The Labor Court found that it was not a violation of the Parental Leave Act to reassign employees to other tasks during their part-time parental leave, as the employees’ leave would otherwise have led to significant disruptions in the employer’s activities and therefore the reassignments were necessary consequences of their leave.
Three employees applied for part-time parental leave during the periods 2019 and 2020. Their employer, the Swedish Prison and Probation Service, demanded that the employees accept relocations to other tasks during their leave, as their leave would cause significant disruption to the employer’s operations should they continue to perform their regular duties. during his leave. While two of the employees accepted their reassignments and were granted the requested leave, the third employee rejected each reassignment and was therefore not granted the requested leave. The workers’ union claimed that the redeployment was to the detriment of the employees due to their parental leave and that the redeployment as such was contrary to the Parental Leave Act.
The Labor Court found that an employer should comply with an employee’s request for parental leave, as far as possible, provided that the arrangement of the leave does not cause significant disruption to the employer’s activities. If the requested leave would entail a significant strain on the employer’s activities, the employer should be allowed to deviate from the employee’s wishes regarding parental leave. The court found that reassignment of an employee to other duties during part-time parental leave does not in principle constitute an unreasonable disadvantage that constitutes a violation of the Parental Leave Act, if the reassignment is necessary to avoid a serious disruption of the employer’s activities. and is as such a necessary consequence of parental leave.
The court found that the employees’ requested parental leave on a part-time basis would have significantly affected the employer’s ability to conduct their business, if they had been allowed to continue their regular duties. Consequently, the court found that the reassignments did not contravene the Parental Leave Act, as the reassignments and the disadvantages of the reassignments were necessary consequences of the requested part-time parental leave.
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Relocating an employee during his / her part-time parental leave is not contrary to the Parental Leave Act, if the part-time parental leave would otherwise cause significant disruption to the employer’s activities, if the employee were to be granted parental leave on a part-time basis while continuing his regular duties.