of returning to normal productivity and regular working hours after the short-time work period.
Recently established businesses may find it more difficult to show that their economic difficulties are only temporary. You can therefore base your application on assumptions and forecasts for how your business would have developed if it had not experienced unforeseen financial difficulties.
To be entitled to support as an employer, your financial difficulties must also be serious. This means that the need for a reduction in working hours must be significant, and that without support you would have to make extensive redundancies. Value transfers, such as dividend payments, during or close to the allowance period are clear indications that you do not have serious financial difficulties.
For you to be entitled to short-time work allowance, your financial difficulties must have been caused by circumstances beyond your control, i.e., external events. Such events include sudden drops in global demand, restrictions on important markets and disruptions to supply. They could also include sudden natural or weather events.
You are not entitled to the allowance if you experience difficulties due to the loss of a major order to a competitor, or due to unsuccessful strategic decisions.
In order for you to be entitled to short-time work allowance, the financial difficulties must have been impossible to avoid or anticipate. Reduced results due to predictable economic conditions, seasonal business or normal cycles do not qualify for the allowance.
Customs duties and other barriers to trade may be unforeseen, and thus you may qualify for the allowance. If such trade barriers and reduced results are a consequence of known obstacles or lengthy processes – which in turn may require adaptation by you – you might not qualify.
You must have done everything possible to reduce staff costs before applying for approval for support. Possible measures include changing shift patterns, or letting go non-permanent staff who are not considered essential, such as consultants and temporary staff. However, consultants and temporary staff can be crucial for the business, so an assessment is made in each case.
There are many possible reasons for a decline in a business’s economy. The difficulties may be beyond your control, but it is your responsibility as an employer to try to solve them. Required measures may include contacting employees, customers, banks and financiers. The sooner you familiarise yourself with the difficulties and take action, the more opportunities there will be to solve the economic situation.
You cannot be granted short-time work allowance if, at the time of application, your business is:
This is because the allowance is only granted to help overcome temporary difficulties.
A balance sheet for liquidation purposes must be drawn up when there is reason to believe that a company’s equity is less than half of its registered share capital, or when it has been demonstrated that the company lacks sufficient assets for full payment of a foreclosure claim.
Insolvency means that a company is unable to pay its debts, and this situation is not just temporary. As a rule, an insolvent employer should be declared bankrupt.
In certain circumstances, a company with payment difficulties may be allowed to implement a corporate reconstruction process as an alternative to bankruptcy.
As an employer, you can apply for preliminary short-time work allowance for a maximum period of six calendar months after receiving approval from the Swedish Tax Agency. You must submit a new application for preliminary short-time work allowance each month. The allowance will be credited to your tax account. The amount granted may need to be adjusted later, in accordance with the reconciliation reports you submit.
The first month in the allowance period must start no later than 45 days after approval. The application for preliminary short-time work allowance must be submitted to the Swedish Tax Agency within two months of the end of the month of support.
You cannot apply for preliminary short-time work allowance in advance. This applies regardless of whether the application concerns the first month of support or the subsequent months.
Example 1: If you received your approval on 8 April 2022, the first month of support can be April or May; 23 May is 45 days after 8 April. If April is your first month of support, we must receive your application between 8 April and 30 June.
Example 2: If you receive your approval on 28 April 2022, the first month of support can be April, May or June, as 12 June is 45 days after 28 April. If June is your first month of support, we must receive your application between 1 June and 31 August.
A prerequisite for receiving short-time work allowance is that you are registered as an employer at the time we assess your application for support. You must also have been registered as an employer three months before the Swedish Tax Agency makes its decision on approval, i.e. during the comparison month.
At the time of assessment, your company must not:
You can only receive preliminary short-time work allowance for employees who:
You cannot receive short-time work allowance during an employee’s notice period. You cannot either receive the allowance for periods when an employee has been absent from work, for example due to sickness, annual leave or parental leave.
In your application for preliminary short-time work allowance, you must specify salary, working days, absence, reduction in working hours and calculated support for each employee.
For you to be entitled to support as an employer, each employee’s regular working hours and salary must be reduced according to certain statutory levels:
The terms reduction in working hours and reduction in salary refer to the average reduction during an agreement period.
The minimum reduction in working hours is 20% (level 1), but it is possible to implement a reduction that exceeds 60% (level 3). However, the salary reduction applied must correspond to one of the three levels specified.
Example 1: If working hours for an employee are reduced by 40% and salary is reduced by 12%, this corresponds to level 1.
Example 2: If working hours for an employee are reduced by 40% and salary is reduced by 14%, this does not correspond to any of the levels.
Example 3: If working hours for an employee are reduced by 60% and salary is reduced by 16%, this corresponds to level 2.
To be entitled to short-time work allowance, you must sign short-time work agreements with your employees. You cannot draw up the agreements retroactively; they apply from the date they are signed.
You must also come to an agreement (a collective or written agreement is required) on competence initiatives if you intend to apply for compensation for such costs.
If you wish to apply for short-time work allowance, the collective agreement must cover short-time work with the central employee organisation. Where there is a local party, the application of short-time work must be regulated by a local agreement. There is no requirement for a specific number of employees to participate in short-time work.
Contact your employer organisation for more information on how to proceed.
If you wish to apply for short-time work allowance, you must sign a written agreement with at least 70% of the employees within an operating unit. The agreed reduction in working hours and salary must be the same for all participating employees.
The following information must be included in the agreement:
In your application for preliminary short-time work allowance, you must specify the requested allowance for the month of support for each employee. You calculate this for each agreement period according to the following formula:
Regular salary × reduction in working hours × attendance quota × 0.43 (standard rate of 43%) = preliminary short-time work allowance
Agreement period: days between start date and end date – as specified in short-time work agreements – within the month of support. Several agreement periods per employee can fall within one month of support.
Regular salary: (the salary the employee would normally have received for the month of support) - (the amount above SEK 44,000) - (salary increases relating to the period after the month of comparison)
Reduction in working hours: percentage indicated in the agreement (20, 40 or 60%)
Attendance quota: ((number of regular working days in the agreement period) - (planned absence during the agreement period)) ÷ (number of regular working days in the agreement period)
Standard rate: 43% (33% from the state and 10% from standard-rate employer contributions).
If the employee’s agreement period is shorter than the full month of support, you multiply the calculated allowance by the number of days in the agreement period and divide the result by the number of working days in the month of support.
Maja is employed by Building Company AB and has a regular salary of SEK 25,000 per month. She only works on weekdays, which usually means 20-22 days per month.
Maja has entered into an agreement with her employer regarding short-time work between 16 March and 31 May. Up to mid-April, her working hours are reduced by 20% and her salary by 12%, after which her working hours are reduced by 40% and her salary by 16%. Maja has planned annual leave on 18 and 19 April. Building Company AB applies preliminary short-time work allowance for Maja for half of March and the whole of April and May.
Preliminary short-time work allowance is applied for on a monthly basis and is calculated as follows:
March: 12,500 × 0.2 × (12 ÷ 12) × 0.43 = SEK 1,075
April: 12,500 × 0.2 × (11 ÷ 11) × 0.43 + 12,500 × 0.4 × (8 ÷ 10) × 0.43 = SEK 2,795
May: 25,000 × 0.4 × (22 ÷ 22) × 0.43 = SEK 4,300
Once the Swedish Tax Agency has reached a decision on short-time work allowance, your tax account will be credited. The amount will then be paid out to you promptly. It is therefore important that you register a bank account to which the allowance can be paid.
However, the Swedish Tax Agency can only pay out the allowance if your tax account is in credit and there are no blocks on outgoing payments. Any outstanding taxes and charges will be deducted from the amount payable.
If you have received preliminary short-time work allowance as an employer, you must submit a reconciliation statement to the Swedish Tax Agency. We will determine your final allowance based on this.
A reconciliation compares the preliminary reduction in working hours and salary with the actual reduction applied. You must submit reconciliation statements for each employee. For you to remain eligible for the allowance, the average reduction in working hours and salary applied must correspond to a single level and be supported by a written agreement.
Your financial situation may change during an agreement period. If the change leads to an adjustment in the level of working hours and salary reduction, you must also amend the employee agreement. If an employee agreement has been updated since your application for preliminary short-time work allowance, you must submit the new agreement with your reconciliation statement.
The reduction in working hours during an agreement period is the reduction that was actually applied to an employee or, if the employee has been absent, that would have been applied. Variations are permitted during the reconciliation period – as long as the overall reduction in working hours is consistent with the level specified in the agreement. For example, working hours reductions could be as follows for an employee who has agreed to a 20% reduction:
However, reductions in working hours cannot be offset in this way between different reconciliation periods. For example, it is not possible to have a 15% reduction at the first reconciliation and a 25% reduction at the second.
The reduction in salary during an agreement period is the reduction that was actually applied to an employee or, if the employee has been absent, that would have been applied. Variations are permitted during the reconciliation period – as long as the overall reduction in salary is consistent with the level specified in the agreement. For example, salary reduction could be as follows for an employee who has agreed to a 12% reduction:
However, salary reductions cannot be offset in this way between different reconciliation periods. For example, it is not possible to have a 10% reduction at the first reconciliation and a 14% reduction at the second.
When you have been granted preliminary short-time work allowance, you must make a reconciliation on the last day of the third month following the start of an allowance period. You must subsequently make reconciliations on the last day of every third month at the latest. This is called a reconciliation point.
You must then submit a reconciliation statement to the Swedish Tax Agency within four weeks of the reconciliation point.
Example: You receive approval from the Swedish Tax Agency on 15 April and then apply for preliminary short-time work allowance monthly, with April as the first month of support. Your first reconciliation point is the last day of June. The Swedish Tax Agency must receive your first reconciliation statement no later than 28 July. The reconciliation will relate to the months of support April, May and June.
If you do not submit your reconciliation statement on time, the Swedish Tax Agency will issue an injunction.
At the reconciliation, the Swedish Tax Agency will determine your final allowance. For example, the reconciliation might show that you as an employer:
If your preliminary short-time work allowance as an employer was calculated based on a larger reduction in working hours and salary than was actually applied, you are obliged to pay back the difference between the preliminary and final allowance.
You may be entitled to additional support corresponding to the difference between the preliminary and final allowance if your preliminary allowance was calculated based on a smaller reduction in working hours and salary than was actually applied. Your entitlement must be supported by updated agreements, and you must request additional support in your reconciliation statement.
You are obliged to repay any preliminary short-time work allowance paid for an employee during an agreement period if the average reduction in working hours and salary applied does not correspond to a level of support specified in Swedish legislation or is not in accordance with the employee agreement.
Repayments must be made to a special account specified in the repayment decision notice.
If you have implemented short-time work and apply for short-time work allowance, you have the opportunity to apply for compensation for the costs of competence initiatives arranged for employees during furlough (work-exempted) periods. Skills initiatives must enhance or validate employees’ competence.
For a competence initiative to qualify for compensation, its conditions must be regulated by agreements, in the same way as for short-time work. This can be done through central or local collective agreements, or through written agreements with employees.
The preliminary compensation for competence initiatives corresponds to 60% of the cost of individual initiatives planned or completed during a short-time work allowance furlough period.
At most, you can receive SEK 20,000 per employee in compensation for competence initiatives. Half of this amount relates to months 1-6, and half to months 7-9.
You can apply for compensation for costs, including course fees, validation fees, compensation for trainers, course materials, travel expenses, accommodation and subsistence.
You can apply for compensation for competence initiatives regardless of the sector in which your business operates, and regardless of you employees’ level of experience or education.
For internally arranged competence initiatives, compensation can only be paid for costs directly related to a specific training session. Examples of such costs include course materials and travel expenses. Compensation is not payable on costs for development, educational environments, renting of own premises, or resources that could be used for future training sessions.
You must have applied to the Swedish Tax Agency for preliminary compensation for costs relating to competence initiatives within two calendar months of the end of the last month of support during the allowance period.
The application must include details of each employee participating in a competence initiative, whether arranged internally or externally, and the total cost of competence initiatives. If you as an employer have previously applied for compensation for competence initiatives during the allowance period, you must also specify these costs.
If you have received compensation for competence initiatives, you must make a reconciliation on the last day of the third calendar month following the end of the allowance period. At that date, you must also submit a reconciliation statement to the Swedish Tax Agency. In this statement, you report the costs relating to each employee for whom preliminary compensation has been paid.
At the reconciliation, the Swedish Tax Agency will determine your final compensation. For example, the reconciliation might show that you as an employer: