Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

Brussels, 16 May 2022

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Swedish scheme of around €404 million (SEK 4.2 billion) to help disadvantaged workers access the labour market. The measure aims to create so-called ‘Entry Jobs’ for disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged workers who are currently unemployed. The scheme also contributes to the EU’s strategic objectives relating to job creation.

Under the scheme, the aid will be paid directly to the worker, complementing the wage so that the worker’s final income will match the minimum wage under the applicable regular collective agreement. In addition, Entry Job workers will receive a retirement pension in the form of a State contribution equal to 10.21% of the compensation paid to the worker.

The scheme will run until May 2027. Sweden estimates that the measure will lead to the creation of 25,750 Entry Jobs by mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, mainly in the hotel accommodation, restaurants, real estate services and manufacturing sectors. Under the scheme, Entry Job contracts will have a maximum duration of 24 months and should lead to an employment contract of indefinite duration. The Commission has assessed the Swedish measure under the EU State aid rules, and in particular under Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as well as under the Employment Aid Communication.

On this basis, the Commission approved the scheme under EU State aid rules. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: 

“Fighting unemployment is a top priority for the EU. This €404 million scheme will allow Sweden to explore new ways of helping disadvantaged workers, in particular newly arrived immigrants and long-term unemployed, to enter the Swedish labour market, without unduly distorting competition.” 

A press release is available online.

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