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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-2021-22/1624 – measures in Denmark

Agreement on measures targeted at the long-term unemployed

Aftale om tiltag målrettet mod langtidsledige under coronakrisen

Country Denmark , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 28 May 2021 – 31 December 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Maria Hansen (FAOS, University of Copenhagen)
Measure added 23 December 2020 (updated 10 July 2023)

Background information

In May 2021 there were 15,000 more long-term unemployed people in Denmark compared to before the pandemic. On 17 May 2021, the government called on parties that had been involved in adjusting the aid packages in order to negotiate an agreement for the long-term unemployed population (defined as people that have been out of work for a year), which may find it harder to return to work when the Danish society opens back up post summer. The small population includes seniors and unskilled workers in particular.

On 28 May 2021 the government and parties agreed to allocate DKK 159 million to a number of temporary initiatives to help the long-term unemployed get into the labour market again.

Content of measure

The agreement concludes nine measures divided in to four areas of long-term unemployment:

  1. Initiatives targeted at the long-term unemployed over 50 years

  2. Both private and public companies will be able to receive an additional grant of DKK 20 per hour if they employ a long-term unemployed over 50 years of age on the existing wage subsidy scheme (løntilskudsordning) in 2021 and 2022. DKK 23.6 million is allocated to this.

  3. DKK 15 million are allocated this year and next year to a special fund for seniors, which can be applied for by job centres and unemployment funds for measures targeting unemployed seniors.
  4. A trial period in 2021-2022 of extending the period of business internships from four to eight weeks for long-term unemployed seniors over the age of 50.

  5. Initiatives targeted at upskilling of the long-term unemployed

  6. Additional DKK 25 million in 2021 to the regional educational fund, so more unemployed, including the long-term unemployed, can exercise their right to a single short course that quickly can convert to new jobs and industries. It is estimated that with the additional funding, approximately 3,500 job-oriented courses could be carried out in 2021.

  7. A trial suspension in 2021-2022 of the normal reference period for six weeks of job-oriented training. This allows the long-term unemployed to exercise the right to job-oriented training throughout their benefit period until they are back in work. DKK 21.4 million is allocated to this.
  8. Extension of the right to a real competence assessment (RKV) to skilled workers to also be available to skilled benefit recipients, cash benefit recipients and transitional benefit recipients outside the the introduction programme, which has also reached the age of 30. DKK 21.6 million is allocated for a trial in 2021-2022.

  9. Initiatives targeted at all long-term unemployed

  10. DKK 25 million is allocated to extend the scheme of VEU (Adult Continuing Training Support) coordinators up to and including 2022. The coordinators' task is to ensure a good match between the companies' demand for skills and the upskilling of the unemployed.

  11. DKK 7 million is allocated to extend an already ongoing experiment, which was launched in 2021 to also cover 2022. The experiment extends the maximum duration of the substitution job rotation from 6 to 9 months. This allows unemployed people to have longer period in a temporary agency – including long-term unemployed.

  12. Initiatives targeting young people at risk of long-term unemployment

  13. DKK 5 million for the extension of an already ongoing trainee scheme to include 2022. The trainee scheme is implemented under the auspices of either Akademikerne (The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations) or FH (The Danish Trade Union Confederation), where recent graduates receive unemployment benefits at a graduate rate, receive a company-oriented effort, targeted CV guidance, a upskilling course or a combination thereof.

Use of measure

No information on the usage is available yet.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Older people in employment (aged 55+)
Applies to all 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: N/A


No direct involvement.

Views and reactions

The social partners had no direct involvement, but in March FH (The Danish Trade Union Confederation) put out a proposal to combat long-term unemployment. The initiative emphasised training and upskilling for long-term unemployed benefit recipients. The confederation is thus pleased and praises the government for the agreement.


  • 17 May 2021: Regeringen indkalder til forhandlinger om særlig indsats for langtidsledige (
  • 28 May 2021: Ny aftale skal hjælpe langtidsledige tilbage på arbejdsmarkedet (
  • 28 May 2021: Aftale om tiltag målrettet langtidsledige under coronakrisen (
  • 28 May 2021: En nødvendig og vigtig aftale om langtidsledighed (


Eurofound (2020), Agreement on measures targeted at the long-term unemployed, measure DK-2021-22/1624 (measures in Denmark), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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