There is no minimum wage in Sweden. Your salary is something that is either negotiated between the employer and the employee or negotiated between the trade union and the employer or employers’ organisation, in a so-called collective agreement. That is, in several sectors, there is a minimum wage for all organisations that have signed this agreement.
When you talk about your salary, you refer to your gross salary. However, you will receive only your net salary, after income taxes have been deducted. That is, when you make a budget for your personal expenses, match it with your net salary. The exact percentage of your income tax depends on your salary as well as what municipality you live in. The higher your pay is, the higher percentage and vice versa. As a rule of thumb, count on your income tax is 30% or above.
When your salary arrives in your bank account, your preliminary income taxes have already been deducted. This is adjusted once a year, as you receive your tax returns (inkomstdeklaration) from Skatteverket. Your net salary is paid into your bank account.
If you are sick, you will not receive any pay the first day you are off work. This is called karensdag. Exceptions apply for chronically ill and during pandemics, for example. From day two and the next 12 days, you will receive 80% of your salary, paid by your employer. (Please note that you’ll need a doctor’s certificate if you are off work for longer than a week.) If your sick leave is longer than 14 days, it is paid by Försäkringskassan, so make sure you are registered with them. Also from Försäkringskassan, you will be paid 80% of your salary (ceilings apply).
Twelve months in a year
In some countries, a system of 13 months a year is employed. This is not the case in Sweden; you are paid 12 times a year, on the 25th each month, if you work in the private sector, and on the 27th if you work in the public sector.
New country, new budget
When setting a personal budget, it may be a good idea to map the expenses you’ve had in other countries you have worked in, and compare them to what expenses you’ll have in Sweden. There are different systems and insurances in different countries. For example, education is free in Sweden, but you will probably need a more diverse wardrobe, given the Nordic climate.