The Swedish Government has delegated employment policy within the central Government sector to the agencies.
As such the Government and Parliament can no longer directly influence collective agreements on pay and other conditions for employees in this sector. SAGE acts entirely as directed by its members.
The agencies that make up the central Government sector in Sweden have long been highly autonomous. Although each agency falls under a ministry, the ministry cannot dictate how the agency operates. For example, Sweden does not have a system whereby civil servants can float between agencies. Each agency recruits its own personnel on the open market. The Swedish public sector also operates with a system of set budget parameters. These parameters are set for each agency on an annual basis for government cost control purposes. The Director General of each agency then bases financial and other decisions on these parameters.
This also allows for individual salary agreements at agency level. This system, which is also generally applied throughout the Swedish employment market, has been in place since 1989. As such, individual salaries are set at agency level, normally following talks between the agency management and local trade union. Agency managers are required to hold regular performance appraisals with every individual and agree personal aims and targets, salary increases, etc. Performance related pay acts as an employee incentive and management tool. It also allows scope to bring salary in line with other market forces.