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Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case DK-2020-11/660 Updated – measures in Denmark

Three months' suspension of eligibility criteria for long-term unemployment benefit holders

Timekrav for folk på kontanthjælp sættes på pause

Country Denmark , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 09 March 2020 – 30 June 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Income support for unemployed
Author Carsten Jørgensen (FAOS, University of Copenhagen), Anders Randrup (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Case created 16 April 2020 (updated 19 July 2021)

Background information

With the different initiatives to support wage earners and self-employed, now follows an initiative from the government to support unemployed people - and in this case - receiving social security protection because the person is no longer eligible for an unemployment benefit. A so-called 225 hours rule in force requires that the unemployed needs to have had 225 hours of employment the last 12 months in order to continuously receiving a cash benefit. This rule the government and the Parliament has suspended on the background that finding a new job is impossible in the current situation.

Legal reference: LFF 2020-04-14 nr 169.

Content of measure

To be able to fulfill the demand of 225 hours work within the last 12 months with the aim to keep the cash benefit requires an active search for jobs. Finding new jobs has become a significantly difficult task. The COVID-19 has send thousands of employees home with a wage compensation waiting for reopening of the labour market. However, this has not avoided a drastic increase in unemployment due to bankruptcies or close downs of parts of a company. On this background, the government and the Parliament on 6 April 2020 decided to put the 225 hours rule on hold with effect from 9 March 2020 and three months forward. This means that the unemployed person receiving social security benefits in this period will receive the cash benefit without documenting 225 hours of employment in the last 12 months nor without having continuously to search for jobs.

A person of 30 years of age with children receives DKK 15,355 a month (1 January 2020). Persons under 30 years without children receives DKK 11,554 a month. Singles under 30 years with children receives DKK 14,677 a month.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

11 May 2021

The Danish Parliament passed a bill (L 219) to extend the suspension of the 225-hour-rule until the 30 June 2021. The extension is part of an overall framework agreement for the reopening of Denmark from 22 March 2021.

09 February 2021

The parties to the agreement agreed to extend the suspension of the 225-hour rule by a further two months until and including 30 April 2021.

Furthermore, the right to commence an educational increase to 110% of their previous unemployment benefit rate by another year, so that the right also applies in 2022.

10 July 2020

Due to the Corona situation, the Danish parliament has decided to extend the suspension of the 225-hour rule for social security protection recipients until September 8, 2020.

Use of measure

It is too early to estimate the number of beneficiaries that falls under this specific rule.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Unemployed
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

The social partners have expressed agreement with this support measure for unemployed receiving a cash benefit.

Views and reactions

There has been no particular reaction from the social partners.

Sources

  • 06 April 2020: Bredt flertal sætter timekrav for folk på kontanthjælp på pause (bm.dk)
  • 19 June 2020: 225-timers-krav på pause indtil september på grund af corona-udbruddet (bm.dk)
  • 11 May 2021: Parliament extends suspension of daily allowance consumption until 30 June 2021 (bm.dk)
  • 11 May 2021: L 219 Forslag til lov om ændring af lov om aktiv socialpolitik (www.ft.dk)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Three months' suspension of eligibility criteria for long-term unemployment benefit holders, case DK-2020-11/660 (measures in Denmark), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.