The Swedish National Mediation Office has three principal tasks:
• to promote an efficient wage formation process
• to mediate in labour disputes
• to oversee the provision of public statistics on wages and salaries.
The Swedish National Mediation Office is required to strive for an efficient process of wage formation, in part by supporting and maintaining the consensus on the labour market of the normative role of the international competitive sector in wage formation.
An efficient wage formation process
• is based on the normative role of the international competitive sector in wage formation
• combines increased real wages with a high level of employment
• results in fewer labour market conflicts
• enables relative wage changes
• contributes to the international competitiveness of Swedish trade and industry.
The Swedish National Mediation Office strives for an effcient process of wage formation not only through its mediation work, but also by consulting the parties on the labour market about the economic conditions for wage formation and through conferences, seminars and reports.
The Swedish National Mediation Office may appoint mediators if there is a risk of industrial action on the labour market of if the parties negotiating a collective agreement request this.
The Swedish National Mediation Office appoints special mediators in disputes between employers and trade unions in their negotiations on wages and general employment conditions. The mediators therefore work on behalf of the Swedish National Mediation Office, but are not its employees. Many of them have previously been negotiators or held senior positions at some of the labour market parties.
The Swedish National Mediation Office also has four permanent mediators affiliated to it. They are responsible for different geographical areas and are called in to assist in local disputes at company level. These are almost always conflicts where a company does not want to sign a collective agreement with a trade union. The permanent mediators are affiliated to the Swedish National Mediation Office for one year at a time and undertake this assignment as secondary employment. Often they are, or have been, court lawyers.
The Swedish National Mediation Office is responsible for the content and scope of the official wage statistics. The statistics can be divided into three parts: economy wage statistics, wage
structure statistics and EU statistics.