Unemployment insurance and work culture

A prerequisite to understanding the Danish labour market is knowledge of unemployment insurance funds and unions. If you become unemployed in Denmark, you will also be in contact with the jobcentre in your municipality.

In order to be eligible for unemployment benefits (dagpenge) in Denmark, you must be a member of a state authorized unemployment insurance fund (A-kasse). Unemployment insurance funds are private member organizations. Becoming a member is voluntary, but a membership will secures you an income, if you are made redundant. The Danish government regulates the rates of the funds and the requirements for receiving unemployment insurance. A membership is an insurance against loss of income, just like insuring yourself against accidents.

Unemployment insurance fund for 18 trade unions

Most unemployment insurance funds specialize in specific professions and are closely connected to unions (fagforeninger) related to the professions in question. Akademikernes A-kasse acts as a unemployment insurance fund for 18 trade unions, all of which are represented in our executive committee. Our members include engineers, lawyers, economists, doctors, psychologists, dentists, architects, priests, vets, and many other professions.

It can be difficlt to distinguish between an unemployment insurance fund and a union. Most relevant to you is the fact that the unemployment insurance fund is responsible for paying your benefits.

Akademikernes A-kasse
(unemployment insurance fund)
Helps you when you are unemployed Helps you while employed
Offers you advice about the rules and regulations of receiving benefits Advices you with regards to terms of employment
Pays your benefits Helps you negotiate wages
Offers courses for students Offers networks within your profession
Helps you start or change your career Offers legal help
Offers guidance with regards to your job search situation Offers guidance with regards to your job situation

When unemployed, register with your local jobcentre

While unemployed, you will be in contact with your local jobcentre. You have to register as unemployed on their site jobnet.dk, and if you are unemployed for more that 3 months, you must attend mandatory meetings with your local jobcentre. During the first 3 months of unemployment, we are your primary contact in your job hunt.

Go to jobnet.dk

Read more about unemployment and benefits.

Denmark is flat – so is our workplace culture

A characteristic of Danish workplace culture is the flat organisational structure. You and your employer are more or less on equal terms, and your independent thoughts and ideas are welcome. Actually, you are expected to contribute to tasks independently and ask questions.

With independence follows responsibility, and with this, trust. Focus is to create trust rather than being controlling. As a result of this, company and departmental decisions are often made on the basis of constructive criticism, dialogue, and knowledge sharing across organizational levels and departments, focusing on the quality of ideas, rather than on who is presenting them.

The flat structure of our workplace culture is also visible when considering widely applied practices of evaluation processes, where the employee evaluates their employer, as well as vice versa.

Another characteristic of Danish workplace culture is the team structure, and for many employees, working together in a team is crucial to their daily work life.

Joining your colleagues for lunch and coffee breaks is a must and considered a core aspect of creating a healthy work environment across departments, leading to a workplace culture of well-being, as well as financial growth.

Read more about working in Denmark on the website www.workindenmark.dk

Job search in an informal workplace culture

Our informal workplace culture makes it a legitimate and much used job search approach to contact potential employers unsolicited.

It is important that you do your homework and research the company before you contact then. Be clear on what you can offer, and target your approach. If you do not get a hold of them in the first place, follow up. In this way you show initiative and the company does not have to spend time getting back to you, which will be much appreciated.

Through unsolicited contact, you can create wide networks for the use of getting your next job, which at present counts for more than half the recruitments that take place in Denmark.

Book our workshop Informal Job Search

Read more about finding a job in Denmark on the website www.workindenmark.dk