Consid participates in a seminar in the Swedish Parliament

On Thursday, Consid’s CEO, Peter Hellgren, participated in a seminar at the Swedish parliament which discussed the new employment protection act (LAS) rules that came into effect in October 2022.

It is the most extensive labor law reform in a long time, which requires client companies that have hired consultants for a period of 24 months within a 36-month period to offer employment or pay out an amount equivalent to two months’ salary to the employee. There is concern that the reform may have negative consequences. While the intention is to protect employees, the changes may instead work against them, with workers being “laid off” after 24 months.

Moreover, many companies and organizations risk losing parts of their expertise, which may limit competitiveness globally and contribute to a brain drain.

The seminar included Peter Hellgren, Veli-Pekka Säikkälä (IF Metall’s collective bargaining secretary), Stefan Koskinen (employer policy manager at Almega), Johanna Haraldsson (S) (member of parliament), and Oliver Rosengren (M) (member of parliament and host).

Stefan Koskinen and Veli-Pekka Säikkälä were both involved in the negotiations between the labor market parties that led to the new law. They explained that much of the new LAS law is formulated due to an EU directive from 2008. However, the extent to which IT consultancy firms will be affected by the new law is unclear, and nobody knows how it will affect them, as the regulation has not yet been tested in court. This uncertainty was deemed unfortunate by all participants.

Swedish politicians Oliver Rosengren and Johanna Haraldsson shared a united front, stating that the strength of Swedish labor law is that parties agree without political interference, but that they could also understand the problems faced by consulting companies with the new law.

Peter Hellgren stated that many large Swedish companies are concerned about the new LAS rules and how to plan for the future. The risk is that competitiveness will be hindered and the skills shortage exacerbated. According to Hellgren, “the skills shortage for companies like ours will increase. You can liken it to our personnel being the machines in a workshop or on a construction company. It’s the resource we can offer our customers. If the expertise disappears, it will drain the entire industry.”

You can listen to the discussion here within short.

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