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These are some of the jobs that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Sweden

Across the world, national economies and individual sectors and businesses are struggling to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. The travel and hospitality industries have been particularly hard-hit. Here's a look at the jobs that have so far been affected by the virus outbreak.

These are some of the jobs that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak in Sweden
A shut-down Volvo factory at Tuve in Sweden. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Airlines

The airline SAS has temporarily laid off around 10,000 staff or 90 percent of its workforce. Around 3,500 of those were staff in Sweden. The Danish and Norwegian governments have agreed to bail out the company with support of three billion kronor.

Norwegian Air has also temporarily laid off 90 percent of its staff, which is around 7,300 employees.

And domestic airline BRA has temporarily laid off and reduced working hours for 600 workers in Sweden.

Travel

Swedavia, the company which operates Sweden's airports, has temporarily laid off 1,900 members of staff and given notice that 800 workers may be laid off. 

The ferry company Stena Line laid off 950 staff who worked both at sea and on land, saying the move was “a direct effect of the impact that the coronavirus has had on Stena Line's passenger operations”.

Hospitality

Hotel group Scandic has said it will terminate around 2,000 staff in Sweden, or around half of its permanent employees in the country.

Hotel chain Nordic Choice has laid off around 4,500 staff in Sweden, along with around 3,000 in Norway and Denmark.

In Gothenburg, the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre has said it will lay off 300 employees, a third of its work force, although it said it would use short-term lay-offs where possible in order to retain staff.

Manufacturing

Both Volvo Cars and truck maker Volvo have temporarily laid off all their staff in Sweden, around 20,000 employees each. When the decision was announced on March 20th, it was unclear how long this would last. The truck maker also said it would let 5,000 consultants go completely.

Truck maker Scania also sent around 9,000 employees home as it closed its factories in Sweden until at least April 13th. Around 50 of them were sent to another company, Getinge, which makes ventilators for mechanical breathing, to help increase its production for the healthcare sector.

Gothenburg bearing and seal manufacturing company SKF has temporarily laid off 1,500 workers for eight weeks, following an agreement with the union. Many employees will see their hours cut down to 40 or 80 percent of the original, but will have their salaries topped up to close to the full amount thanks to state support

We know that our readers are affected by the coronavirus outbreak in many ways, not least the negative economic impact, and if there's any way we can help, we at The Local – and many of our readers – would like to do that.

If your job has been affected and you'd like to share your story, please email us. If your business, or your work as a self-employed worker, has been affected and there's some way our community can help, let us know how we can do that by filling out the form below. 

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READER QUESTIONS

Reader question: When am I eligible for a Swedish pension?

A reader got in touch to ask how long he had to work in Sweden before he was eligible for a pension. Here are Sweden's pension rules, and how you can get your pension when the time comes.

Reader question: When am I eligible for a Swedish pension?

The Swedish pension is part of the country’s social insurance system, and it can seem like a confusing beast at times. The good news is that if you’re living and working here, you’ll almost certainly be earning towards a pension, and you’ll be able to get that money even if you move elsewhere before retirement.

You will start earning your Swedish general pension, or allmän pension, once you’ve earned over 20,431 kronor in a single year, and – for almost all kinds of pension in Sweden – there is no time limit on how long you must have lived in Sweden before you are eligible.

The exception is the minimum guarantee pension, or garantipension, which you can receive whether you’ve worked or not. To be eligible at all for this, you need to have lived in Sweden for a period of at least three years before you are 65 years old. 

“There’s a limit, but it’s a money limit,” Johan Andersson, press secretary at the Swedish Pension Agency told The Local about the general pension. “When you reach the point that you start paying tax, you start paying into your pension.”

“But you have to apply for your pension, make sure you get in touch with us when you want to start receiving it,” he said.

Here’s our in-depth guide on how you can maximise your Swedish pension, even if you’re only planning on staying in Sweden short-term.

Those who spend only a few years working in Sweden will earn a much smaller pension than people who work here for their whole lives, but they are still entitled to something – people who have worked in Sweden will keep their income pension, premium pension, supplementary pension and occupational pension that they have earned in Sweden, even if they move to another country. The pension is paid no matter where in the world you live, but must be applied for – it is not automatically paid out at retirement age.

If you retire in the EU/EEA, or another country with which Sweden has a pension agreement, you just need to apply to the pension authority in your country of residence in order to start drawing your Swedish pension. If you live in a different country, you should contact the Swedish Pensions Agency for advice on accessing your pension, which is done by filling out a form (look for the form called Ansök om allmän pension – om du är bosatt utanför Sverige).

The agency recommends beginning the application process at least three months before you plan to take the pension, and ideally six months beforehand if you live abroad. It’s possible to have the pension paid into either a Swedish bank account or an account outside Sweden.

A guarantee pension – for those who live on a low income or no income while in Sweden – can be paid to those living in Sweden, an EU/EEA country, Switzerland or, in some cases, Canada. This is the only Swedish pension which is affected by how long you’ve lived in Sweden – you can only receive it if you’ve lived in the country for at least three years before the age of 65.

“The guarantee pension is residence based,” Andersson said. “But it’s lower if you haven’t lived in Sweden for at least 40 years. You are eligible for it after living in Sweden for only three years, but it won’t be that much.”

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