The Purpose of Agreements on General Terms and Conditions
Agreements on general terms and conditions have had a strong position in Sweden for many years. Nowadays, they are in widespread use and are often regarded as standard practice within an industry by Swedish courts of law.
An underlying purpose of such agreements is to create a reasonable balance in the relationship between the nature of the service (or product) and the price. They also provide transparency and clear guidelines – perhaps the best way to prevent a dispute between two parties. Furthermore, these agreements enable customers to make better comparisons between the offers of different suppliers.
For members of Competencse Agencies of Sweden, the Agreements on general Terms and Conditions are free. Non members can subscribe annualy at a cost of SEK 5 000.
A Sound Basis on which to Build
Business deals that are based on an agreement on general terms and conditions can be entered into quickly and require relatively little legal knowledge.
A commercial contract is made up of two parts – one exclusive part regulating specific aspects of the assignment and one general part consisting of the general terms and conditions. If the latter are to serve as part of the specific accord, the main rule is that the other party should be made aware of them. This is achieved by attaching the agreement on general terms and conditions to the confirmation of the individual assignment.
Annual subscription for non members
As the agreements on general terms and conditions published by Competence Agencies of Sweden have become increasingly important on the market, the need for accessibility has also increased. Hence, the agreements are now easy to subscribe to, download and attach electronically.
Staffing Services Agreement (ABPU-10)
ABPU-10 is intended to be used when the staffing agency places personnel at the disposal of a client company to carry out work related to the client company’s operations under the control and management of the same company. The idea is that ABPU-10 is used for the great majority of staffing services, hence replacing ABPU-04. The services and responsibilities of the staffing agency have been specified as the selection process and the provision of placed personnel. The client company, on the other hand, has the same responsibility for placed personnel as for its own personnel. Consequently, by virtue of ABPU-10, the staffing agency has responsibilities which are in line with Swedish law in this area, as well as with agreements on general terms and conditions for staffing services in other Nordic countries. Compared to ABPU-04, there is now greater clarity as to the contracting parties’ responsibilities.
Placement of Professionals Agreement (ABSS-10)
ABPU-10 has been supplemented by a special agreement (ABSS-10) for when the staffing agency places qualified professional employees at the disposal of the client company. Examples of such staff are chief executives, specialist medical doctors, chief financial officers as well as other equally qualified professionals. According to ABSS-10, the staffing agency has responsibility not only for the selection process and the provision of placed personnel, but also for how the placed personnel carry out the work tasks. The staffing agency’s maximum liability for this type of staffing service is higher than for ABPU-10 related services. ABSS-10 enables staffing agencies to compete with traditional consultancies in that the responsibility for the tasks to be performed by the placed professional resembles that of a consultancy. This makes it possible to charge for the greater risk that is implicit in the provision of qualified staff to the client company.
Since ABSS-10 applies to the placement of qualified professional employees, the compensation arrangements are slightly different from those of ABPU-10. ABSS-10 assumes that the price is normally a fixed fee and, consequently, the staffing agency has no right to compensation in the event of a change in a collective agreement or overtime hours worked etc. Furthermore, there is no reference to the wage structure at the client company.
According to ABSS-10, the client company is to provide specific written instructions regarding the work tasks of the placed qualified professional employees.
Recruitment Agreement (ABRE-10)
ABRE-10 is intended to be used when the staffing agency has been given the assignment to select and present candidates to a client company intending to employ one or more persons. Compared to its predecessor (ABRE-04), ABRE-10 includes some slight changes as well as new terms and conditions on issues that have not been previously covered, e.g. intellectual property rights, confidentiality and personal data.
Outplacement Agreement (ABOU-10)
ABOU-10 is intended to be used when the staffing agency has been given the assignment to provide outplacement services to a client company intending to give, or already having given, notice of dismissal to one or more persons or, for other purposes, wishing outplacement or change for certain person(s).
ABOU-10 is completely new and is based on ABRE-10, apart from when the nature of the assignment makes a different content necessary.
Grant of Copyright License/Liability release
Kompetensföretagen/Almega AB grants to any party a copyright license to use the agreements as stated. However, Kompetensföretagen/Almega AB does not grant a copyright license for an individual to alter, transform, modify or change the agreements as stated. In any event, Kompetensföretagen/Almega AB does not make any legal representations as to the validity and/or effects of the agreements, nor does Kompetensföretagen/Almega AB assume any legal liability with respect to the agreements as used by parties in their original form.