Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure DK-2020-15/1556 – Updated – measures in Denmark
|Country||Denmark , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 05 April 2020 – 31 May 2021|
|Type||Other initiatives or policies|
Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Support for spending, stimulus packages
|Author||Carsten Jørgensen (FAOS, University of Copenhagen), Anders Randrup (Oxford Research) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||02 December 2020 (updated 01 December 2021)|
In connection with the introduction of a new holiday system in the summer of 2020, the normal annual payment of holiday money of the Danish citizens were frozen in a fund and put to payout when the individual citizen reached retirement age. This was to secure that the employers were not to pay double holiday money in the transition period because the new system will overlap the old system. Due to the effect on the Danish economy of the spread of the corona virus and COVID-19, the social partners at peak level, the Danish Trade Union Confederation, FH and the Confederation of Danish Employer forwarded a joint proposal to the government to release the frozen holiday money to payment.
On 5 April 2020, or three weeks after most economic and cultural activities were literally closed down in Denmark, the Danish social partners, FH and DA, in a common letter to the government pointed out that the approaching summer would be severely hard for the many trades and industries making their income from tourists’ visits and the Danes’ appetite for experiences. Therefore, it was important to stimulate consumption with the aim to support the Danish shops, hotels, restaurants and holiday centres. To this end, FH and DA suggested that releasing the frozen holiday money would create a welcomed opportunity to increase consumption in the experience and leisure industry during the summer.
FH and DA were the first to suggest that the frozen holiday money should be released. Shortly after business associations, political parties and members of the Economic Council came up with similar proposals to the government. This resulted in a decision by the government supported by the parliament to pay out an amount covering three of the lawful five paid annual holiday weeks. The deadline for applying to receive the frozen holiday money was 30 November 2020.
After the deadline of 30 November 2020, it turned out that In total 2.3 million employees in Denmark had applied for the payout of the frozen holiday money, which amounted to DKK 51.6 billion (€6.88 billion).
Employees in standard employment
||Does not apply to businesses||Applies to all citizens|
Social partners jointly
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative|
|Form||Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal||Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
The issue described is a joint recommendation to the government from the two main social partner confederations in Denmark, Danish Confederation of Trade Unions, FH, and Confederation of Danish Employers, DA. The purpose was to encourage the government to payout frozen funds to the Danish citizens with the aim to support consumption in the hard-pressed experience, leisure and cultural industries that was in particular hit by the prohibition of gatherings, i.e. hotels, restaurants, holiday centres, concert halls and museums.
It was a joint initiative taken by the social partner confederations. They were satisfied that the government took the advice and paid out parts of the frozen funds.
Eurofound (2020), Social partners call on the government to pay out frozen holiday pay, measure DK-2020-15/1556 (measures in Denmark), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/DK-2020-15_1556.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.