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Samhall does not fully fulfil its public policy assignment

Samhall fails to provide stimulating jobs for its employees. Sizeable staff groups and an all too uniform offering of work tasks limits its possibilities to offer matching jobs and thereby work-based development, which is the purpose of the operations.

Detaljbild på person som syr på symaskin. På tröjan syns Samhalls logotyp.  

Samhall is a state-owned enterprise tasked with producing goods and services, thereby creating meaningful and enriching jobs for people with disabilities assigned by the Swedish Public Employment Service.

The Swedish National Audit Office’s audit shows that Samhall has created many job opportunities, but is deficient in offering matching and enriching jobs. The overall conclusion is therefore that Samhall does not fulfil its public policy assignment in full.

This is principally because the Government’s governance has been strongly focused on the company’s business and financial development. Too little attention has been paid to the quality of the employment offered and how Samhall carries out its assignment. Samhall’s internal governance and organisation have also been far too focused on the business aspect.

The audit shows that the Swedish Public Employment Service essentially assigns jobseekers from the right target groups. The jobseekers are very detached from the labour market and there are many indications that their need for support has increased over time.

At the same time, Samhall’s operations are concentrated to certain industries and professional roles – mainly cleaning services – which reduces its possibilities to match jobs based on the employees’ various needs and conditions.

An all too uniform offering of work tasks also means that Samhall indirectly gains influence over who can be employed, which in practice limits the Swedish Public Employment Service’s possibilities to assign people.

“Samhall is a last labour market policy effort. At the same time, it is a very costly effort for the State and needs to function better for people who cannot find work in the regular labour market or support through other initiatives,” says Kristina Lovén Seldén, Project Leader for the audit.

Recommendation in brief

The Swedish National Audit Office’s recommendation to the Government is to investigate which form of organisation best meets the Riksdag’s objective for Samhall. The investigation should be based on the premise that a central government actor would be responsible for and carry out the mission of providing meaningful and developing jobs to persons with disabilities sent by the Swedish Public Employment Service.

“These deficiencies have been known for a long time. Far-reaching changes are needed to ensure that the public policy assignment decided by the Riksdag is to be fulfilled in its entirety. The basic prerequisites for Samhall’s operations need to be reviewed,” says Auditor General Helena Lindberg.

See the report for the recommendations in full.

Samhall – a limited company with a public policy assignment

Samhall is a state-owned enterprise with a public policy assignment to produce goods and services for which there is a demand and, by doing so, create meaningful and stimulating work for persons with disabilities where there is a need. The target group consists of persons who have such a reduced ability to work that they cannot get other work or support through other initiatives. Samhall has just under 24,000 employees of whom about 22,500 were sent by the Swedish Public Employment Service. Samhall receives central government compensation for additional costs to perform its public policy assignment. This compensation amounts to SEK 6.6 billion for 2023.

Press contact: Olle Castelius, phone: +46 8-5171 40 04.

Presskontakt: , telefon: 08-5171 42 06.

Updated: 03 July 2023

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