Reflection: Sweden’s surprising rule for time off

Sweden’s surprising rule for time off

Jana Cagin had never thought about running her own company until she and her fiancé had “one of those lightbulb moments” while out shopping for a new sofa at Ikea in a Stockholm suburb. They felt that the range of legs available was too limited.

For the last two decades, full-time workers with permanent jobs have had the right to take a six-month leave of absence to launch a company (or alternatively, to study or to look after a relative).

Bosses can only say no if there are crucial operational reasons they can’t manage without a staff member, or if the new business is viewed as direct competition. Employees are expected to be able to return in the same position as previously.

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