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The regime of early and intense job-search assistance and activation

The model used with recipients of unemployment benefits consists of an obligatory, comprehensive job-search assistance program through close cooperation between the job centre and the unemployment insurance fund.

The 94 municipalities of Denmark are individually responsible for the implementation of the active labour market policies (ALMP) administered by job centres. In addition to this, 25 unemployment insurance funds are responsible for the payment of unemployment benefits to members of these funds.

As a result of the employment reform of 2014, a new model of job-search assistance for recipients of unemployment benefits has been introduced. This model entails early and intensive job-search assistance for recipients of unemployment benefits. The basis of this model is years of accumulated research that indicates that one of the most effective tools of the ALMP for recipients of unemployment benefits is early, one-to-one interviews with a focus on job-search.

The job-search assistance model entails that the recipient’s unemployment insurance fund and job centre are required to work in close cooperation to ensure intensive and effective job-search assistance for the recipient.  

The job-search assistance model entails that recipients of unemployment benefits have the right and obligation to attend an intensive job-search assistance program consisting of six individual interviews with their local job centre during their first six months of unemployment. In addition, the job-search assistance program includes three one-to-one interviews with the recipient’s unemployment insurance fund.

While the interviews with the job centre are focused on job-search assistance, the initial interview with the recipient’s unemployment insurance fund focuses on the recipient’s CV. The two remaining interviews with the unemployment insurance fund address the recipient’s availability for work. Moreover, two out of the six interviews with the job centre are attended by the recipient’s unemployment insurance fund, unless the recipient objects to their participation.

Following the first six months of unemployment, the recipient is obligated to attend a one-to-one interview every three months until the 24th month of unemployment. After 16 months of unemployment at the latest, jobseekers have the right and obligation to attend a one-to-one interview with the job centre attended by the recipient’s unemployment insurance fund. 

The aim of this policy instrument is first of all to empower the recipient, but also to ensure that the employment system offers coherent support to the recipient by integrating the ALMPs that the job centre and the unemployment insurance fund respectively offer each recipient.

Overview of regulations concerning contact and initiatives in the first six months of unemployment for recipients of unemployment benefits and employable recipients of cash benefits

This section describes the regulations concerning contact in periods of unemployment for recipients of unemployment benefits and employable recipients of social security benefits.

Recipients of unemployment benefits (total period of unemployment)

The initial interview

No later than two weeks after registration, the unemployment insurance fund will call in the jobseeker for an interview regarding his or her CV (as of 1 July 2015).

The initial interview with the job centre will take place after the CV interview at the earliest, and no later than after the jobseeker has been unemployed for six weeks (as of 1 July 2015).

As of 1 July 2016, the unemployment insurance fund will assess whether it is relevant for them to take part in the interview at the job centre. The job centre can also ask the unemployment insurance fund to take part in the interview. The recipient of unemployment benefits has the final say in whether or not the unemployment insurance fund should take part in the interview.

Intermediate interviews

There then follows a period of monthly interviews with the job centre over the course of the first six months of unemployment.

The unemployment insurance fund will take part in the fifth or sixth interview with the job centre, unless the recipient of unemployment benefits objects to this (as of 1 July 2015).

Subsequent interviews

There then follows a period of interviews at three-month intervals.

No later than 16 months after the first day of unemployment, the jobseeker will have an interview with the job centre attended by the unemployment insurance fund, unless the recipient of unemployment benefits objects to this. At this interview, the jobseeker will be offered intensified initiatives (as of 1 July 2015), e.g. a personal job consultant, more frequent interviews, training programmes, etc.

Employable recipients of cash benefits (uninterrupted unemployment)

The initial interview

No later than one week from the date of the first contact with the job centre, the jobseeker will have an interview with the job centre.

Intermediate interview

The jobseeker will subsequently have at least two interviews with the job centre within the first three months of unemployment.

Subsequent interview

The jobseeker subsequently will have at least four interviews with the job centre over the course of the following 12 months.

This section describes the regulations initiatives (right and duty) in the unemployment period for recipients of unemployment benefits and employable recipients of social security benefits.

Recipients of unemployment benefits (total period of unemployment)

First active measure

30-49-year-olds: no later than after six months of unemployment.
People under the age of 30, and 50-year-olds and older: no later than after three months of unemployment.
Reckoned from the date of the first request for help (as of 1 July 2015)

Duration: At least two consecutive weeks.

Range of tools (employability enhancement programmes):

  • Education, guidance and upgrading of skills.
  • On-the-job-training.
  • Wage subsidies.

The job centre is free to use the programmes assessed to be most relevant for the individual jobseeker, but the job centre must place particular emphasis on programmes targeted at enterprises.

In addition: As of the first day of unemployment, the jobseeker has the right (but not the duty) to six weeks of job-targeted training for unskilled workers, skilled workers and people with short-cycle higher education qualifications who also have a vocational background.

Subsequent active measure

The job centre has no right nor duty to offer subsequent programmes, but the recipient of unemployment benefits always has a duty to accept the programmes offered.

However, no later than 16 months after the first day of unemployment, the job centre must offer the jobseeker intensified initiatives, e.g. a personal job consultant, more frequent interviews, programmes, etc.

Employable recipients of cash benefits (uninterrupted unemployment)

First active measure

Employable recipients of cash benefits

(uninterrupted unemployment)
No later than three months after the recipient’s first contact with the job centre.

Duration: At least two consecutive weeks.

Range of tools (employability enhancement programmes):

  • On-the-job-training and compulsory community service.
  • Wage subsidies.

Subsequent active measure

Subsequently and no less frequently than every six months.

Duration: At least two consecutive weeks.

Range of tools (employability enhancement programmes):

  • Guidance and upgrading of skills.
  • On-the-job-training and compulsory community service.
  • Wage subsidies.

The interview schedule for unemployed (pdf) (new window)

Last updated: 26-10-2018