Green Card legislation needs to be revised admitted Secretary of Labour Mette Frederiksen (S) at a parliamentary hearing on Feb. 27. The hearing was held in order to follow up on a report by 21 Søndag that showed that several high-skilled foreigners on green cards were employed as low-skilled underpaid workers.
“I can only distance myself from employers, who exploit people in that situation. It is therefore necessary that we discuss Green Card provision,” Mette Frederiksen said. She underlined that it was important also to take into account the need of Danish businesses to recruit high skilled foreign workers.
Dansk Industri, a lobbying organization for Danish businesses, agreed that it was necessary to revise the Green Card provision. It had never been the intention to have green card holders working low-skilled jobs in Denmark.
“We think that it would be best to keep the provision but make it more specific towards the Danish labour market,” said Claus Aastrup Seidelin, labour market consultant in Dansk Industri. He emphasized that the Green Card provision has been an advantage for the Danish economy – and especially for medium-sized companies which often have difficulties going through the costly process of recruiting high skilled workers in other countries.
DF: It was a mistake
The purpose of the Green Card provision was to ensure Danish companies easier access to high-skilled labour and has been widely used. In 2013 Udlændingeservice reported that they had issued Green Cards to 2,328 foreigners.
Martin Henriksen (DF) thought that his party had made a mistake in voting for the Green Card provision.
“A lot of foreigners come to Denmark [on Green Cards]. They can have all the good intentions in the world but they end up in jobs which were not intended for them,” Martin Henriksen said.
Green Card revision is just around the corner
Mette Frederiksen would not divulge the content of the revision, despite several attempts by Martin Henriksen. She only said that the government was making an inquiry into all provisions involving permits to foreigners, who come to Denmark to work. A final proposal is just around the corner.
“With regard to what the Green Card will consist of, you will have to keep your breath until we present our conclusions,” Frederiksen said. She will discuss the proposal with the parties in parliament when it is ready.
Dansk Industri expressed that the companies would benefit most from high-skilled foreigners with skills sought after by the Danish labour market.
“You could construe it like that foreigners, who have skills sought after by the Danish labour market should be given more points than those with skills not so sought after on the labour market,” Seidelin said.