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Retirees wooed to ease nurse shortage

Published tisdag 11 juni 2013 kl 16.46
"We have to give them an offer they can't refuse"
(5:31 min)
Wheelchairs at an elderly home in Sweden. Photo: Sara Hector/Sveriges Radio

At least one company is solving Sweden's nursing shortage by looking to the country's retired nurses and offering them hefty wages. 

Mona Duvby Eriksson, a retired nurse, has gone to Norway for the summer in the past, where working as a temp pays handsomely. However this year, she found a better offer at home in Sweden, where she will earn SEK 50,000 for a month of work as a nurse for the elderly in southwestern Sweden.

She says she still has the capacity to work and the knowledge, and that it is fun. Nevertheless, she says younger nurses who are in entry level jobs need to earn more than they do now, which she says is around SEK 22,500 per month, otherwise the nursing shortage will continue.

Eriksson was hired for her summer job by the staffing company Zest Care. Outi Luiro is the head of business development and explains that it is cheaper to hire retirees than younger nurses, because the payroll tax is lower for employing pensioners.

"There is not enough of the young people, so we need to bring back the retired nurses as the situation is now," says Luiro, who says nurses have been going to Denmark and Norway for better wages and better working conditions.

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