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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-2020-31/956 – measures in Denmark

Increased unemployment benefit rate granted during education

Forhøjet dagpengesats under uddannelse

Country Denmark , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 August 2020 – 31 December 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies, incl. subsidised job creation
Author Carsten Jørgensen (FAOS, University of Copenhagen), Anders Randrup (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Case created 10 July 2020 (updated 19 July 2021)

Background information

On the 17 June 2020, a majority in the Danish Parliament agreed on strengthening the existing efforts regarding upgrading of skills with an extra DKK 390 million (€52 million) in addition to the DKK 340 million (€46 million) that were already set aside. Thus, a total amount of DKK 730 million (€98 million) is reserved for new upgrading and training initiatives in order to mitigate the effects of unemployment and company closures due to the coronavirus crisis. Targeted education can ensure better wage income and job opportunities, and education can equip Danes for the new jobs that occurs in the short and long term. The parties to the agreement agree to invest primarily in the education of unskilled, graduates and entrepreneurs who are particularly vulnerable during the corona crisis.

Content of measure

From 1 August 2020 on and during 2021 insured unemployed of 30 years of age or more will have the right to start a vocational education with 110% of their previous unemployment benefit rate if the education is in an area where there is a need for labour. A total amount of DKK 730 million (€98 million) is reserved for the upgrading and training initiatives. Thus, if a person receives the highest unemployment benefit rate on DKK 19,000 (€2,550), another DKK 1,900 (€255) will be added.

Unskilled unemployed thus have the right to start an education such as blacksmith, electrician or other professions where there is a demand for hands. They can continue their education, even if it lasts longer than the unemployment benefit period. With the agreement, insured unemployed people will have the right to start six weeks of job-oriented training from the first day of unemployment and not after five weeks, as is the requirement today. The social partners will identify the courses that the unemployed can access immediately.

Besides, the parties to the agreement agree that relevant formal training must be developed in areas where there is an urgent need for labour with special competencies related to the handling of COVID-19. It can be within testing, infection detection, care, laboratory technology, etc.

Use of measure

An evaluation of the temporary right of 110% of the unemployment benefit during education was published in May 2021 by STAR (The Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment), and the main results and conclusions are as follows:

  • The right has led to a boost in local authorities' focus on getting more people to complete an education boost while they are unemployed.
  • The municipalities estimate that the right strengthens the opportunities to motivate the unemployed to take a training boost. The new system has made it easier for citizens to opt for education.
  • Both the already recorded level of activity and the municipalities' expectations for the future indicate that the right will result in a significant boost in activity during the funding.
  • The educational lift initiative comes primarily from the job centre and supports the picture that job centres provide active guidance and advisory advice on opportunities in the educational lift.
  • For some of the citizens, the possibility of 110% unemployment benefit means that the route of training becomes an option. However, it is mainly believed that there are good job opportunities afterwards that motivate the unemployed to take a training boost.

Target groups

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

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social partners jointly
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

The primary actors involved in the decision making were the broad coalition of political parties. Could not find more specific information on the various central organisations websites.

Views and reactions

No information.

Sources

  • 17 June 2020: Bredt politisk flertal hæver dagpengene (bm.dk)
  • 31 May 2021: Evaluering af den midlertidige ret til uddannelsesløft og korte kurser (star.dk)
  • 30 June 2021: Mulighed for 110 pct. dagpenge får markant flere til at starte på uddannelse (bm.dk)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Increased unemployment benefit rate granted during education, case DK-2020-31/956 (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.