All researchers that have a salary or a residence permit for a year or more have access to social and health insurance on the same terms as Swedish citizens. This implies that medical care is subsidised and that the individual is eligible for state-sponsored compensation in case of sickness for a prolonged period. If the stay is limited to one year but the salary is provided by a Swedish employer, individuals might still be eligible for a certificate that entitles them to medical care. If researchers are on a scholarship and not paying tax, they will not be eligible for healthcare and other benefits.
The Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF), which organises the 38 Swedish universities and university colleges, signed “The European Charter for Researchers” and “The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers” in 2007. Most of the issues covered in these initiatives had by then already been implemented in Sweden.
Parental leave in Sweden is probably the most generous in Europe and has served as a model for many other countries. All working parents are entitled to 16 months of paid leave per child. To encourage greater involvement by both parents a minimum of 2 months is required to be used by the parent that takes the more limited involvement in childcare, usually the father. This has resulted in more fathers staying home and employers being more tolerant towards parental leave. Still, since the women usually stay home longer and take a greater responsibility for childcare, they face professional disadvantages compared to their male counterparts. Non-permanent contracts are normally extended by up to one year in case of maternity leave or for a time commensurate to how long the parent decides to stay home. This is partly due to the fact that it is the social security system paying the parental benefit and not the employer.
Since 2006 EU/EEA citizens do not need any work permit to stay in Sweden. If their stay is longer than three months, researchers need to register with the Swedish Migration Board. Citizens of a Nordic country (Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark) do not need a residence permit. As for third country citizens a new legislation came into force on first of July 2008, which is based on the EUs Researchers Visa Directive. According to these rules no work permit is needed, if the purpose is to teach or lecture during a period of time shorter than three months. If the purpose is to be hired as a researcher for any period of time a work permit is required before arrival. One of the main problems has so far been that the time foreign researchers can be affiliated with universities is limited to two years. According to a new legislation on improved conditions for foreign recruitment this might be changed to four years.
The Swedish Research Council is working towards making it easier for funded researchers to transfer the grants awarded to other countries in case of relocation. The Swedish Research Council has therefore, on the initiative of the European Heads of Research Councils (EUROHORCs), signed the Money Follows Researcher (MFR) agreement. According to this agreement, a researcher moving to a country in which there is an organisation that has also signed the MFR agreement, the researcher can take along the remaining part of a grant. Project Research Grants and Research Equipment Grants (<€0.2 million (SEK2 million)) are eligible. Grants for postdoctoral positions cannot be transferred to another country.