Work permits for berry pickers
If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and plan to come to Sweden to pick berries, you need a work permit. The work permit must have been issued before you travel to Sweden.
For employment that lasts less than three months, citizens of certain countries must also have a visa.
Requirements for obtaining a work permit
In order to obtain a work permit, you must
- have a valid passport
- have been offered terms of employment on the same level as Swedish collective agreements or that which is customary in your occupation or industry
- have been offered a monthly pretax salary of at least SEK 13,000.
There are special requirements for those who want to employ a person to work in the berry picking industry. These apply whether that person will be picking berries or working as an interpreter, chef, mechanic or providing supporting services to the berry pickers.
Among other things, the company must pay the salary you have been offered, even if there are few berries and/or you are unable to pick the required amount of berries.
If you are employed by a company in Sweden
If you are employed by a company in Sweden you must apply for a seasonal work permit instead.
LO (The Swedish Trade Union Confederation) has decided that the Swedish Municipal Workers' Union (SKAF) shall be responsible for the rights of berry pickers with regard to the right to join unions and matters concerning contractual law. This means that SKAF is to be given a chance to comment on the conditions of employment. If you work full time and are employed by a company with operations in Sweden, LO has decided that the framework agreement with the Federation of Swedish Forestry and Agricultural Employers shall be your collective agreement.
If you are employed by a recruitment agency based abroad
A Swedish company may purchase the service of berry picking from a foreign company. The foreign company that has employed you must have a branch in Sweden. The employer/client in Sweden must guarantee the terms of employment applicable in the offer of employment. If you are employed by a foreign staffing company that does not have operations in Sweden, the Staffing Agreement shall apply. This applies whether the employer has signed a collective agreement or not.
Your rights as a berry picker in Sweden
Everyone working in Sweden has the right to good terms of employment. Whether or not you are a Swedish citizen or you are working here for a limited period, you have the right to a good working life. It is therefore important that you know your rights.
You can obtain more information on your rights from the Swedish Work Environment Authority.
It is important that you find out for yourself what terms of employment apply in the offer of employment you have received.
If there are problems with your employer in Sweden, you can contact the Swedish Municipal Workers' Union.