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Danish Government Enforces Mandatory Work and Internships for Social Support Recipients

The Danish government has recently passed a law mandating that individuals receiving social support benefits must participate in internships and employment programs for 37 hours per week. This requirement primarily targets residents with less than nine years of residence in Denmark or those with less than 2.5 years of full-time employment in the past decade.

Danish Government Enforces Mandatory Work and Internships for Social Support Recipients

The law is expected to impact approximately 22,000 individuals, mainly refugees and family-reunited third-country nationals, with a specific focus on women within this category. "Currently, this group of residents qualifies for the lower 'return and self-sufficiency benefit,' which is half of the standard amount granted to unemployed citizens without private insurance, leaving a single person without children with about €800 per month before taxes," as outlined by the European Commission.

Denmark is currently experiencing record-high employment rates, with three million people employed in a population of 5.8 million. The country boasts almost equal employment rates for women and men, and most children attend daycare from the age of one.

Economic analyses have revealed a growing demand for skilled workers in Denmark, while there is an anticipated surplus of unskilled workers in the near future. As a result, the Danish ministers of integration and labor stress that the primary goal of this new law is to convey the message that "when coming to Denmark, you must work."

The Ministry of Finance estimates that the law is expected to bring over 250 people into employment, but it will also cost the country approximately 170 million Danish Krone (equivalent to €22.8 million), as outlined in the legislation.

In a related development, the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) recently introduced a new procedure for processing applications for foreign workers. This procedure includes income statistics provided by the Confederation of Danish Employers (DA) to determine whether a job offer meets Denmark's salary standards.

"The updated revenue statistics are based on data from the second quarter of this year and apply to requests submitted from October 1, 2023. Individuals applying for a residence and work permit after this date will be evaluated based on the income statistics from the second quarter of 2023. For those who submitted their applications between August 1 and September 30, their applications will be assessed using the income statistics from the first quarter of this year," stated SIRI.



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