Obligation to be available to the labour market and be a jobseeker

Unemployment benefits is an insurance against unemployment. To be eligible for benefits, you must be available to the labour market and do everything you can to get a job.

Click here to see the requirements you must meet in order to be eligible for benefits.

You must do everything you can to get a job. Therefore, you must search for:

Which jobs do you need to apply for?

Your job search activities must be serious and realistic. Therefore, you must search for:

  • work within the fields where the chances of finding a job matching your profile are greatest
  • other work which you are capable of performing, but may fall outside your field

If not enough relevant jobs are being advertised, you will have to expand your job search. In that case, you must apply for jobs which fall outside your area of work or do not match your organisational level.

If there are not enough realistic jobs in your local area, you will have to expand your job search geographically:

  • You must apply for jobs within a commuting radius of up to 3 hours a day by public transport.
  • After 3 months of unemployment, you must apply for jobs within a commuting radius of more than 3 hours a day.

How many jobs do you need to apply for?

You must fulfil the agreement between you and us as to how many jobs you must apply for and which.

You must apply for at least 2 full-time jobs in Denmark every week (in addition to any wage-subsidised jobs and company internships). At least one of those jobs must be an advertised vacancy.

There must be no weeks in which you do not apply for any jobs.

We encourage you to apply for all jobs you can apply for. Only the full-time jobs you apply for in Denmark will count towards the 2 jobs you must apply for each week. In addition to full-time jobs in Denmark, you are obviously also allowed to apply for part-time jobs or jobs abroad.

Unless you are exempted from job searching, you must be an active jobseeker until the date you start a job or deregister as unemployed.

Read about the requirements to your job search activities

You may be eligible for an exemption from job search activities and keeping your job log. You may be eligible if you within the next 6 weeks:

  • you are about to start a full-time job (which is not a wage-subsidised job)
  • you begin studies
  • you go on maternity/paternity leave, retire early or begin to receive state pension. 

To be exempted you must contact your Jobcenter and ask them to be assigned to the "Less intensive activity programme" instead. Your Jobcenter will ask for documentation that you within 6 weeks are about to start a job, go on maternity/paternity leave, take early retirement, receive state pension or start studying, as the case may be.

Although you are not required to search for jobs and maintain your job log, you must still be available for any job facilitated by your Jobcenter.

The Jobcenter cannot facilitate any jobs for you of a duration exceeding the day when you will be starting a new job or a study programme, going on maternity/paternity leave or taking early or regular retirement, as the case may be.

You must:

  • register your job search activities at least once a week via your job log at jobnet.dk.
  • upload at least 2 submitted job applications to your job log every month

In case of any technical problems with your job log, please contact your Jobcenter.

If you do not register your job search activities each week and upload at least 2 job applications each month, you will be invited to additional availability interviews and risk losing your benefits.

This also applies if you have registered fewer job searches than the number we have agreed with you.

Please note: It is only the job searches you have registered in your job log that we will include in our assessment when determining whether you fulfil the eligibility requirements for receiving benefits. Timely registration of all your job searches is therefore very important.

You must be resident and present in Denmark in order to be eligible for benefits.

A few exceptions apply, e.g. if you live abroad but work reduced hours in Denmark and apply for supplementary benefits. An exception may also apply in case of a short-term stay abroad. But only in very special cases.

We recommend that you contact us if you wish to take your benefits with you abroad for a period of time. Or if you are not resident and staying in Denmark.

Read more about staying abroad as unemployed

We are only allowed to pay benefits to you in the periods when you have registered as unemployed at jobnet.

Therefore, you must:

  • feature on jobnet.dk as unemployed
  • create a CV at jobnet.dk as soon as possible and no later than 14 days after registering as unemployed
  • make sure that your CV is up-to-date and searchable for employers at all times

Interviews and meetings with the Jobcenter

You must attend an interview with the Jobcenter around once a month during the first 6 months of your unemployment. After the 6 months, the interviews will be held when the Jobcenter assesses that there is a need for it. The Jobcenter will inform you when it's time to book an interview.

You will not have to book your interview or meeting with the Jobcenter yourself if CA will also be attending.

The Jobcenter must give you at least 8 days to book the interview or meeting, and when this time-limit expires, there must be at least 7 days until the interview or meeting must be held.

If there are no available time slots, you must contact the Jobcenter. They can either give you some available time slots to choose from or extend the time-limit. You will be informed automatically via jobnet.dk if there are no available time slots.

Interviews and meetings with CA

You must attend an onboarding meeting and 2 availability interviews with CA during the first 6 months of unemployment. The purpose of these interviews is to allow us to assess your availability to the labour market. Our assessment will be based on the information provided in your job log about your job search activities.

We will inform you when it's time to book an interview, and we will give you a time-limit for when the interview must be booked.

You will lose your benefits if you do not book the interview before the time-limit expires

If you do not book an interview before the time-limit given by the Jobcenter or CA expires, you will be deregistered as unemployed at jobnet.dk the day after the time-limit for booking the interview has expired. You will receive a letter from the Jobcenter informing you that you have been deregistered as unemployed. You will not be entitled to benefits on days when you are deregistered as unemployed. Therefore, you should re-register as unemployed with the Jobcenter as soon as possible.

Once you have registered as unemployed with the Jobcenter, you must attend an onboarding meeting with CA within 14 days. Within 24 hours after registering as unemployed, you will receive an email from CA describing the actions required on your part in order to be eligible for benefits.

If you cancel or fail to attend a meeting scheduled by CA or the Jobcenter, you will lose your benefits for the day of the meeting and until you have re-scheduled the meeting.

This applies regardless of whether you cancel or fail to attend an onboarding meeting or an availability interview with the unemployment insurance fund or a job interview or other event at the Jobcenter. If you cancel the interview or meeting before it starts, you will only lose your benefits for the day in question.

However, your benefits will not be affected if you cancel the meeting or interview because you:

Meeting or holiday?

If you want to take a holiday while you are unemployed, you must notify us via jobnet.dk at least 14 days before the first day of holiday.

If CA, the Jobcenter or a secondary operator schedules a meeting or an interview with you for one of the days of your planned holiday, you will be required to attend if you:

  • Received the invitation to the interview or meeting before you registered your holiday at jobnet.dk – even if your holiday is more than 14 days away
  • Have registered the holiday less than 14 days before a meeting with the Jobcenter or a secondary operator, unless the Jobcenter confirms that you are not required to attend

It is important here to make sure that you have a clear agreement with the Jobcenter. If they inform us that you have failed to show up for a meeting, it will affect your benefits.

You may register your holiday at jobnet.dk up to 14 days before the first day of holiday. If this is not possible, you must call the Jobcenter first and ask them if it's okay for you to take a holiday. If the Jobcenter says yes, you must call us afterwards about the holiday.

Read about holiday while unemployed

You must attend all meetings scheduled by CA, the Jobcenter or a secondary operator.

You may be invited to meetings – or courses and other events that will improve your job opportunities – at a day's notice. The Jobcenter may also facilitate jobs or invite you to a job interview at a day's notice.

It is therefore important that you:

  • read your electronic and physical mail every day
  • keep the Jobcenter, the secondary operator and CA informed of your current email and physical address

You must be available to take a full-time job facilitated by the Jobcenter at a day's notice.

The Jobcenter may facilitate jobs for you that match your educational background and training, your work experience and your other qualifications.

However, you must also be prepared to take other jobs that you are competent to perform. This also applies to jobs at a lower organisational or educational level than your previous jobs.

You must be available for jobs within a commuting radius of up to 3 hours a day by public transport. After 3 months of unemployment, you must apply for jobs within a commuting radius of more than 3 hours a day.

There must be no obstacles (legal or physical) to your availability to take a job. If, for example, you have a period of sickness and are unable to work, you will not receive any benefits. Instead, you may apply for sickness benefits from your local municipality. However, CA may pay you benefits during the first 14 days of sickness.

Read more about sickness while unemployed

We will invite you to an availability interview where we will discuss your job search. You will be invited before you have been unemployed for 3 months in total.

The interview is mandatory if you want to receive benefits.

The purpose is to guide you into employment as quickly as possible.

We will need to clarify:

  • What experience you have gained from your job search activities since the onboarding meeting.
  • How you may use this experience in your job search activities going forward
  • What kind of activities you have done in order to obtain a job. We will be looking at your job search activities in a broad sense.

We will base our assessment solely on the information provided in your job log. It is therefore important that you update your job log regularly.

The assessment will be based on:

  • All solicited and unsolicited applications you have registered in your job log
  • Whether your job search activities have been serious and realistic
  • Whether your job search activities are sufficiently broad in terms of industries and geography
  • Whether you have applied for a sufficient number of jobs per week

Our assessment also considers whether or not you use your network and have registered with recruitment or temporary employment agencies.

Before you have been unemployed for a total of 6 months, we must hold a new availability interview.

In addition to the availability interviews before 3 and 6 months' unemployment, we are required to make a new availability assessment and invite you to an interview about your availability if there are doubts about your availability to the labour market.

This would be the case if, for example, you:

  • do not update your job log on a weekly basis, as agreed with us
  • do not register the number of jobs in your job log agreed with us
  • do not upload at least 2 job applications to your job log every month
  • do not show up for a meeting with the Jobcenter, a secondary operator or CA
  • have seasonal employment
  • have been off sick for a long period of time
  • leave a full-time job instead of working reduced hours
  • do not create a CV at jobnet.dk

If we assess that you are not available to the labour market or that you have not done enough to find full-time employment, you will receive no benefits.

In that case, you will not receive benefits until you have had 300 hours of paid work within a 3-month period, if you are monthly paid. If you are paid by the hour or every week or every 2 weeks, you must have had 276 hours of paid work within a 12-week period.

If you turn down a job facilitated by the Jobcenter or an offer for activation (e.g. a company internship or a wage-subsidised job), it may affect the assessment of your availability to the labour market and thus your benefits.

In that case, CA must determine whether to impose a suspension period of 111 hours (3 months) on you for self-inflicted unemployment and whether you should still be regarded as being available to the labour market and thus be eligible for benefits.

Read more about self-inflicted unemployment