The Danish unemployment insurance system is a voluntary insurance scheme. Unlike other social benefits, you do not automatically receive unemployment benefits, and you must proactively acquire unemployment insurance before you are left without a job.
You obtain unemployment insurance by signing up with one of the unemployment insurance funds (a-kasser) that exist in Denmark.
If you are studying in Denmark
If you are a student and wish to work in Denmark after your graduation, you should become member of an unemployment insurance fund before you graduate, so you can receive unemployment benefits if you do not find a job immediately after your graduation.
Unemployment insurance funds
The unemployment insurance funds (a-kasser) are private associations that are often affiliated with trade unions and other professional organizations. Most unemployment insurance funds are connected to specific trade unions, but there are also a number of cross-industrial unemployment insurance funds. It is possible to become a member of an unemployment insurance fund without being a member of the associated trade union.
You can become a member of an unemployment insurance fund if you are between 18 and 65 years old and reside in Denmark (or another EU/EEA country and work in Denmark).
You can get general information on different unemployment insurance funds at "A-kasseguiden". You can find more specific information on the various unemployment insurance funds' websites.
Applying for unemployment benefits
In Denmark, you must apply for unemployment benefits with your unemployment insurance fund if you become unemployed. Firstly, you have to register yourself as a job seeker on your first day of unemployment. You can do this at your local job centre or on Jobnet.dk.
There is one job centre in Randers. Here you can get help and general information on how to find a job.
The job centre provides resources enabling you to find work and an IT system to advertise vacancies, using a job and CV database called Jobnet.
Please note that the job centre does not have the capacity to translate CVs or job vacancies. Your trade union or unemployment insurance fund may be able to help with translation.
The trade unions play a pivotal role in the Danish labour market. Thus, many Danish workers are members of a trade union. The trade unions assist with cases regarding pay and working conditions, and they can help with work-related injury cases and rehabilitation. Some trade unions also offer personal consultancy and career planning.
Your choice of trade union and unemployment insurance fund depends on your education, 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.
Unemployment and your family's right to residency
If you become unemployed while in Denmark with your family, you should be aware of your family members' rights to residency in Denmark. There are specific requirements relating to your spouse/partner living in Denmark.