Invaluable support: Learn more about Danish unions and the A-kasse system

by Nathalia Hentze Nielsen

When entering the Danish workforce, one of the most important things to remember is to sign up for a union and an A-kasse (an unemployment insurance fund).

The two are integral parts of the Danish society and workforce and they provide you with back-up and representation to make sure you are paid and treated right.

If you are a student, you can apply for student membership, which is usually free and ensures one year of unemployment benefit after graduation.

What are they?

The union’s most important job is to help, advise, and step in if any problems arise at your workplace.

It is through the union that you get protection and influence. In Denmark, it is the norm to join a union, so you have the backup you need, in the case of mistreatment, unfair pay, or any professional disputes arising.

It is also the union which negotiates the standard of your salary and helps you through rehabilitation should you get a work injury.

As a member, you can (and should) even get your union involved before starting a job. The most central service they provide here is the checking of your employment contract before you sign it in order to make sure that it abides by the respective laws.

At this step, any concerns you might have with regard to the salary proposed by a company can be raised and discussed with the union’s experts.

An A-kasse, on the other hand, is your insurance in case you lose your job or have to go through a period without a job for one reason or another – e.g., after graduating.

Aside from administering and paying out the unemployment benefit known as ‘dagpenge’ to those eligible, they can also provide counseling and career planning, as well as offer courses.

Often, although not necessarily, a union has a set cooperation with a given A-kasse. Both A-kasse and union are specialized in helping people from certain educational and professional backgrounds. It is therefore advisable to do some research on which union makes most sense for you. 

Why are they important?

These two are your support systems in the Danish labor market.

Proper representation and a powerful group at your back helps create the change and favorable conditions you need in your job.

Join the union that corresponds to your field and join an A-kasse to insure your career and unforeseen life events.

If you want to know more about unions, akasse, and the Danish workforce, reach out to International House North Denmark at or 99 31 15 30, or check out the website at

Del artikel

Andre læser også