Organisational restructuring

A planned organisational restructuring can often create uncertainty both for employees and for you as a manager. This is an overview of what you may need to know about organisational restructuring in the workplace.

The employer has an obligation to negotiate

In order to make a decision on organisational restructuring, the employer must first negotiate with the trade unions that have collective agreements at the workplace.

If the restructuring is expected to lead to redundancies and you do not have a collective agreement, the employer must negotiate with all the unions that have members at the workplace who are affected.

After the negotiation, the employer can take a decision on the restructuring and explain how many employees may be affected by work shortages/redundancy.

Changes in terms and conditions

The employer is obliged to negotiate if there are plans to change benefits that have been offered unilaterally by the employer, i.e. that are not part of the collective or employment agreement. These may include staff discounts, health and fitness allowances or subsidised lunches.

Work environment impact or risk assessment

The employer must always conduct an impact or risk assessment prior to organisational restructuring. The assessment must show how the change will affect the work environment and whether it poses risks of ill health or accidents at work that need to be addressed.All risks must be documented in writing, indicating whether or not they are serious. The actions required should be implemented immediately or collected into a written action plan.

If the change is significant, the employer needs to set up a workgroup that has expertise as to what the change will entail. Employees and health and safety representatives should also be given the opportunity to participate in the impact and risk assessment process.

Read more about risk assessment at Prevent (Swedish)

The work environment and your role as a manager

As a manager, you have a significant role in work environment management in the workplace. On the pages about Your responsibility for the work environment we have collected information that can help you in your management role.

Notifying the Public Employment Service

According to the Act (1974:13) respecting certain measures for the promotion of employment (främjandelagen) (Swedish), the employer must notify the Public Employment Service if at least five employees need to be made redundant in connection with the organisational restructuring. This must be done at least two months before the job cuts.

Redeployment investigation and order of priority

In order to avoid redundancies, the employer must investigate whether it is possible to redeploy employees whose jobs are lost as a result of the restructuring.

The redeployment obligation presupposes that there is a vacancy in the organisation and that the employee has sufficient qualifications for the position. Sometimes an induction period may be needed for the employee to get used to the job, and the employer must accept this.

Read more about the redeployment obligation on our page about Termination of employment – rights and obligations.

The order of priority list

If there are no vacancies to which employees can be redeployed, the employer must draw up a priority list for the posts remaining in the organisation. The order of priority is determined primarily by length of service. If two employees have the same length of service, the older employee takes precedence over the younger one, provided they have sufficient qualifications for the remaining position.

Read more about the order of priority rules on the page about Termination of employment – shortage of work/redundancy.