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Introducing the Masters Unemployment Insurance Fund

Unemployment Insurance in Denmark

In contrast to most other countries in Europe, unemployment insurance in Denmark is voluntary. If you want to insure yourself against unemployment, you have to purchase your own insurance through one of the government-sanctioned unemployment insurance funds (Danish = ‘arbejdsløshedskasse’ or ‘a-kasse’).

What is an ‘Arbejdsløshedskasse’ or ‘A-kasse’?

An ‘arbejdsløshedskasse’ (or ‘a-kasse’) is basically like any ordinary insurance company where you pay a premium in return for coverage. Technically, it is a private association, but with one crucial difference: Because the ‘a-kasse’ is heavily subsidized by the government, the amount you receive in unemployment benefits much more than what any for-profit insurance company would be able to match.

Most ‘a-kasser’ – like Magistrenes A-kasse – specialize in servicing a specific segment of the workforce. ‘A-kasser’ are by law tasked with both providing unemployment benefits and helping their members find relevant work. So people seeking to insure themselves are encouraged to sign up with the ‘a-kasse’ that has the expertise for somebody with their professional background.

How do I join?

To join an ‘a-kasse’ you have to meet certain criteria:

  • You must be at least 18 years old and have no more than two years to retirement
  • You must work in Denmark

Apply for membership (Danish version)

How do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

In order to be entitled to unemployment benefits, you need to fulfil certain requirements.

  1. You have to have been a member of an unemployment fund for at least the last twelve months, and
  2. have fulfilled a previous work requirement of one full year with an income of at least DKK 243,996 (2021 figures) over the last 3 years while being a member. You can include a maximum of DKK 20,333 per month to reach the one year total (2021 figures). Please note that higher monthly earnings will not entitle you to receive benefits sooner. If you have earned less per month, it will take you longer to earn the right to receive unemployment benefits.
  3. Or you have to have fulfilled a previous work requirement of one full year/1924 hours of ordinary work while being a member. Whether you need to fulfill the requirements of income, the requirements of hours of ordinary work depends on your prior rights. We will inform you once you apply.
  4. However, if you join immediately after finishing vocational training lasting at least 18 months, you will be exempt from the above requirement.

When you receive unemployment benefits you are required to:

  • Make a concerted effort to find new work and thereby minimize the amount of time you spend on unemployment benefit
  • Attend an introductory CV meeting (‘Velkomstmøde’) within the first 2 weeks after you have registered yourself as unemployed at / at the ‘jobcenter’.
  • Show up every three months for a meeting, both with your ‘a-kasse’ and your local ‘jobcenter’. At these meetings you will be required to discuss your strategy for finding new employment
Read more in this pamphlet
    New to the unemployment benefit system?
January 2021: If you don’t speak Danish, the unemployment insurance system can seem complicated. Here is MA’s introduction in English.