16. mar 2020

FAQ: Covid-19 and unemployment insurance

Unemployed 

Do I need to apply for 1-2 jobs per week to receive unemployment benefits?

Yes, you need to apply for 1-2 jobs per week and update your Joblog at least once a week.  We realize that there may not be as many jobs to apply for as before the Covid-19 crisis hit, so remember that job hunting can entail unsolicited applications or networking activities involving hiring managers.

Are there any special rules regarding unemployment benefits now that everything is closed again?

Yes, both in December 2020, in January 2021 and in February 2021 new political deals had been made. The deal from December pause your use of benefits from January 1 till February 28, 2021, the deal from January pause your use in March and the deal from February pause your use of benefits in April.

This means that you May 1, 2021 will have just as many benefit hours left as you had on December 31, 2020. Also, no unemployed member can use up their right to benefits between November 1, 2020 and April 30, 2021.

How do you hold the mandatory meetings? 

We are conducting phone meetings for now. You can find your appointments in your inbox in ”Mit AKA”. Remember: You need to pick up when we call you. The meeting is mandatory and it will influence your unemployment benefits if we cannot reach you by phone. Please make sure we have the correct phone number in “Mit AKA”.  

Which meetings and workshops are still cancelled?

  • Voluntary career meetings (karrieresamtaler) in our offices
  • Workshops and other events in our offices
  • Meetings with the job centre, where one of our consulants meets you at the job centre (in August our consulants have started to participate digitally in some jobcentres).

Can I get career advice over the phone?

Yes, you can still book career counselling when it suits you. You can book phone career counselling as normal at Mit AKA. If there is no available time, please contact us and we will find a time for you.

If you need urgent career counseling, you will also be able to call our main number (33 95 03 95). We are open Monday - Friday from 10-14.

My right to unemployment benefits is about to expire. What do I do?

On November 20, 2020 a new law will come into effect, prolonging the unemployment benefits period for 2 months.

The extension will apply to you if your right to benefits expires between November 1, 2020 and October 31, 2021. The 2 extra months should come directly after your benefits have expired and you need to use these within 3 months of your expiration date. 2 months of unemployment benefits equals 320,66 hours (2x160,33). After this, you will not be able to get further extensions.

Can I receive unemployment benefits if my children are sent home during the day because of risk of infection?

Yes, as long as you have signed up through the Jobcenter as unemployed, you should be able to receive unemployment benefits.

Will the 3 weeks of holiday benefits be deducted from my unemployment benefits?

No, the payment of holiday benefits will not affect your regular unemployment benefits.

Do I need to attend job training activities?

From December 20, 2020 till April 15, 2021, all jobcenter training activities are suspended. This means that:

  • You can only participate in activities if these are online (until April 15)
  • You should only continue and extend current activities if you want to and are able to follow health authority guidelines
  • You can decide not to participate without consequences to your benefit payments. But if you chose to continue the activity, the normal rules will apply and you need to stick with the activity to get benefits.

I am quarantined, what does this mean for my unemployment benefits?

If the authorities have quarantined you because there is a risk that you are infected with covid-19, then you must report sick. You can contact us by phone or message.

I have been on vacation abroad (I informed the jobcenter before I left). I am currently unable to return to Denmark.  Can I still receive unemployment benefits?

Yes, since you cannot return to Denmark because of the Covid-19 situation, you will continue to receive unemployment benefits. The requirement is, that you did'nt left Denmark, after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised against travelling to the country, and that you were eligible for benefits before you left and notified the jobcenter of your travel plans. It does not matter if you are on a vacation paid for by yourself or by holiday benefit. 

Make sure to keep the papers documenting that it was not possible for you to return to Denmark. Please send these to us when you get back. 

 

Can I take my Danish unemployment benefits with me abroad? (PDU2)

Yes, the general rules still apply. However, we would recommend that you keep an eye on travel guides and be aware that you cannot get help from foreign authorities and AKA during this period. 

 

Can I receive unemployment benefits if I am currently abroad and unable to return to Denmark before my PDU2 expires? (because of the Covid-19 situation)

Yes, if you are stranded abroad because of the Covid-19 situation, you can get unemployment benefits even if your PDU2 has expired.  When you return to Denmark, immediately register as unemployed at jobnet.dk (the job center) and make sure to save your tickets and receipts documenting the date of your travel to Denmark.

Make sure to keep documentation proving that it was not possible for you to return to Denmark on time. You should send this documentation to us as soon as you are able to return to Denmark. 

Employee

Am I entitled to unemployment benefits if I have been sent home by my employer without pay?

The answer depends on your situation:

If you have been laid off and are unemployed

Yes, you can receive unemployment benefits if you have been laid off and are unemployed and do not have an agreement with your employer about returning to work. In order to receive the unemployment benefits you have to register as unemployed at jobnet.dk and apply for unemployment benefits (‘ledighedserklæring’) at Mit AKA. You will hear from us when we have processed the application.

If you have an agreement with the employer about returning to work

Yes, if you have been sent home according to an agreement. In this case, you can receive unemployment benefits even if your employer has not lived up to his/her terms of notice. If the home sending of your employment has not been carried out according to a union agreement , you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. In this case, contact you employer or your union/organization to hear about your right to salary or salary compensation.

If you are sent home with a division of labour agreement

With a division of labour agreement which has been approved by the job center (jobnet.dk) you have the opportunity to apply for supplementary unemployment benefits. Division of labour is an agreement with your employer that your work schedule for a temporary period is reduced to avoid redundancies. In order to receive supplementary unemployment benefits, the following conditions must be met:

  • The division of labour must be agreed upon in a collective agreement for a temporary reduction of working hours.
  • The working hours are reduced by whole days and the reduction includes at least 2 days per week or with 1 or 2 weeks of unemployment followed by 1 or 2 weeks of full-time work.
  • The division of labour must include the entire company or division in which you are employed.
  • The division of labour must include an option of release for you, so that you have the opportunity to terminate your work if you were to get a full-time job with longer working hours.
  • You have to register as unemployed (‘ledig’) at jobnet.dk and apply for unemployment benefits with us. 

 

When you receive supplementary unemployment benefits with a division of labour agreement, you are not using time from your 30 weeks of right to supplementary unemployment benefits.

 

I am employed with an hourly wage or as a temporary worker and have been sent home without pay. Can I receive unemployment benefits?

You have to register as unemployed at jobnet.dk and then apply for unemployment benefits (‘ledighedserklæring’) at Mit AKA. You will hear from us when the application has been processed.

 

What does salary compensation mean, and what do I need to do in regards to the unimployment insurance fund?

Salary compensation means that the Danish State will compensate your employer (a part of the salary). You will still receive your full salary. If you have been sent home with salary compensation it means that you are not allowed to work but you are still employed.

 

Can I apply for unemployment benefits if my employer makes changes to the agreed division of labor?

Yes, you can apply if your employer makes changes to an existing agreement/contract.

However, you need to apply for benefits after a cycle (“cyklus”) if your employer has made the arrangement that you work one week followed by a week as unemployed. In this case, the cycle will not be over till after the 2 weeks. If your employer has made the arrangement that you work 2 weeks followed by 2 weeks as unemployed, the cycle will not be over till after 4 weeks.

You need to send documentation from your employer outlining the changes to the agreement as well as confirmation that the change is based on a collective agreement.

 

Can I apply for unemployment benefits if my employer applies for an extension of the agreed division of labor beyond 13 weeks?

Yes, you can apply if your employer choses to extend the agreement beyond 13 weeks. Your employer needs to apply through the Regional Labor Market Council at least 4 weeks before your existing agreement expires. The decision from the council should be sent to us at least one week before the new agreement takes effect. 

We need a new form (AB292) to confirm that the application has been sent to the Jobcenter on the date of or before the agreement takes effect. Here, it should be stated that both you and your employer have discussed the possibilities of supplementary education. We also need a copy of the decision from the Regional Labor Market Council sent directly to us from the council.

Self employed

Can I get unemployment benefits if I close my business temporarily?

The answer depends on whether you have an existing right to unemployment benefits or not:

New temporary unemployment benefit rules for the self-employed
On 25 June 2020, the Danish Parliament adopted new temporary rules for the self-employed in connection with the recovery of the Danish economy after Covid-19.

The rules include the following in the area of unemployment benefits:

1) Self-employed persons who are not registered in an unemployment insurance fund now have the opportunity to apply for admission in the period from July 9 2020 to August 8 2020 and apply for unemployment benefits from the first day of admission,. That is provided that the person undertakes to pay the membership fees 12 months prior to admission and thereafter for 12 months. In addition, the member can receive unemployment benefits on the basis of their profits in their business that precedes their membership, if only the annual statement is completed during the new membership period. In addition, the member must comply with the general rules on entitlement to unemployment benefits

2) The above also applies to members who during the same period have less than 12 months of membership. These members have the option to pay a membership fees equivalent to 12 months and subsequently commit to an additional 12 months of membership fees

3) Members who already have 12 months of membership of the unemployment insurance fund, but who do not have the right to unemployment benefits on the basis of their most recent annual report, because some of the period was outside the membership period, can also apply for unemployment benefits based on the 2019 annual report, if it is completed within the new membership period

4) In addition, self-employed persons who are subject to a genuine prohibition on keeping open under Covid-19 may apply for unemployment benefits under normal conditions, however with a temporary termination as self-employed. However, some special conditions apply, including that a member does not receive a compensation package from the Danish state.

Contact the unemployment insurance fund if you would like to hear more about your possibilities for applying for unemployment benefits as self-employed.

With an existing right to unemployment benefits

If you are self-employed and have an existing right to unemployment benefits, you can in some cases apply to change your definition to be asset management or leisure work.

However, be especially aware that you cannot meet the conditions of having your current business transformed into asset management simply because you are financially affected by the Corona epidemic. If, on the other hand, you choose to close your advertising externally, terminate the few contracts that may be in your business at present time, or make other active changes to your company's current marketing basis, you can apply to change to an asset management definition. Read more about the definition of asset management and leisure employment (in Danish).

You can also apply for supplementary unemployment benefits while also managing your business to a lesser extent than before. Please contact us, if you need guidance about your situation.

The first time you want to apply for unemployment benefits or your previous entitlement to unemployment benefits has expired

You must close your business to be eligible for unemployment benefits if you have been self-employed as your main occupation. That is, it is the first time you have to apply for unemployment benefits or your previous entitlement to unemployment benefits has expired, while not meeting a work requirement as an employee prior to your unemployment. Unfortunately, there are no special rules in this area even if a business is financially affected by the Corona epidemic. Read more about the rules for getting unemployment benefits after being self-employed as a main occupation (in Danish).

 

If you need information about other topics than unemployment benefits, you can read about the support program for self-employed on www.virksomhedsguiden.dk.