There was plenty of uproar earlier this year when the government, in collaboration with Dansk Folkeparti, proposed to tighten the criteria to claim the ‘dagpenge’ unemployment insurance.
The initial proposal supposed that prospective recipients of dagpenge would have to prove that they had been in Denmark for seven out of the past eight years. But that has now been changed to seven of the past 12 years.
“We agree that you must have contributed to Danish society before being able to obtain dagpenge. But we must also admit that people need to be able to work abroad for more than one year without losing their rights to dagpenge. We’ve listened to that,” said the employment minister, Troels Lund Poulsen.
“This means that Danes who have worked abroad over a shorter period are not impacted, while people from non-EU countries will still need to work and stay in Denmark over a longer stretch of time before they can have dagpenge. And that’s always been the intention.”
The new changes will be phased in over three years so that the demand will be for five out of 12 years for 2019, six of 12 in 2020 and then the full seven of 12 in 2021.
The proposal still includes several exceptions, such as if one is working abroad on behalf of a Danish company or the Danish public sector, or if a person has been in the EU. Students or those deployed by the aid organisation Folkekirkens Nødhjælp are also exempt.
It is estimated that 80 percent of those impacted by the new dagpenge proposal will come from non-EU countries – up from 60 percent compared to the initial proposal.