Working for a public authority
Working for a public authority means conducting activities which apply the laws and regulations decided by the Swedish government and its parliament, the Riksdag. Each public authority works on the basis of a public service agreement.
In the annual public service agreement, the government defines Lund University’s remit and the funding allocated to activities for the coming year.
The entire public sector has shared core values based on laws and regulations. The common core values for public sector employees rest on six principles:
- Democracy: all public power proceeds from the people.
- Legality: public power is exercised under the law.
- Impartiality, objectivity and equality: everyone is equal before the law. Public authorities and courts are to treat everyone equally.
- Freedom of opinion: Swedish democracy is founded on freedom of opinion.
- Respect: public power is to be exercised with respect for people’s freedom and equal value.
- Efficiency and service: the organisation is to be run as economically as possible with the highest quality achievable with the available resources.
The principle of public access to official documents
The principle of public access to official documents applies to public administration. This means that the general public and the mass media have the right to access public documents, with the exception of confidential information.
As a government employee, you have freedom of expression and freedom to disclose information. Your freedom of expression means that you have the right to talk about the organisation with journalists and others so long as you do not divulge confidential information. The freedom to disclose information means that public authorities are not allowed to investigate who passed information to the mass media.
Due process in the exercise of public authority
Due process is fundamental to all government activity. Citizens must be able to rely on decisions taken by public authorities being based on applicable laws. They must also be sure that everyone is treated equally before the law and that public authorities are objective and impartial in their assessments and decisions.
You therefore have an obligation to follow the rules on conflict of interest and on secondary employment.
Rules on conflict of interest
The rules on conflict of interest guarantee that management at public authorities is characterised by impartiality and objectivity. When processing a matter, you have a conflict of interest if the matter concerns you personally or a person close to you, for example.
Another example of conflict of interest is when the outcome of a matter can be expected to bring significant advantage or prejudice to you or to someone close to you. There are more situations in which conflict of interest can arise.
Rules on secondary employment are to be found in
- the Public Employment Act (LOA)
- the Employment Ordinance (AF)
- the Higher Education Act
- other provisions which apply to public sector employees
In addition, there are rules in the public sector collective agreements. If you are a lecturer, you always have an obligation to report secondary employment. Other employees are only obliged to report secondary employment if their employer requests it.
Your rights as a public sector employee
You have a right to paid annual leave as of the first year you start working at the public authority. Your age determines how many days’ annual leave you get. Remember to check with your manager before you apply for annual leave.
You can visit a doctor and get emergency dental care during paid working hours. It is also possible to be on paid leave on other occasions. This could be to attend the funeral of a close relative, for example. Remember to check with your manager when you need to take leave.
Parental leave, parental allowance supplement, caring for a sick child
As a public sector employee, you can receive an additional allowance from the public authority – the parental allowance supplement – for up to 360 days when you receive parental allowance. This means that you can get a total allowance which corresponds to 90 per cent of your salary.
When you need to take leave in order to care for a sick child, as a public sector employee if you earn more than the Social Insurance Office’s ceiling amount, you can receive a complementary allowance above the compensation you will receive for the income which falls under the ceiling amount for 10 days per year.
If you are on sick leave for a long period, as a public sector employee you can receive a complementary allowance over and above your sickness benefit. The public authority tops up the sickness benefit from the Social Insurance Office from day 15 to day 365 up to approximately 90 per cent of your income.
You can also receive some reimbursement in connection with illness for things like
- visits to the doctor
- visits to a physiotherapist
- if you are admitted to hospital
You can also be reimbursed for some medicines covered by maximum cost protection.
As a public sector employee, you may be entitled to compensation from the Social Insurance Office if you injure yourself on the way to or from work, or during working hours.
Public sector employees also have complementary compensation through the Agreement on Compensation for Personal Injury, PSA, via AFA Insurance. This can apply to loss of income, pain and suffering, healthcare costs, invalidity and death.
As a public sector employee, you are covered by occupational injury insurance and group life insurance. If you travel on university business you are also covered by business travel insurance. If you are posted abroad with a URA contract, you are covered by a special insurance policy for stays abroad (URA insurance).
Your employer pays contributions towards your government occupational pension (occupational pension agreement PA 03). The government occupational pension consists of three parts:
- defined benefit pension
- supplementary retirement pension (Kåpan Tjänste) and
- individual retirement pension.
Employment can be terminated for various reasons. If you lose your job because the organisation is making cutbacks, the adjustment agreement for public sector employees applies. In certain cases, you are entitled to support and help if your fixed-term employment ends.
For long and devoted public service
This tradition began in 1803 as a distinction for public employees who had shown long and devoted service. The award in the form of a medal, gold watch or engraved glassware is given to those who have worked in public service for 30 years.
You can have worked in different workplaces, as long as they were in the public sector. Special rules apply if for example you are to retire before having worked in public service for 30 years – in that case 25 years are sufficient for obtaining the distinction.
Contact your line manager or the human resources officer within your department/faculty or equivalent.