The collaboration of government agencies in the fight against work-related crime

The Swedish Migration Agency and seven other government agencies are working together to stop fraud, rule violations and crime in working life. Part of the collaboration consists of joint inspections of employers in certain vulnerable industries. In November, an information campaign was also launched to increase the public awareness about this issue.

Since 2018, the Swedish Migration Agency has been participating in a government assignment aimed at combatting work-related crime. Part of the work consists of inter-agency inspections of companies and organisations where there is a suspicion that employers are breaking the rules.

During 2018-2020, more than 5,000 inspection efforts were implemented in industries that are particularly vulnerable, namely the construction, restaurant, beauty, car care, cleaning and transport industries. The inspections reveal companies that violate work environment rules, exploit labour, do not pay taxes and fees, and receive grants to which they are not entitled.

The collaboration helps uncover more rule violations

By collaborating, the agencies can benefit from each other’s knowledge and information in a completely different way than before, which has been shown to result in a greater impact. Together, the authorities can approach unscrupulous employers from multiple angles and can detect breaches of the regulations in various areas of society.

The Swedish Migration Agency does not participate in on-site inspections. Rather, it assists the participating agencies with information on whether a company’s employees have the right to work in Sweden. With the help of the information obtained through these inspection efforts, the Swedish Migration Agency can also stop unscrupulous companies from employing foreign labour. Foreign labour is often the subject of work-related crime, as foreign employees are often in a vulnerable situation, e.g., because they do not know the language, the Swedish system or the rules that apply in the Swedish labour market.

The collaboration also gives the Swedish Migration Agency an increased ability to render correct decisions and greater opportunities to share information with other authorities, which in turn has a preventative effect on crime.

Information campaign in November

Leading up to 2021, the Swedish Government decided to give all eight national agencies the task of increasing public awareness about work-related crime. To this end, this November a joint effort is underway to increase knowledge and inform the public about what we can do together to combat crime in working life.

More information about the campaign and tips on what you can do yourself can be found on the agencies’ joint page, (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.

As a consumer, there are things you can do to avoid contributing to the continuation of work-related criminality. In some cases, you can do research before your purchase, and in other cases, you can do it when a service is performed. The agencies’ joint website features tips on things to keep in mind when you purchase a service.

Read more at (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.

Everyone who works in Sweden has the right to good working conditions. It does not matter if the employee is a Swedish citizen or is only working here for a limited time – everyone still has the right to a good working life. That is why it is important that employees know what rights they have.

There are special requirements for employers that employ a person to work in Sweden. This applies regardless of the type of employment.

Among other things, the company must pay the salary they have offered the employee and fulfil other terms in the employment offer.

Read more about the requirements for the employer or the client

It is important that the employee her/himself finds out which terms of employment apply to their offer of employment.

If a problem arises with an employer in Sweden, an employee can try to contact the Swedish Municipal Workers’ Union.

The website of the Swedish Municipal Workers’ Union (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.

Anyone who employs a person who is a citizen of a country outside the EU must check that the person has the right to be in Sweden and work for the company. The employer must also notify the Swedish Tax Agency that it has hired a person from a country outside the EU.

No person may be discriminated against in working life on the basis of, e.g., national or ethnic origin or skin colour. The employer should be aware that its background check on the employee must not be conducted in a discriminatory manner.

Read more about the responsibilities of the employer

Collaborating authorities

The collaborating authorities are: The Swedish Public Employment Service, the Swedish Work Environment Authority, the Swedish Economic Crime Authority, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, the Swedish Gender Equality Agency, the Swedish Migration Agency, the Swedish National Police Board and the Swedish Tax Agency. The Swedish Work Environment Authority coordinates the assignment.

More information about the inspection assignment is available on the website of the Swedish Work Environment Authority. The website also has annual status reports and results from several of the inspection efforts that have already been carried out.

Read more about the collaboration on the website of the Swedish Work Environment Authority (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window.

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