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Database of national-level policy measures

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-2021-23/2135 – measures in Denmark

Change in sickness and parental benefits for the self-employed

Selvstændige kan få beregnet syge- eller barselspenge ud fra år 2019 i stedet for 2020

Country Denmark , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 June 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Extensions of income support to workers not covered by any kind of protection scheme
Author Maria Hansen (FAOS, University of Copenhagen)
Measure added 10 January 2022 (updated 14 March 2022)

Background information

The restrictions in Danish society due to COVID-19 has lead to many self-employed having poorer results in 2020 than previously, which will affect their employment requirements when receiving benefits. As a result, a majority in Parliament has decided to give self-employed the possibility to choose the previous year 2019 where business was normal as reference.

The legal references are: BEK nr 1091 af 01/06/2021 and BEK nr 1090 af 01/06/2021.

The case ties in with an earlier amendment, where a smaller time period (1 December 2020 to 30 April 2021) was disregarded in employment requirements for maternity benefits for self-employed. See case Pregnant self-employed get temporary dispensation for employment requirement for maternity pay in the COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch database.

Content of measure

New executive orders have been issued on the calculation of employment requirements for self-employed concerning sickness and parental benefits. The orders contain amended rules on the calculation, which mean that the self-employed, who due to the COVID-19 crisis and shutdowns had a poor result in 2020, can instead choose to have sickness or parental benefits calculated from the most recent “normal” year, namely 2019. The rule is objective and all self-employed can make the choice. Either the municipality or Udbetaling Danmark (Public Benefits Administration) must inform the self-employed about the possibility and they thereafter have eight weeks to request the change in calculation.

Use of measure


Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
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 as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


No involvement.

Views and reactions

No views.


  • 01 June 2021: BEK nr 1091 af 01/06/2021: Bekendtgørelse om opgørelse af beskæftigelseskrav og beregning af sygedagpenge m.v. (
  • 01 June 2021: BEK nr 1090 af 01/06/2021: Bekendtgørelse om opgørelse af beskæftigelseskrav og beregning af barselsdagpenge m.v. (
  • 04 June 2021: Nye regler om beregning af syge- og barselsdagpenge til selvstændige (


Eurofound (2022), Change in sickness and parental benefits for the self-employed, measure DK-2021-23/2135 (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.