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Denmark wants migrants to work 37 hours a week to earn benefits

Denmark wants migrants to work 37 hours a week to earn benefits

The government seeks to establish a clear connection between efforts and welfare assistance

On 7 September, the Danish government presented its reform proposal "Denmark Can Do More I". In this proposal, the government lists 10 ambitious actions that seek to increase employment by over 10,000 people by 2030 and make Denmark a greener, richer, and more skilled country.

As part of these 10 efforts, the "Denmark Can Do More I" reform plan lists a new work logic whereby migrants and people with foreign backgrounds must complete 37 hours of work per week in order to be eligible for welfare benefits.

Establishing a direct link between efforts and benefits

In its reform proposal, the government reports that many migrants are currently receiving benefits without making efforts to help their community. This is especially true for women as 6 out of 10 female immigrants from the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey do not have jobs.

According to the government, being a part of the labour market facilitates integration as the workplace allows individuals to meet new people, create networks, and learn about the country. Therefore, finding a job will not only benefit society and the economy but also the individuals themselves.

For this reason, Denmark is now urging all those who can work to do so. More importantly, it has announced that those who cannot find work must still earn their welfare benefits. In other words, all citizens will now be required to complete 37 hours of work per week if they wish to receive support from the government.

Initially, the requirement will target those who have been receiving benefits for 3-4 years and have not passed the minimum exam in Danish 2 or completed 6th grade education. This amounts to approximately 20,000 people. With time, the target group will be expanded.

The government reports that individuals can take part in a variety of jobs as part of the 37-hour work obligation. These jobs include cleaning, maintaining beaches and forests, and renovating or maintaining the municipality institutions and properties. In addition, Danish companies will also have an important role in creating new jobs that can pave the way for permanent employment and better integration.

Ultimately, people who refuse to contribute to their community will lose their rights to receive benefits. With this reform, Denmark hopes to promote employment and facilitate integration.

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