Legal update: New year – new rules

Published

As 2016 became history and 2017 began, several new rules entered into force in Sweden. While the new laws on public procurement might be one of the most high profile changes, there are also new rules within labor and employment law regarding whistleblowing and actions against discrimination. Below is a brief introduction to the changes.

  • By now, most people are aware that the laws on public procurement have been replaced. The implications of the new laws may however not be as clear. While many rules remain the same, there are several highly notable changes of which many are intended to be advantageous for small and medium-sized enterprises. For example, contracting authorities may under the new rules still freely choose the open or the restricted procedure, but the possibilities to use the competitive procedure with negotiations or the competitive dialogue have been increased. Other new rules include the possibility for contracting authorities to divide contracts into separate lots, stricter rules regarding abnormally low tenders and modifications of contracts during their term.
  • In the labor law area, a law regarding whistleblowing entered into force on the 1st of January. This is the first law of its kind in Sweden. The law, lag (2016:749) om särskilt skydd mot repressalier för arbetstagare som slår larm om allvarliga missförhållanden, prevents employers from taking reprisals such as dismissal against employees who internally or externally report misconduct and other wrongdoings within an organization. An employee is however only protected if the whistle was blown due to a “serious wrongdoing” (Sw. allvarligt missförhållande), which somewhat limits the application of the law. It is also important to note that the law on whistleblowing grants protection against reprisals, not new rights to report wrongdoings.
  • Thirdly, employers and schools shall now proactively analyze risks for discrimination within their operations and take active measures to prevent it. Furthermore, all employers must now every year examine men and women’s salaries and other employment terms in order to prevent unjustified differences. According to the new rules, many of these activities shall be documented. This is will add an administrative burden to many companies.

If you would like to know more regarding the public procurement regulations, please contact Ulrika Geissler and if you would like to know more about the new employment law regulations, please contact Mikael Nelson.

Happy New Year!