Denmark to allow people on unemployment benefits to spend a night abroad

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Denmark to allow people on unemployment benefits to spend a night abroad
Denmark's unemployment benefits rules will now permit brief trips abroad. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

A change in rules relating to Denmark’s basic unemployment benefit kontanthjælp will allow people who receive the benefit to spend a night outside the country without losing eligibility.


The Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment (Styrelsen for Arbejdsmarked og Rekruttering) has confirmed that people who get kontanthjælp, the most basic from of unemployment benefit, can now spend one night each month outside of Denmark if they inform their local municipality two days before the trip.

One of the criteria for receiving the benefit is to be available to take a job at short notice.

Kontanthjælp is distinct from dagpenge, a different benefit which provides a higher safety net and requires membership of a semi-private A-kasse unemployment insurance provider.

READ ALSO: Who is eligible for Danish unemployment benefits?

In the past, rules on unemployment benefits barred recipients from leaving Denmark at all, but this was changed after people who live near Denmark’s border with Germany said it raised their living expenses because they were unable to cross the border to shop at cheaper stores in Germany.


The municipality in Aabenraa, which has a border with Germany, has previously sanctioned residents for travelling to Germany, broadcaster DR reported.

Local councillor with Aabenraa Municipality Dorrit Knudsen praised the decision in comments to DR.

“It’s bee monster unfair because those of us in the border regions do not see a trip to Germany as travelling abroad,” she said.

READ ALSO: Danish government to introduce obligatory work for welfare benefits


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