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Mar 29, 2020
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SU, Corona and International Students: How Does Our Situation Change?

Michael Mares
Danish Government provided financial aid to mid-sized companies and SU has submitted official guidelines, if your work contract got terminated/your work hours got reduced.
VIDEO
VIDEO

If you have become unemployed, or you fear that you will become unemployed during the corona crisis, you might have questions that other do not answer.

The government and social partners have made a deal that provides support for companies that send employees home with pay, rather than dismissing people.

This move is aimed at saving many people's positions in companies, however student workers are usually the first ones to be disregarded.

Watch our LiveStream about the situation HERE!

Can your company get aid from the Danish government?

The agreement applies to companies that are faced with a situation, where they might have to lay off more than 30% of its employees, or more than 50 employees. These companies, can send their employees home with full pay - and the government will cover majority of the salary.

In case of full-time employees, this amounts to 75% of the salary, up to DKK23,000 a month.

In case of hourly-paid employees, government will support 90% of the salary, up to DKK26,000 for full-time employee, covered by this scheme.

All of this is a prerequisite to the employer, paying the remainder 25% of salaries.

This, however all only applies to larger companies. In case of smaller businesses such as bars, restaurants or hotels, government does not provide any wage compensation.

These companies, on the other hand, have an option of lending money from banks, at favorable conditions, that will support their day-to-day operations.

FAQs from readers, about company lay-offs:

Q: I got fired from my work. The Danish government announced a 75% wage subsidy in the period of the Corona outbreak. Am I eligible to get my salary?

A: If you have already gotten fired from your work, there is not much you can do. However, certain rules apply and your dismissing from work, needs to follow the contract, you have signed with your employer. There is also 'G-Dag' (your employer needs to pay for 2 extra days of your work once you get fired). If your employer does not fall under the government scheme, which could get salary compensation aid, they have right to fire you without notice (unless otherwise stated in contract).

On the other hand, if your employer falls under the government aid scheme, they are not allowed to fire you. They need to send you home, with full pay. If they do not do so, reach out to the danish labour unions, such as .

Q: Can my company fire me, because there is a lack of work due to the Corona outbreak?

A: This depends on many things. First of all, employer cannot fire you under different conditions, that are stated in a contract. That is, if you have a 6 weeks termination notice, employer cannot fire you momentarily - otherwise, he needs to compensate you. If this is your case, you can either contact labor unions (such as 3F), a-kasse companies or seek retshjælp - lawyers. These are working for free, on specific days in a week, in some cities.

Unfortunately, if you have a part-time contract with no termination period, you emplyer has right to terminate your contract without notice.

Q: My workplace did not shut down, however I am delivering food and afraid to reach the customers - I believe it is not safe and our employer does not provide any safety equipment. Is it required from the employer, to provide us with any such things. 

A: As of right now, companies are not obligated to provide any safety equipment. Though if you are in doubt, contact labor unions, such as 3F and they will guide you.

Q: I have been fired from my workplace due to Corona, however they unfired me recently (without a promise of any work). Does this mean that I cannot get any wage subsidy from the government?

A: If your place of work is eligible for government salary aid, you can get your full salary, even when you are sent home. Your place of work has likely used this and therefore unfired you, so that you can receive the compensation. Read questions above to find out if they can pay you the salary during the crisis.

Q: My contract stated that I will work 80 hours this month - firm shut down its operation until the 30th of March - therefore I cannot work. I am therefore left without pay, but officially I am still employed. What can I do in this situation?

A: If your contract stated any termination period, employer needs to respect that, in addition to G-Days. If you were promised 80 hours of work and your contract proves this, you can turn to labour unions and they will deal with any mistreatment from the employers side.

Coronavirus and SU

If you are a student who is currently receiving SU, you might be quite concerned about whether you will have the hours you need and what to do about that.

  • You can get 14 days of non-working between mid-March till the end of March. This is due to the government’s actions against spreading the COVID-19.
  • You can also try to use your SU holiday
  • You can try to keep your status as a student worker if you ended up involuntary unemployed (you got laid-off).

First things to do:

  • You need to sign immediately on jobnet.dk
  • You need to be a student worker, to begin with (at least for 10 weeks)
  • You need to submit documentation, that you have actually become involuntary unemployed
  • You have registered as a jobseeker on your local jobcentre
  • You meet standard job search requirements

FAQs from readers, about SU:

Q: My company has shut down / slowed down its operations due to the Corona outbreak. I risk not having enough hours for SU. What can I do in this situation? 

Company slowed down its operation

A: This is an extraordinary situation, and we will take that into account in our ongoing assessment of your status as worker under EU law.

As a rule, you can maintain your status as a worker during the period where official recommendations from Danish authorities to reduce the spread of COVID-19 can implicate that you cannot work. We currently consider this period to be from mid-March 2020 to mid-April  2020.

Therefore, if you cannot work for a limited period of around 2-5 weeks, you do not have to do anything concerning your status as a worker under EU law. As a rule, after this period, we expect you to continue your work.

Updated 1.4.2020 19:30

(source: su.dk)

Company shut down

A: If you become involuntarily unemployed, you can in some cases maintain your status as an EU worker for a period of time. It is a requirement that you, immediately after you have become involuntarily unemployed, register as a job seeker at www.jobnet.dk or report to your local job centre and that you meet the job centre’s standard job search requirements.

Please note, that in order to maintain your status as a worker in a situation where you have become involuntarily unemployed, it is also a requirement that you have status as a worker in the period leading up to your involuntary unemployment. This means that we, as a starting point, expect that you as a minimum have worked 10 - 12 hours each week in a consecutive period of 10 weeks leading up to your involuntary unemployment.

We always conduct a specific assessment of whether you can be regarded as a worker in the period leading up to your involuntary unemployment.

You will be asked to submit documentation showing that you:

  • have become involuntarily unemployed,
  • have registered as a job seeker at your local job centre,
  • meet the job centre’s standard job search requirements

(source: su.dk)

Note from our followers:

'Hey, just few things for the newest article about the SU and corona.  I got non-working days until 13. April, I didn't have to sign on jobnet.dk and I only finished 8 weeks as a student worker before my work got shutdown and I still got approved to receive SU during this lockdown. And the non-working days will be extended if the lockdown is extended by the government.'

Comment from author: It stands to reason that SU has not updated the official guideline in regards to the corona crisis - the guidelines were set in place before and they might not necessarily reflect the current situation. Therefore, it is advised to contact SU in any case, as cases are assessed individually and the 10 weeks restrictions might be elevated in the light of recent events.

Q: My employer does not want to / cannot give me a confirmation of reduced work hours due to the corona outbreak - is there anything I can do?

A: Luckily, for now we do not need such document for the SU to be paid out in March. Should you need to provide this document to authorities, your employer needs to give you a document like this. If he does not, you should turn to labor unions or lawyers (retshjælp)

Q: I have been fired from my workplace due to Corona, however they unfired me recently (without a promise of any work and hours). Do I need to take SU holiday?

A: This question has been forwarded to SU offices around the country - answer will be updated as soon as we receive an answer. If you already have an answer to the question, please write it down below in the comments. Thank you!

Q: I have applied for SU from March (not meeting 10 weeks requirement for involuntary unemployed), however, due to the Corona outbreak, I will not have enough hours. Does it mean I have to pay back my SU?

A: This question has been forwarded to SU offices around the country - the answer will be updated as soon as we receive an answer. If you already have an answer to the question, please write it down below in the comments. Thank you!

Q: My company is not working but I am eligible to get a salary compensation from the government - does this mean I can get SU even though I am not officially getting any hourly payment?

A: Yes, because you will receive your salary, as you usually would. Your employer will pay for fx. 80 hours of your work in a month. What happens behind the curtain, is that employer will pay for 10 hours of your work, and government will reimburse them for the remaining 70 hours. This is only in cases of larger companies, that might face firing more than 30% of their employees or more than 50 employees.

If you are unemployed or just became unemployed

The first thing we need to acknowledge the fact that our working lives are being affected and there will be lay-offs. Luckily the Danish government and social groups help with this issue and allow the employers to send you home with pay, rather than just firing you. 

And this brings many changes to everybody:

If you are unemployed

  • You don’t have to attend meetings in the Jobcentre
  • You don’t have to look for two jobs per week
  • No need to update your job log

If you are unemployed and possibly infected

  • You don’t have to search for a job either
  • Consider being “sick” on Jobnet
  • You will receive money for the first 14 days
  • Afterward, you will keep getting money from the municipality

If your employer might send you home

  • You are either sent home with pay
  • Or you are being laid-off you might or might not have an agreement from 15th March on compensation to companies.

If you do NOT have an agreement, the employer must terminate you with the termination notice stated in your contract. Once your termination notice has expired, you can apply for unemployment benefits. Make sure to explain that you didn’t quit but that you have been laid-off.

If you have an agreement, there may be exceptional possibilities of being sent home and receiving unemployment benefits. 

What to do after being laid-off?

  1. Register as unemployed on the first day (you can do it on jobnet.dk)
  2. Remember to apply for unemployment benefits

You need to be a member of the unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse).

Meet certain income requirements and remember to create your CV on jobnet, so you can upload your resume.

If you have any other information, that can help other students, or there are corrections to the text that you are aware of, please state them in the comments below and help others.
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Michael Mares
🇸🇰
I've been in Denmark for the last 4 years and because of all my f*ck ups, I've decided to start the Student Survival Guide. It was a way for me to give something back and teach others something that no one told me. Other than writing, I enjoy video editing, playing music and watching Family Guy. I'm a simple guy
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