• Sweden edition

Outrage over Swedish city's 'sex and booze' test

Published: 27 Sep 2012 15:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Sep 2012 15:12 GMT+02:00

Umeå municipality in Sweden's far north has come under fire for a partnership with PersonalPartner, a company that produces personality tests, after some employees complained that the questions were a little too probing.

“In many of them I answered ‘This has nothing to do with you,’” said one test taker, referred to as Fia, to the Kommunalarbetaren newspaper.

“It was about my sex-life, excrement, how much alcohol I drank even though I’d previously answered that I was practically a teetotaler,” she said.

The test questions, according to the paper, included such examples as:

“Are you satisfied with your sex-life? Are you disrupted by a change in your sexual desires? Is your excrement alternately loose/hard? Do you need to urinate often?”

Speaking with the Aftonbladet newspaper, Gunnar Sjölander of the Swedish Teachers' Union (Lärarförbundet) explained that the test was "mandatory" and several teachers who took the test were told they had two weeks to find a new job or face redundancy.

"If they didn't find one, they were out. And some have already left," he told the newspaper.

Umeå municipality HR director Birgitta Forsberg confirmed for Aftonbaldet that ten or so people were reassigned after taking the test.

Following revelations about the test, both the Umeå municipality and PersonalPartner was reported to the Swedish Data Inspection Board (Datainspektionen).

Furthermore, the municipality announced Thursday that it had cut ties with PersonalPartner.

“We’re not going to do things that are offensive. We put a stop to it immediately. We will meet with the people who have taken the test and talk with them,” Forsberg told the local Västerbottens-Kuriren (VK) newspaper.

The Local/og

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

17:38 September 27, 2012 by Youdee
Totally disgusting.
00:16 September 28, 2012 by dizzymoe33
So wrong on so many levels. Here in the States you can't ask those kind of questions it is illegal.
08:59 October 7, 2012 by Rat bat
I think that questions about my sex life and alcohol intake are quite unreasonable ! The only people I would feel happy discussing these things with about be my own doctor, Sapo and my wife. If an ordinary organisation asked me then I would start to get creative and a little nasty with my answers.

Here are some examples of what I would say to some questions.

Q: How is your sex life ?

A: Well I am happy with it, are you happy with yours ?

Q: Do you have "normal" sex or not with your wife / girlfriend ?

A: Define normal and please tell me what type of creep wants to know so much about my sex life

Q: How exactly do you like to have sex ?

A: No comment, are you trying to gather information on me for a blackmail attempt ? Do you want me to file a report on you with SAPO or the police ?

On a more serious note (if you can get more serious than reporting someone to Sapo regarding information gathering on a person) I would like to know if those ten people who may have suffered as a result of the "personality test" have been given their old jobs back and been paid compensation ?
Today's headlines
Nuclear freeze agreed by new government
A nuclear power station in Forsmark, Sweden. Photo: TT

Nuclear freeze agreed by new government

Sweden's Social Democrats and Greens Party have announced a coalition agreement to halt nuclear energy development. READ  

Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' asylum
A Swedish soldier in Afghanistan. Photo: TT

Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' asylum

The Migration Court in Malmö has ruled that Sweden's Migration Board was wrong to reject the residence applications of seven Afghan interpreters without assessing their protection needs. READ  

The Local List
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
Speak Percussion will perform at Connect in Malmö in November. Photo: Connect

Top five winter festivals in Sweden

Autumn has swept into the country and chilly days lie ahead. But there are plenty of winter festivals where you can warm up in the coming months. With tickets already selling fast, here are The Local's top tips. READ  

Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers
Workers at the Saab plant in Trollhättan. Photo: TT

Swedish Saab plant sheds a third of workers

Swedish car maker Saab has announced it has axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce. READ  

Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale
A Danish site is selling the works that the Swedish state wants destroyed. Screenshot: www.entartetekunst.dk

Sweden's 'most dangerous art' on sale

Work by controversial jailed Swedish artist Dan Park is on sale online and could reach a gallery in Copenhagen, despite a previous exhibition being pulled. READ  

Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old
Pensioners in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden is 'second best' place to grow old

Sweden has dropped to second place in an annual index measuring the quality of life of elderly people in 96 countries around the world. READ  

Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche
Andreas Fransson, left. Photo: Markus Alatalo

Top Swedish skier killed in Chile avalanche

UPDATED: The bodies of two of the world's top skiers, Sweden's Andreas Fransson and JP Auclair from Canada, were found on Tuesday after they were reported missing in an avalanche in the Andes. READ  

Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

Coalition promise to boost welfare and jobs

UPDATED: The Social Democrats and the Greens have agreed to raise unemployment payments and promised to create more jobs in the construction industry, The Local has learned. READ  

Ikea recalls elk pasta
Two types of pasta are affected. Photo: IKEA

Ikea recalls elk pasta

Ikea has pulled two different types of elk-shaped pasta from its stores in Sweden. READ  

Presented by Regus
How to get your own great office in Stockholm
A woman using a Regus workspace. Photo: Regus

How to get your own great office in Stockholm

Stockholm's business climate is hotter than ever, which leaves start-ups and business travellers hunting high and low for flexible office space. The solution is easier than they think. READ  

Apology for Swedish model's stolen photos
New coalition agrees on defence and migration
Property of the week: Botkyrka
New government to make school compulsory to 18
Sweden Democrat wins Deputy Speaker spot
Blog updates

28 September

Spoiled Doyle (Blogweiser) »

"What you gotta watch out for in Sweden is the good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_EzUe6xpI In Sweden, it’s the good things you have to watch out for. Video on @TheLocalSweden http://t.co/rAb8eGFdTD pic.twitter.com/w37YYwMXy1 — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 29, 2014 " READ »


26 September

 (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Autumn swept into Sweden at the start of this week with snow in the north of the country and flooding in the south. As well as a change in the weather, Sweden’s change in political direction became clearer, with Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven formally announcing his party would work with the Greens as..." READ »

Swedish scientists sneak Bob Dylan lyrics into articles
The five best Swedish songs of the month
People-watching: September 28th
When Italian style meets Swedish simplicity
Review: Sweden's first alcohol-free nightclub
In Pictures: The MS Estonia disaster
Ten things expat women notice in Sweden
What's next on Sweden's political stage?
Sweden's 2014 election: Most memorable moments
What's on in Sweden
People-watching: September 24th
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
How to catch the first lobster of the year
In Pictures: Fredrik Reinfeldt through the years.
Plucked out of Canada for love and guitars
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.