Ett hållbart arbetsliv : arbetsgivarens rättsliga ansvar för arbetsmiljö och rehabilitering

Sammanfattning: This doctoral thesis investigates and analyses the Swedish employers’ legal responsibility for the work environment and rehabilitation efforts. The focus of analysis is on the legal requirements to be met by the employer and the legal mechanisms available to enforce the requirements. The measures the employer must take regarding the work environment and rehabilitation are regulated by different types of rules that impose some clear and some less clear requirements. Some rules are statutory, and some instead have been imposed by governmental regulations. In order to define the responsibilities of the employer, this study categorizes all of these requirements according to their design: they may constitute specification standards, performance standards, process-based standards, or general duties. To define the employers’ legal responsibility, the conditions that must be fulfilled for the legal enforcement of the requirements also need to be clarified. Enforcement is accomplished through, among other mechanisms, injunctions, fines, criminal sanctions and employment protection rules.The study describes and demonstrates the links between, on the one hand, the design of the requirements and, on the other hand, the legal possibilities for enforcement. It also shows that an employer’s overall legal responsibility for the working environment and rehabilitation is complex. There are differences in the design and functioning of the employer’s proactive responsibility – the responsibility to prevent ill health and to pro­mote health – and the reactive responsibility – responsibility for rehabilitation. There are also major differences in the regulation of different aspects of work environments, with rules varying based on types of work done and risks faced, and based on how the organizational rehabilitation responsibility is designed compared to the responsibility for the individual worker’s rehabilitation. The study also clarifies how the legal regulation of the employer’s responsibility for the work environment and for rehabilitation can contribute to the overall policy objective of ensuring for every worker a sustainable working life.