26 January 2017

Swedish Migration Agency starts return to smaller organisation

In the next few years the Swedish Migration Agency is going to reduce staff numbers on account of fewer asylum seekers and a smaller budget. The next step in this planning is to phase out 23 500 directly contracted places in accommodation in the spring, leading to a smaller need of accommodation staff. Initially employees in Region Mid Sweden will be affected.

After a few years of strong expansion the Swedish Migration Agency is now going to return to a normal, smaller size. This is going to take place in several stages. First the Migration Agency's reception operations will be affected as the phase-out of places in accommodation continues. After that there will be a gradual adjustment of operations over the long term to the Agency’s budget for 2018 and 2019.

“At the same time as our reception operations are now being geared to fewer asylum seekers, the Migration Agency still had a major task in 2017 in terms of examining cases. This involves both being able to give a response by the summer to everyone who has been waiting for a long time for their asylum decision and prioritising the processing of other cases, such as permits for studies or work. So in 2017 we must both reinforce our work on examining applications and reduce our reception operations,” says Kristina Hwargård, Acting HR Director at the Migration Agency.

The continued adjustment of operations moving into 2018 and 2019 will be governed by the Agency’s forecasts of needs and the budget levels notified by the Government.

“Based on what we know today, we assume that these budget levels mean that we will be given less resources in 2018 and 2019,” says Ms Hwargård.

“Want to retain expertise”

Initially the adjustment of reception operations to the number of asylum seekers will affect about 300 employees in Region Mid Sweden. Planning is under way regarding the Agency's other five regions. The reason why Region Mid Sweden is being affected first is that this region has a relatively large number of accommodation centres for asylum seekers.

“It is crucial for us to retain the expertise that the Agency will need in the future. However, we will not be able to achieve this scale-down without redundancies. But we will work as much as we can to give staff affected new duties or to offer transfers. We can also solve some of this through natural attrition,” says Ms Hwargård.

So, in her view, it is difficult at present to say how many of the approximately 300 staff members affected in Region Mid Sweden will have been made redundant when the process of rebalancing has been completed.

“We are going to inform the Swedish Public Employment Service that the estimated level of excess staff in Region Mid Sweden is about 300 employees. Then how we succeed in our work on transfers, new work duties or natural attrition will determine the outcome in terms of redundancies,” says Ms Hwargård.

Union representatives and staff in Region Mid Sweden have also been informed.

At present the Migration Agency has 1 100 employees in Region Mid Sweden. As a whole, the Agency has some 8 400 employees.