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Working for a public authority

In the service of citizens

As an employee of a public authority, you have both rights and obligations as well as certain benefits. Find out more about what these are here.

Content on this page

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.

Core values

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.

Read more about the rules applying to governing public documents

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.

Secondary employment

As a government employee, you are not to have secondary employment that damages credibility, interferes with work duties or represents competition, as this can affect public confidence in Lund University. The rules concerning secondary employment are contained in different laws and regulations. 

Read more about the rules applying to secondary employment

Swedish Public Procurement Act

The purchase of goods and services is to be conducted in a legal, business-like and efficient manner. Make purchases by placing call-off orders from an existing agreement. If there is no agreement relevant for your intended purchase, you should instead initiate a procurement process. The Purchasing and Procurement Division provides support to the University’s organisational units throughout the process.

Read more about purchasing and procurement 

In the event of a heightened state of alert  

Lund University is not among the public authorities tasked with contingency planning for societal crises. Therefore, in the event of a heightened state of alert, the University will, as far as possible, maintain its regular operations. According to the employment contract, employees at public authorities, municipalities and regions are to be at their workplaces in peacetime and in the event of a heightened state of alert. Employees who have a wartime posting at another organisation are exceptions.

Your benefits as a public sector employee

Annual leave

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.

Read more about the rules on annual leave

Paid authorised leave

As a government employee, you can in certain circumstances be granted paid authorised leave. It may be the case, for example, that you need to make a doctor’s appointment that cannot be arranged outside working hours or attend a close relative’s funeral and estate inventory. Remember to check with your manager when you need to take leave.

Read more about the rules applying to authorised leave

Compensation for parental leave

As a government employee, you may receive additional compensation from the public authority – the parental benefit supplement – when you receive parental benefit.

When you need to take leave in order to care for a sick child, if your income is above Försäkringskassan’s ceiling, the University will pay a supplement for the income above the ceiling for ten days a year. 

Read more about parental leave, parental allowance and caring for sick child


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. 

Read more about the reimbursements to which you may be entitled in connection with illness

Occupational injuries

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. 

Read more about occupational injury insurance


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).

Read more about insurance for employees at Lund University

Register your preferential right to a higher percentage of employment

Pursuant to Section 25a of the Swedish Employment Protection Act (LAS), a part-time employee may be entitled to a higher percentage of employment. The conditions for this preferential right are that:

  • the employer’s need for additional workforce is met by the employee being assigned a higher percentage of employment
  • the part-time employee has sufficient qualifications for the new work duties
  • the part-time employee has registered a wish to increase their percentage of employment

If you want to register your wish to increase your percentage of employment, go to:

Registration of preferential right to a higher percentage of employment

Preferential right to re-employment 

If you have been made redundant due to a shortage of work, or have had a fixed-term position that has come to an end, you may have the preferential right to re-employment pursuant to the Employment Protection Act (LAS). You will in that case have received information about this in a written notification from your employer. In order to claim preferential right to re-employment, the claim is to be registered with your employer.

If you wish to claim preferential right to re-employment, register your claim here  

If you apply for preferential right to re-employment, you will be considered as an applicant for the vacant positions that correspond to the details provided in your application and for which you have sufficient qualifications.

The preferential right to re-employment applies from the date of redundancy or when the notification was issued pursuant to section 15, first paragraph of LAS, and thereafter for nine months from the employment end date. 

If you wish to withdraw a registered claim to preferential right to re-employment, register here

Adjustment agreement

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.

Read more about the adjustment agreement on the page about benefits


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.

Read about the rules governing pensions

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.

Eligibility for the award

If you have only worked at Lund University and have questions regarding eligibility for the award, please contact nor [at] hr [dot] lu [dot] se.

If you have had several government employers, contact the National Government Employee Pensions Board (SPV).


Please send in your personal details (name and department/equivalent) and indicate which gift you have selected via email to nor [at] hr [dot] lu [dot] se.

For more information about the award please contact the HR Division at Lund University by using this form. 


Contact your line manager or the HR officer at your organisational unit if you have any questions concerning employment or your organisational unit’s procedures for HR/staff matters.