Parents in Denmark can receive benefits if children sent home due to coronavirus

Parents in Denmark can receive benefits if children sent home due to coronavirus
Illustration photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen / Ritzau Scanpix
The Danish government has agreed on a temporary right for parents to receive maternity benefits if their child is sent home due to the coronavirus.

The agreement is to help parents who will have to stay at home for a period of time while their children wait for a coronavirus test.

According to the agreement, the parents are entitled to compensation that is the level of maternity benefit. The scheme covers parents who have children up to and including 13 years old.

“We are looking into a period where we probably have to get used to the fact that there will be local flare ups of infection around which will lead to day care institutions or schools sending the children home.

“And there are some parents who do not have the opportunity to work from home, but who have to stay home and look after their children. That is why we have agreed on a scheme where we give parents access to maternity benefits”, says Minister of Employment Peter Hummelgaard.

Support is given to one parent per day the child is at home, the agreement states. According to DR Nyheder, a condition for receiving the compensation is that the child's parents don't have the opportunity to work from home, and that they have used up both their care days and their time off.

The agreement gives parents up to 10 days per child on the scheme. The scheme is expected to start on 1 October and will last for the rest of the year.

“We would have liked to have seen that there had been an opportunity to give something more. But the most important thing for us is that compensation is provided”, says Lizette Risgaard, chairman of the Danish Trade Union Confederation, at a press conference in the Ministry of Employment.

The union Djøf is also pleased with the agreement, says Sara Vergo, chairman of Djøf Public.

“I simply think that it is so gratifying that we have succeeded in landing an agreement, because this problem is huge for many families with children”, she says.

However Djøf would still like to see whether families with children can be put at the front of the queue for a coronavirus test. The union has previously proposed that a fast track scheme be set up for the youngest children.

“It is of course great that you can be at home and be compensated. But the faster you can get children tested, the faster people can get back to work. And it is also in the interest of society”, says Sara Vergo.

Due to the increasing infection rates with Covid-19, in some places you have to wait three or four days to be tested.

The National Board of Health recommends that children be tested if they have been sent home from their school or day care institution because there is a Covid-19 infection in that place.

The child should stay home until they have tested negative the first time. Children under 12 do not need to be tested as it can be uncomfortable for them.

Instead, the parent can choose to keep the child at home for seven days after the most recent close contact with the infected person.

If the child has not had symptoms during the seven days, the child can attend day care or school again, according to the Danish health authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen).

 

 


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