A new year is a great time for a re-start, a follow up of the last year and an opportunity to set new goals for the year ahead.
Take your time to evaluate your organisational progress and see what you need to work on in order to make your company more successful – both in the quality of your working environment, the engagement of your employees and diversity. Those aspects will help you to achieve better creativity and economic growth.
In some way, the Swedish government has made it easier for us as employers to become better in what we do and to make sure that our employees thrive and feel comfortable to make a difference at the work place. There are a few new laws and regulations that every employee needs to know about and to work upon.
I know that it might feel frustrating to get new tasks that you have to act upon, new routines and more administration but in the long run – it should make employees feeling better and performing better! And if you need help on the way you can always reach out to me and I will do my outmost to assist you in an efficient manner.
So, what are the new laws and regulations that you need to know about and act upon from January 2017?
1. The anti-discrimination act is updated from 2017 and the new regulations have higher demands on employers in Sweden – the employer has to implement measures to prevent discrimination and promote equality.
The new rules require that the employer conducts an annual survey of the risks of discrimination, and an analysis of the causes. Thereafter, the employer must plan and implement the measures, then evaluate and follow up these actions. Employers who have more than 25 employees must also document the mapping, and follow-up. This documentation is called “Equality Plan”.
The following aspects need to be evaluated and followed up:
Recruitment and promotion
Salaries and benefits
Training and courses
The ability to combine work and parenthood
2. Another change in the anti-discrimination act is the need to conduct a yearly salary survey in every organisation. Companies with at least 10 employees need to have a written survey and an equality-plan.
The salary survey needs to study if there are any differences in salaries and benefits between female and male employees that have similar jobs, education level and/or responsibilities. After the salary survey is conducted the employer has to analyse the present pay gap and determine whether they are directly or indirectly associated with gender. If so, they are unwarranted pay differentials and must be corrected.
The necessary wage adjustments should be implemented as soon as possible and within three years. Employers with at least 10 employees need to write an action-plan that would list the results of the survey and analysis, as well as any plan for wage adjustments and other measures that need to be taken in order to achieve equal pay for work of equal value.
3. From January 1st 2017 there is a new law that protects whistle-blowers from negative actions against them when reporting about serious wrong-doing at their working-places.
The law’s purpose is to provide workers (employees and temporary personnel) increased protection when hitting the alarm about serious wrongdoing by their employer. The basic rule is that the whistle-blower should first report the wrong-doing internally. The law provides protection for whistle-blowing externally, among other things, whether the internal alarm has not led to action. The employee should have justifies his alarm.
This law provides whistle-blower the ability to sue private and public employers. Whistle-blowers who have been exposed to reprisals may be entitled to compensation if they didn’t commit a crime by alerting. Examples of reprisals: layoffs, dismissals, transfers, adverse changes in employment relationships and harassment and economic damage as loss of pay.
Now when you are updated about the new organisational regulations and challenges for 2017 I would like to wish you and your organisation a Happy New Year!
Let’s make 2017 the year more and more employees would excel and thrive at their organisations while getting motivated to make their companies succeed!
Moran Winsteen Albin
CEO & HR consultant