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Unemployment insurance applicants in Denmark must provide proof of foreign address under new rules

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Unemployment insurance applicants in Denmark must provide proof of foreign address under new rules
Photo: Anne Bæk/Ritzau Scanpix
11:41 CET+01:00
People applying for unemployment cover in Denmark who have lived abroad in recent years could see eligibility affected by incoming rules.

In new rules set to be phased in from January 1st, members of unemployment insurance providers known as A-kasser must provide documentation for any periods of foreign residence.

Payouts to A-kasse members are funded in part by the state and in part by membership fees.

Under current rules, citizens of non-EU and EEA countries with permission to reside in Denmark must have been A-kasse members for one year and have worked full-time in Denmark for one year in order to qualify for the unemployment insurance.

Those requirements are made significantly stricter in the proposed reform, in which all A-kasse members will need to document residence in Denmark or another EU or EEA country for seven of the last eight years in order to be eligible.

The new requirements are to take partial effect on January 1st next year, with the rules being phased in gradually, taking full effect by 2021. In 2019, the requirement will be residence in Denmark or the EU for five of the last eight years.

People who have lived outside of Denmark but within the EU will therefore be required to give proof of address in the form of wage slips, receipts from payments of rent or other forms of documentation that show where they have lived and worked.

Minister of Employment Troels Lund Poulsen confirmed that it would be applicants themselves, rather than A-kasse administrators, who would be responsible for providing the necessary paperwork.

Industry representatives from the insurance providers have previously voiced alarm over the difficulty in enforcing the new rules, due to the absence of information on foreign addresses in the Danish registration system.

READ ALSO: Unemployment insurance curbs could create administrative jam for internationals in Denmark

“There will be an individual assessment of what is considered to be sufficient documentation, and documentation requirements will be dependent on the activities (when they lived) abroad of the individual member,” Poulsen said in response to a parliamentary question from Red Green Alliance MP Finn Sørensen, Ritzau reports.

Some exceptions to the residency requirement will apply, for example placement in a non-EU country under employment of a Danish company. Such exemptions will also apply to spouses of those working abroad for Danish firms.

“It’s not enough to document where you have been employed. You must also document that the company you worked for, legally speaking, is Danish and not local,” Verner Sand Kirk, director of Danske A-kasser, an industry representative body, told Ritzau.

Poulsen said that the rules provided for “flexible and pragmatic” administration by A-kasse case managers.

But that will be of little practical benefit, according to Kirk.

“It’s not normal policymaking, from his ministry or elsewhere, to make rules that you can turn the other cheek to. Rules regarding sufficient documentation are normally applied very stringently,” he said.

Sørensen noted that A-kasse members would have been unaware of future documentation requirements in Denmark under previous employments and residences in EU countries.

“It could happen to anyone – that you just can’t find the right documentation,” he told Ritzau.

“It is (A-kasse) members that will have a problem if some information is missing,” he added.

READ ALSO: Denmark to keep unemployment insurance money paid by people who lose eligibility under new rules 

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