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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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-2020-13/1600 – measures in Denmark

The state and Danish industry establish cooperation on companies' reorganisation to production of protective equipment

Staten og dansk industri etablerer samarbejde om virksomheders reorganisering til produktion af beskyttelsesudstyr

Country Denmark , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 23 March 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Reorientation of business activities
– Change of production/innovation
Author Carsten Jørgensen (FAOS, University of Copenhagen), Anders Randrup (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Case created 16 December 2020 (updated 26 January 2021)

Background information

On 12 March 2020, the Danish Prime Minister, Mrs. Mette Frederiksen announced that due to the rapid spread of the corona virus, all economic life and educational functions would close down for a period of two weeks, which in the end were prolonged several times. Shortly after, the government and the social partners concluded a tripartite agreement on a comprehensive wage compensation scheme for furloughed employees that would otherwise have lost their jobs. In some cases, companies succeeded in reorganizing their production into producing personal protective equipment such as hand disinfectant and face shields. In order to use and secure this potential the state and the Confederation of Danish Industry established a cooperation with the aim to find and encourage companies to change their production, if possible, to items that would benefit a severely pressed health care sector and hospital personell.

Content of measure

After the lockdown of economic and educational activities on 12 March 2020 due to the rapid spread of corona virus, the Danish health sector, and in particular the hospitals, were in acute need of protective equipment for the personnel. Therefore, in order to be able to cope with the pressure at the hospitals, the Danish Medicines Agency (Lægemiddelstyrelsen) encouraged the industrial companies in Denmark to switch over parts of the Danish industrial production to the much-needed personal protective equipment. This was in particular gloves, lab coats, isolation clothes, face shields, surgical masks, hand disinfectant and important equipment for COVID-19 tests.

Thus, on 23 March 2020 the Danish Medicines Agency launched a campaign, Denmark helps Denmark, in cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry and the influential employer and business interest associations, Confederation of Danish Industry, DI, and the Danish Chamber of Commerce, Dansk Erhverv, with the aim to coordinate the efforts of producing personal protective equipment in Danish industrial companies. On 27 March, the medicines agency announced that they had received more than 1,000 applications. DI will be the coordinator of the cooperation that also include the municipalities and regions. DI will systematise the companies and make sure to bring them in contact with the right authority, in order to ensure a correct assessment of the potential in the production reorganisation.

Use of measure

When the applications to the campaign ‘Denmark helps Denmark’ reached 2,000, the Danish Medicines Agency announced that the municipalities and regions had taken over the coordination of the procurements and future applications. The agency itself would therefore not deal with further applications. No other figures on the further use of the measure are available.

Contents

  • Other topics

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers SMEs
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Not applicable Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • Only employers' organisations
  • Main level of involvement: N/A

Involvement

The Danish Medicines Agency contacted the employer organisations DI and Dansk Erhverv with the proposal to switch parts of the industrial production to produce protective equipment. To this end, the employer organisations should contact their companies. DI was chosen as coordinator of the efforts.

Views and reactions

The social partners' views on / and reaction to the measure were positive and supportive.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      C - Manufacturing C11 Manufacture of beverages
      C13 Manufacture of textiles
      C14 Manufacture of wearing apparel
      C17 Manufacture of paper and paper products
      C20 Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products
      C21 Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations
      C22 Manufacture of rubber and plastic products

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

  • 23 March 2020: DI og staten etablerer samarbejde om omlægning af produktion af værnemidler
  • 23 March 2020: Ny kampagne for at undgå mangel på værnemidler: Danmark hjælper Danmark (laegemiddelstyrelsen.dk)
  • 23 March 2020: COVID19 og produktion af værnemidler: Lægemiddelstyrelsen og danske virksomheder i samarbejde (laegemiddelstyrelsen.dk)
  • 27 March 2020: Over 1.000 henvendelser til kampagnen Danmark hjælper Danmark (laegemiddelstyrelsen.dk)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), The state and Danish industry establish cooperation on companies' reorganisation to production of protective equipment, case DK-2020-13/1600 (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.