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Unemployment Funds and Unions

Danish unemployment insurance funds (a-kasse in Danish) are private non-profit institutions that are supported by the state.

If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits. For people from other countries, unemployment insurances is only relevant if your residence permit gives you the right to stay beyond your job contract. 

Most of the A-kasser in Denmark are different regarding who can become a member and which groups of members the A-kasse has the most knowledge about and therefore have the best competences to help. Some A-kasser are targeted people with higher education in general, other A-kasser are only for persons with a specific profession. 
Finally there are some interdisciplinary A-kasser, which means that no matter your profession you can apply for membership in these A-kasser.

Members pay a monthly contribution set by the fund which is independent of their salary.

Find a list of unemployment insurance funds here.

How to become a member of an unemployment insurance fund

You sign up online by filling out a form on the website of the A-kasse you have choosen. If you are in doubt which A-kasse suits you best, you can have a look at this website, from where you also can find links to the different A-kasser's online signup forms.

Requirements for being eligible for benefits

  • You must have been member of an A-kasse for at least one year
  • You must have earned/have had an income of at least DKK 243,996 (in 2021) during the last 3 years (in total)
If you are entitled to benefits, you must do the following to actually get the benefits disbursed:
  • Register as a job seeker on your first day of unemployment at your local job center or on
  • Complete a declaration of unemployment with your A-kasse
  • As long as you receive benefits, you must be actively seeking employment and willing to accept offers of employment with one day's notice. This means that there must be no factual or legal obstacles for you to legally take work

How much are the unemployment benefits?

Your unemployment benefits (dagpenge in Danish) may not exceed 90 per cent of your previous salary and may never be higher than the maximum rate. Per January 1, 2021 the maximum rate is DKK 19,322 per month per month for a full-time insured member.

The basis for calculating how much you can get in benefits is your best 12 months with income within the last 24 months. If you have not had 12 months with income, your A-kasse will calculate your benefits on the basis of all months with income within the 24-month period.

The rate for graduates is a little lower and also depends on whether the graduate have dependent children or not. See a special guide for graduates.

For how long can you get benefits?

As a rule, a member has a right to unemployment benefits for a maximum of two years in total within a 3 year period.

Benefits are paid according to a fixed number of hours. Unemployment benefits will be paid per calendar month and is granted for up to 160.33 hours a month.
You only use your unemployment benefits for the hours you are actually paid.

As of 2017, it is possible to extend the period for which you can get unemployment benefits with up to 3 years. This is done by working. Every 1 hour of work gives you 2 hours of benefits in the end. Or in other words - one month's work gives you two extra months of unemployment benefits.

Trade Unions

Trade unions assist with cases regarding pay and working conditions and can help in connection with work-related injury cases, rehabilitation and much more. Some trade unions can also offer personal consultancy and career planning or offer discount schemes on petrol, shopping centres, insurance, etc. These offers vary according to the industry with which the trade union is associated.

How to choose a trade union?

Your choice of trade union depends on your training/position and workplace. The various trade unions are associated with specific unemployment insurance funds, but you do not need to be a member of both a trade union and an unemployment insurance fund – it is possible to be a member of just one of these organizations, independently of the other.

Contacts and further information

Trade unions have established a telephone service where you can get information about your rights in regard to salary, work conditions, and work permits (membership of a trade union is not required to access the service). The telephone service primarily covers the following branches: Construction; Green; Industry, Service, Hotel & Catering and Transport but others will also get guidance and help.

The telephone number is: +45 25 47 21 90.
Phone hours Monday - Thursday: 10.00 - 14.00

You can also read about wages at 3Fs homepage or you can contact your local LO-department.

If your question concerns work and living conditions or regulations in general, you can contact the Workindenmark hotline. The number is: +45 72 22 33 90.

Sources:, Workindenmark
Updated: 27 January 2020.

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