Examples of an open labour market

  • Over the last 20 years the employees and the company management have to a great extent acquired the competence to arrange weekly working hours locally. Thus, today 85 pct. of the employees in the private sector in Denmark are covered by rules allowing varying weekly working hours. Moreover, most employees are able to vary their individual weekly working hours as long as they on a yearly basis have an average of 37 hours per week
  • In Denmark, the employment of young people is facilitated by ensuring that they gain skills that companies demand through a vocational training system combining both school and apprenticeship in companies – the so-called dual training system. Approximately 80 pct. are in job within one year of graduation from a vocational college (Data Bank: Danish Ministry of Education).
  • In 2004, a collective maternity fund for the private sector was set up in Denmark to help remove demand-side barrierers to hire women by compensating the individual employer of the cost of having female employees on maternity leave. In 2010, the Danish female employment rate was 73.1% (Eurostat).
  • In 2009, a partial fitness-for-duty certificate was introduced in the legislation. This entails that if a person working full-time but cannot uphold these hours due to illness or if a person is on sick leave and is not able to return to a full-time work, he or she can get a partial fitness-for-duty certificate. This allows the employee to work shorter hours, suited the individual circumstances, while the employer is financially compensated by the municipality. Thereby, the individual does not lose all contact with the labour market – and will find it easier to return to a full-time job eventually
  • Youth unemployment is targeted with an early and active employment policy for young people less than 30 years. Already after 1 months of unemployment, the local job center must – together with the young person – evaluate whether he or she should take up an ordinary education or seek a job. Ordinary education is a priority for young without education. To encourage the young to make a choice, the unemployment benefit or social assistance are reduced after 26 weeks of unemployment for young without an education and reduced to 82% of maximum unemployment benefit for young with an education. Data shows that most of the young people start an education.
Christina Sode Haslund
27. december 2011