Since Monday this week, incoming passengers have been spot-checked at Copenhagen Airport to see whether they are receiving social security benefits.
If you are receiving benefits, you are legally obliged to be available for work. You can, however, take a holiday if you obtain permission from your job centre.
Tanned but browned off
Spot-checks of this nature have been in effect before, but in 2016 they were dropped by the government.
But one of the measures included in the budget law for 2018 was a tightening up of the system to stop fraud and these checks are seen as part of that process.
The employment minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, contends that the controls have been reimposed as a result of requests from the municipalities, reports DR Nyheder.
“It is first and foremost to get an idea of the numbers of people who are leaving Denmark and are then not available on the employment market or are committing social security fraud in other ways,” said Poulsen.
The checks are being carried out at selected arrival points and primarily focusing on people coming in from countries outside the Schengen zone.
Keeping a tight hold of the purse strings
When passengers go to collect their luggage, they are asked for their CPR number. That is then checked against a register of people receiving social security benefits who are supposed to be available for work.
The minister dismisses the idea that the checks are casting suspicion on Danes receiving benefits.
“There’s no suggestion of that. But we do have to keep tabs on the amount of benefits we pay out, and we pay out many billions every year,” added Poulsen.
On Monday, 21 passengers were identified as being on social benefits who should have been available for work. They are now going to be checked in detail to see whether they have gone through the proper procedure to take holiday or whether they are committing social security fraud.