An employee or job-seeker who is, will be or has been on parental leave is protected against being disadvantaged by an employer. Disadvantage involves treatment that is unfavourable. It may be a case of the person being placed in a worse position, or not receiving an improvement or a benefit.
The protection against disadvantage applies when a person is on parental leave under the provisions of the Parental Leave Act. It also includes temporary parental leave for the care of a sick child (often referred to in Swedish as "VAB"). This protection applies regardless of how long or short the parental leave is. It makes no difference whether the parental leave is full-time or part-time.
The prohibition against disadvantaging a person taking parental leave covers in principle all situations that may arise between an employer and an employee or job-seeker. It makes no difference whether there is an intention to disadvantage or not. It is the effect or the result that determines whether it is a case of disadvantage. Examples of disadvantage include:
- not being given a job or promotion
- being transferred or relocated to less favourable duties or working conditions
- lagging behind in salary
- a trial period of employment is terminated or does not result in permanent employment
- being subjected to victimisation or other harassment by the employer that causes discomfort and suffering.
There are some situations where the prohibition of disadvantage to a person on parental leave does not apply. These are situations where certain conditions or treatment are a necessary consequence of the parental leave, such as:
- not paying salary to the person on parental leave (does not apply to agreed top-up salary during parental leave)
- not employing a job-seeker who intends to be on leave during a large part or the entire period of employment (applies to temporary employment)
- changing a person's duties when he/she returns from parental leave if the previous duties no longer exist