Working abroad

The nature and conditions of the assignment are decisive for whether the assignment is to be considered as a business trip or expatriation according to URA. The employer must make that assessment and make a decision. The URA agreement has no lower time limit regarding the length of the assignment.

The following provides guidance in the assessment of mission or expatriation;

If the employee is going to stay in a hotel and take their meals in a restaurant, it is normally considered a business trip. The employer cannot and must not pay costs or allowances for family members on business and only the employee is protected by the employer's insurance when travelling on business.

If the conditions are such that the employee should live in self-catering at the place of residence, i.e. in a rented apartment / house, or for that matter apartment hotel / "serviced apartments" i.e. normally buy their food and prepare it on the stove and eat "like at home", it is to be considered an expatriation. An expatriation may also include conditions for accompanying family members. A URA contract is drawn up with the employee.

How does the employer's work environment responsibility work when stationing abroad?

Linnaeus University has work environment responsibility for expatriate workers. However, the Work Environment Act and the Swedish Work Environment Authority's regulations only apply in Sweden. Work environment responsibility may be organized according to the best way and ability and the employee himself has a great responsibility to report and report any shortcomings in the work environment.

Can anyone be posted abroad?

No. The sending of foreign citizens to their home country is to be regarded as a local employment, which Swedish authorities are not allowed to do. It may be that citizenship in the individual case does not have a decisive impact on where a person belongs. Instead, decisive in the URA context is where the person is permanently resident from a social security point of view. Civil registration and taxation are also aspects that must be taken into account when deciding whether or not expatriation is possible. Social security affiliation is investigated by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. (In order for this to happen, the person needs to fill in the form FK6220). Contact your HR partner for support and advice. Swedish Agency for Government Employers on local employment

Can you be stationed part-time?

Only in exceptional cases. It is important that the employee does not work for another employer at the station as this may mean, among other things, that the employee risks double taxation and being considered a resident abroad from a social security perspective (which means that the basis for the expatriation falls). In addition, Linnaeus University may also be obliged to pay employer's contributions for the second employment. Always consult with HR partners before a part-time expatriation.

Can the URA contract be changed retroactively?

No, no retroactive changes are allowed. The employee is obliged to immediately provide information about changed circumstances that may affect agreed benefits in the contract, in which case an additional contract can be used.

Who can be accompanied?

The accompanying person must have had a steady relationship with the outgoing person for at least 6 months. In addition to that, children under the age of 19 can be covered by the contract.

Can accompanying persons take up employment at the place of station?

Yes, but the Swedish Social Insurance Agency may consider that accompanying and possibly also accompanying children should no longer belong to Swedish social insurance. Therefore, it is very important that the person finds out what will apply in the case at hand. Any accompanying and additional cost surcharges need to be reviewed and reduced. However, the URA insurance applies even if the accompanying person works in the country of posting.

How much does URA insurance cost?

The URA insurance costs SEK 18 / person-day (2022). It is paid for by the department/division where the employee is employed.

How do I know what the maximum amounts are for general additional costs/ and accompanying surcharges?

Current amount limits can be found on the Swedish Agency for Government Employers' website. The amounts are revised twice a year at the end of the year and the end of the half-year, which is why it is important that current amounts are retrieved from there when new contracts are signed.  

What other additional costs can be reimbursed in a URA contract?

URA is flexible and the contract can be customized in the individual case. It can be about compensation for housing costs and for and out / repatriation, all depending on what the actual situation looks like. Please note that other additional costs are replaced by actual costs upon presentation of an original receipt or other original document showing what the person has paid and how much.

No flat rates in these parts are accepted by the Swedish Tax Agency and only additional costs for private living expenses can be reimbursed via the URA contract.

How do we calculate the reimbursement of housing costs?

The employer can reimburse the expatriate for the increased costs of double residence. The compensation may include actual costs for rent including operating costs such as normal consumption of electricity, water, gas and garbage collection. If the expatriate no longer has a home left in Sweden, the previous rent in Sweden is usually deducted from the housing allowance. However, the expatriate can also retain the housing allowance if the home in Sweden is sublet, this is because the rental is taxed.

How does the person get their compensation for other additional costs?

As described above, other additional costs are normally paid out with actual costs and on presentation of the original receipt. The receipts must be registered in a replacement case in primrose. 

Can you allow holiday home travel to a country other than Sweden?

No, you cannot make a holiday home trip to a third country, the travel costs that can be reimbursed are the trips described in the URA agreement and that go between the place of residence and the place of residence in Sweden. Contact your HR partner to discuss arrangements for holiday home travel if the person who is expatriate was not resident in Sweden before the expatriation.

Can you reimburse visa, passport and more costs for accompanying family?

For the employee, the employer can reimburse the costs the person has due to the expatriation, i.e. costs for photography, visa application, vaccinations, etc. tax-free payments. However, passes do not count as such an additional cost. However, the corresponding costs, i.e. for photography, visa application, vaccinations, etc., for accompanying family members cannot be paid tax-free. Nor can tax-free reimbursements for vaccinations, etc. for pets be paid. 

Can costs for preschool, school and schoolchildren's care be reimbursed?

Yes, the employer can fully or independently reimburse costs for tuition fees / equivalent for preschool, school and schoolchildren's care. However, only those costs that exceed the maximum rate in the municipality of residence in question can be reimbursed for costs for preschools. It is assumed that preschool, school and schoolchildren's care are chosen with the child's best interests in mind, but that unnecessarily expensive alternatives are avoided.

What applies if an expatriate employee applies for parental leave?

A person who has a URA contract does not have the right to remain at the place of employment during parental leave. However, in the individual case, it may be reasonable for the person to be allowed to remain at the place of residence for a shorter period of parental leave (i.e. a few weeks).

Can an expatriate employee retain compensation for additional costs when taking vacation?

Yes, provided that the additional costs remain after the holidays.