The Co-operative Employers' Association

KFO is an employers' organisation of Swedish co-operative and popular-movement-owned enterprisers as well as civil society organisations.

The employers’ organisation KFO, with its 4000 member companies, is Sweden’s biggest independent employers’ organisation. Many of KFOs member companies have a cooperative or idea-based character. KFO negotiates tailor made collective agreements about wages and employment conditions. KFO is proud of the high marks given by member companies in yearly member evaluations. KFO:

  • has about 4000 member companies with a total of about 100 000 employees,
  • is represented in most sectors of the Swedish labour market in the fields of trade, industry and service, health care and service, geriatric care and housing service, day-care centre, pre-school and school as well as non profitmaking organisations,
  • has wide-ranging contacts with the trade union movement.
  • was founded in 1943. 

The organisation's main task is to assist its members in negotiations and to conclude agreements on their behalf.

The negotiations conducted by KFO can be divided into three types: collective bargaining, co-determination negotiations and negotiations to settle legal disputes. In addition to this, KFO provides service in matters arising in the member companies' day-to-day personnel administration.

Collective bargaining

Collective bargaining deals chiefly with matters concerning wages, salaries and general terms of employment but also with questions such as insurance, co-determination, education and the working environment. The agreements resulting from such negotiations are fairly closely modelled on those applying in the respective industries outside the co-operative sector of the labour market. The negotiations are conducted through specially appointed delegations consisting of representatives for the relevant areas of activity. In the event that agreements concluded by KFO are subject to local adjustments, members may obtain advice and support from KFO.

Co-determination negotiations

Co-determination negotiations cover such decisions as the employer intends to take after the obligation to negotiate, as laid down in the Co-determination Act, has been met. In the event that the employer and the local employee organisations are not in agreement on the appropriateness of the intended decision, the employee representatives are entitled to demand central negotiations. In such negotiations, KFO will represent the employer.

Negotiations to settle legal disputes

Should any dispute arise between the employer and the local employee organisation concerning the interpretation of a law or a contractual provision, KFO will assist the employer with advice and views in connection with the local negotiations. If the dispute cannot be settled locally, KFO will represent the employer at central negotiations if such negotiations have been requested. Should the matter subsequently be referred to a court, KFO's legal experts will handle the proceedings.

Working environment

KFO actively follows developments in the field of the working environment for all relevant sectors and maintains contacts with the authorities and organisations concerned. The knowledge thus acquired is continuously made available to the relevant companies.

Statistics – research

KFO collects and processes statistics on wages and salaries for the member companies. In addition, KFO co-operates in the field of statistics with other employer and employee organisations in the private sector. KFO also carries out various studies and calculations concerning alternative forms of pay, etc.

Legal counsel

In addition to the consultative services provided by KFO in questions relating to labour legislation, the member companies are offered free legal counsel at all pro-ceedings involving labour legislation's in the courts or in boards of arbitration.

Insurance

As a result of the employer's membership in KFO, the employees will be entitled to pensions and other insurance, which supplement the employees' basic benefits through collective agreements.

Monitoring labour market issues

KFO is represented on a number of state and joint committees. This means that the organisation is in a position to monitor and influence developments on the labour market. KFO also serves as a referral body for legislative matters in the field of labour law and related areas.