Government receives 'dagpenge' recommendations - The Post

Government receives ‘dagpenge’ recommendations

The hope is that fewer people will exhaust their right to unemployment insurance benefits

Embattled dagpenge system could finally be reformed (photo: iStock)
October 20th, 2015 12:34 pm| by Christian W

Uncertainty over unemployment insurance benefits (dagpenge) in Denmark could finally be resolved as the commission looking into the issue, Dagpengekommissionen, has handed over its recommendations to the government.

Dagpengekommissionen evaluates that its recommendations would lead to fewer people in the future exhausting their right to dagpenge without weakening employment or the state coffers.

“It hasn’t been an easy task to ransack the over 100-year-old and complicated dagpenge system and produce recommendations for a new system,” said Jørn Neergaard Larsen, the employment minister.

“I’ve noted with pleasure that the commission has agreed that from the outset the dagpenge system will remain a two-year period and the re-earning requirement that the V-K government added in 2010 hasn’t been changed.”

READ MORE: More than 50,000 have now lost their insured unemployment benefits

Off your high horse
But Harald Børsting, the head of the union association LO, did not share the same enthusiasm for the recommendations – particularly the one that enable the unemployed to avoid two qualifying days each quarter if they work at least one week per month during the previous quarter.

So for instance, if they fail to work at least one week per month during one quarter, they will have to wait two days before the next quarter’s benefits kick in.

“We’ve asked ourselves: could it really be correct that workers, the insured unemployed and graduates should be alone in rectifying the crap they did in 2010,” Børsting told DR Nyheder. “We don’t think they should.”

The main points of the recommendations:

Re-earning – Unemployed must be able to extend their dagpenge period from two to a maximum of three years if they manage to work during the period. One day of work will earn the right to two days of extra dagpenge.

Calculating the dagpenge rate – Unemployed who take jobs during the dagpenge period with a lower wage that their original jobs will not have their dagpenge rate downgraded.

Use of dagpenge right – The voucher card system will be changed so that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the number of days you have worked during the benefit period and the number of days or hours you have left.

Qualifying days – Two qualifying days every quarter should be implemented. You avoid qualifying days if you work at least one week per month during the previous period.

Graduates – Graduates’ benefit rate will be reduced from 82 (as it is now) to 78 percent of maximum unemployment benefit.

Supplementary dagpenge – Through full-time work, people must be able to continuously earn the right to supplementary benefits. One month of full-time work earns people the right to two months of supplementary benefits.

Connection requirements – If, over a period of eight years, the person has received four full years of unemployment benefits, the benefit period will be shortened by one month.

G-days – the rules for the employers’ payment of compensation money as a contribution to dagpenge is made more stringent. The employers should pay the first two days. Today, they must pay three days, but that doesn’t pertain to short-term employment.

Modernisation – Dagpenge should be calculated on a monthly basis instead of weekly and the system should be made more transparent and accessible for all parties involved via the increased use of registrations.