Should Swedish employers be asked to compensate deported workers?

Lee Roden
Lee Roden - [email protected]
Should Swedish employers be asked to compensate deported workers?
Workers in fields like tech have been deported over minor errors. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new proposal given to the Swedish government suggests that labour migrants should be able to ask for compensation from their employer if they are denied a residence permit due to the employer's error.


The proposal is part of a government commissioned inquiry into how Sweden's much-criticized deportations of non-EU workers over minor bureaucratic mistakes could be addressed.

The investigation suggests that if a residence permit is revoked "because the employer has failed to give the worker employment which fulfills the requirements for a work permit, the employer should pay out compensation".

The same should be possible if an employer is not able to extend their residence permit or acquire a permanent residence permit because of a breech of the conditions by their employer.

READ ALSO: Sweden is deporting this entrepreneur for lowering his own salary

The Local contacted Sweden's Migration Minister Heléne Fritzon seeking comment and more details from the proposal, but her press spokesperson said that the minister could not say any more as she is currently analyzing the proposal, referring to an interview previously given to Dagens Nyheter (DN).

"Small mistakes from employers should not lead to someone being caught in a situation where they are deported because an employer has not fulfilled the terms of employment. In such cases there should be the possibility of some form of sanction," Fritzon told DN.

However it is not clear if immigrants awarded compensation would still be deported from Sweden anyway – the main issue that those impacted by Sweden's strict rules in the area are complaining about.

Reactions to the proposal from Swedish business organizations have been negative. Employers' association Almega called it "misguided" and said it would not stop deportations, while the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise said the real problem is that the rules over work permits are not clear enough.

The inquiry report will now be submitted to relevant agencies and organizations for their comments on the suggestions, after which the government will decide whether or not to move forward with the proposal.

READ ALSO: Stop deporting skilled migrants, Swedish CEOs say

In February, a group of CEOs representing some of Swedish biggest firms including H&M and Ericsson published a letter calling for the country to stop unnecessarily deporting highly-skilled workers.

"We cannot expect engineers, IT-technicians and other specialists to leave their countries if they risk expulsion from Sweden for unpredictable reasons," they wrote.

In December the Migration Court of Appeal made a ruling aimed at introducing more flexibility in handling the cases, but the employers who signed the letter said it was still insufficient.


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