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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.

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 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

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.

Read more about the rules applying to secondary employment

Your rights 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

Authorised 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.

Read more about the rules applying to authorised 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.

Read more about parental leave, parental allowance and parental insurance


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


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

Registering a claim to preferential right to re-employment

In order to register a claim to preferential right to re-employment, you must have been made redundant from your employment at Lund University or have had a fixed-term position which has ended. You must also have received written notification from your employer that you are entitled to preferential right to re-employment. If you want to claim preferential right, you must apply formally to register your claim.

If you choose to claim preferential right to re-employment, you will be considered as an applicant to vacancies that correspond to the details provided in your application. However, the constitutional requirement for an objective basis (merit and skill) for appointment of government employees overrides the preferential right to re-employment.

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 the Employment Protection Act (LAS) and thereafter for nine months from the employment end date.

To claim preferential right to re-employment file your digital application here

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

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

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.

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Please contact your line manager or the human resources officer within your department/faculty or equivalent.


Telephone: +46 (0)46-222 00 00 (switchboard)
Mailing adress: Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Invoice adress: Box 188, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Organisation number: 202100-3211

Site manager: staffpages [at] lu [dot] se

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