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WORKING IN DENMARK

Do more people in Denmark work from home after Covid-19?

Evidence suggests that many people in Denmark who switched to working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic have continued to do so since restrictions ended.

Do more people in Denmark work from home after Covid-19?
Around 10 percent of people in Denmark still regularly work from home, despite the end of Covid-19 restrictions. Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Over one in ten people in Denmark now work from home, according to new data published by national agency Statistics Denmark.

The proportion of employed people who regularly worked from home during the second quarter of 2022 was 10.9 percent, according to the agency.

‘Regularly’ is defined as working from home for more than half of the days in a four-week period.

The figure is down 3.4 percent from the first quarter of the year, when pandemic restrictions were still in place. 

The coronavirus crisis was an eye-opener for many in relation to home working, according to an analyst.

“For many people, home working has become an integrated form of work in their daily lives, which can give flexibility and the chance of in-depth working at home,” Niklas Praefke, senior economist with Ledernes Hovedorganisation, a trade union for management professionals, said in a comment.

“But we can also still see that a lot of people prefer to attend their place of work and be among colleagues. As such, the choice of working form does not need to be ‘either-or’,” he said.

The level of working from home various considerably between sectors, the data also reveals.

11.9 percent of persons working in the private sector worked from home regularly in the second quarter, with 8.3 percent of public sector staff doing the same.

Working from home was also more prevalent in the private sector before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

It is also natural that some sectors, such as communication, have higher home working rates than others, such as construction, Praefke pointed out.

“If you work at an office, it’s quite simple to take your work home with you, but you can’t do that if you’re a manual worker and need to be at a construction site,” he said.

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WORKING IN DENMARK

Age charity wants Danish schools opened abroad to solve worker shortage

Age concern charity DanAge (Ældre Sagen) says Danish social care education programmes should be opened in foreign countries to address the chronic labour shortage suffered by the sector.

Age charity wants Danish schools opened abroad to solve worker shortage

Danish welfare courses that take place abroad are a potential solution to a serious lack of staff in elderly care, the CEO of DanAge, Bjarne Hastrup, told newspaper Berlingske.

Germany, Spain, India and the Phillippines are potential locations for the schools, according to the charity.

“And my question to politicians would be: ‘If you’re not going to do this, what are you going to do?’,” Hastrup told Berlingske.

In addition to giving students social care qualifications, the schools would also teach them the Danish language and culture, Hastrup suggests.

Nurses from India and the Phillippines should also be allowed to travel to Denmark and work in elderly care while waiting for the nursing qualifications to be authorised by Danish authorities, DanAge proposes.

READ ALSO: Why does Denmark take so long to authorise foreign medical professionals?

If the foreign nurses are denied authorisation, they should then be offered an alternative nursing qualification, which they would be able to study for in Denmark while continuing to work in elderly care, the charity said.

The proposal comes as DanAge on Thursday hosted a debate with Danish political party leaders at which it hoped to push for more political action on the sector’s labour shortage.

DanAge also wants au pairs – who can be granted temporary work and residence permits in Denmark under special au pair rules – to be offered a new work permit on expiry of their au pair contracts so that they can opt to stay in Denmark and work in the elderly sector.

Hastrup told Berlingske that the idea of training future staff in schools based abroad could be transferred to other areas of the health service which are also experiencing labour shortages.

It is unclear at the current time whether the charity’s proposals will garner political backing or momentum.

Danish work permit rules for non-EU nationals are restrictive, with one of the most popular pathways, the Pay Limit Scheme, requiring employers to pay a minimum wage high enough to prevent hires in many social care roles.

READ ALSO: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you are not an EU national?

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