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Teachers' working hours

Your working time is governed by the law, under which you will be required to work an average of 40 hours a week.

Your working time is governed by the law, under which you will be required to work an average of 40 hours a week.

In Sweden your working hours are regulated by law and by collective agreements.

In Swedish schools you will find two forms of employment: “semesteranställning” and “ferieanställning”. Below we will explain the differences between the two:


Many employees in Sweden have “semesteranställning”, This means that their working hours are fully regulated. These employees work an average of 40 hours a week. Annual leave is a minimum of 25 days according to Swedish law. Some schools and employers use this system.


Ferieanställning” contracts are common in compulsory and upper-secondary schools. Working hours are split between a regulated and a non-regulated element. Employees work during the academic year and their annual leave mostly coincides with pupils’ holidays. However, annual working hours for both semesteranställning and ferieanställning are the same but are spread differently over the year depending on the collective agreement and other factors.

Regulated and non-regulated working hours in “ferieanställning”

All the teachers' duties required by the employer should be within regulated working hours. As a teacher in Sweden, you don’t have a predetermined number of specific “teaching hours”, as teaching entails so many other important duties.

There are a few exceptions to this. For example, Internationella Engelska Skolan (IES) has a local collective agreement within the company that includes regulated teaching hours.

If you have a “ferieanställning” contract, there are two elements to your working hours: regulated working hours and non-regulated working hours. The employer only defines the content, timing and location of regulated working hours during term time.

Non-regulated hours are managed and distributed over the year by the employee. Non-regulated working time is intended for pre- and post-teaching work, spontaneous student and parent contact and a certain amount of in-service professional development.

Part of this system of non-regulation involves ensuring that you do not work too much. There is no paid overtime within these non-regulated hours. Since you as an employee manage your own non-regulated time you are responsible for ensuring that you do not work too much. If you do work too many hours, you are not entitled to overtime compensation.

Sick leave

There are benefits and obligations regarding sick leave that are worth knowing, both legal requirements and within collective agreements. We have some general tips to remember. Contact your employer on the first day of your sick leave. If you still cannot work due to illness after a week you need to present a doctor’s medical certificate to your employer on the 8th day of your sick leave. After 14 days of sick leave you need to apply for sickness allowance from Försäkringskassan, (the public social insurance authority that handles sickness benefit). We invite you to visit their home page for detailed information in English.

Additional benefits may have been negotiated in your collective agreement. You can check this with Lärarförbundet’s Membership Services or your workplace representative.

Parental leave

In Sweden, parents are entitled to parental leave of 480 days for each child. At forsakringskassan.se you can find out more about the rules regarding parental leave for employees.

You should notify your employer of intended parental leave two months in advance (three months if you are employed by a state/municipal school) or as soon as possible, according to the law, before your parental leave. If you have further questions about parental leave, you are welcome to contact Lärarförbundet’s Membership Services Kontakten on (+46) 0770 33 03 03

Unemployment insurance

Lärarnas A-kassa is closely linked with Lärarförbundet. This is an unemployment insurance scheme from which you will receive compensation if you become unemployed. You need to have been a member of Lärarnas A-kassa for 12 months preceding unemployment in order to receive benefit from the scheme. Membership of Lärarnas A-kassa is not included in your Lärarförbundet membership but must be applied for separately. Join Lärarnas A-kassa here!

In order to receive payments from Lärarnas A-kassa, you need to be registered with Arbetsförmedlingen, the Swedish Public Employment Offices. It is important that you contact both Arbetsförmedlingen and Lärarnas A-kassa on your first day of unemployment.

Compensation from Lärarnas A-kassa is complemented by an additional income insurance policy included in the Lärarförbundet membership fee. This ensures that in the unlikely event of a teacher being without work, income insurance is provided up to 80% of real income.


If you have more questions about working hours or leave of absence you are welcome to contact Lärarförbundets Membership Services, Kontakten.

From Sweden. 0770 33 03 03

From abroad: (+46) 770 33 03 03

You can also find on-line tips and tools in Swedish to help you understand and take control of your working time on Lärarförbundets website.

You can always ask your workplace representative if you can look at it together.

  • Skapad 2016-04-12
  • Uppdaterad 2019-12-27
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