As opposed to all other forms of social security in Denmark, unemployment insurance is voluntary. This means you are not automatically insured against unemployment.
You can take out unemployment insurance with an unemployment insurance fund (so-called a-kasse in Danish). The funds are private associations that – in most cases – are associated with trade unions and other professional organisations, but it is not mandatory to be a member of a trade union in order to become a member of the unemployment insurance fund.
Can I sign up for unemployment insurance?
You can become a member of an unemployment insurance fund if you are at least 18 years of age, still have 2 years left before you reach your old age pension age and reside in Denmark (or another EU/EEA country and work in Denmark). Furthermore you have to meet one of the following conditions:
- Have paid work within a profession covered by the unemployment insurance fund.
- Have completed a graduate program of at least 18 months in duration. Please note that you can only become member of an unemployment insurance
fund after graduation if you had your residence in Denmark immediately up till start of your education.
- Be a business-owner or help run your spouse’s business.
A list of all unemployment insurance funds can be found here: A-kasser i Danmark (in Danish)
You are entitled to unemployment benefit, if you have been a member of an unemployment insurance fund for at least one year and your income for the past three years has been at least 233.376 kr. (2019-rate).
Transfer of your right to receive unemployment benefits from an EU/EEA country or Switzerland
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss Citizen, who have been working in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland and have not been a member of a Danish unemployment insurance fund within the latest five years, you have a possibility transfer your rights to receive unemployment benefits.
Following three conditions must be fulfilled.
- Apply for membership of a Danish unemployment insurance fund within 8 weeks after you have terminated your employment insurance in another EU/EEA country/Switzerland
- You start working in Denmark within the 8 weeks
- You work 296 hours within 12 weeks in Denmark for a Danish employer