Laber union and unemployment insurance

A plethora of possibilities

For example, your labor union will read your contract, before you sign it.

IDA, the Danish Society of Engineers, will probably be the natural choice for you, when you finish your studies. Depending on your area of work, other trade unions, such as Prosa (the IT union), HK (the trade union for office workers), or Dansk Magisterforening (the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs), may be more relevant. However, IDA provides coverage for the entire field of engineering and gives you the opportunity to attend various courses, further training, and committees. During your studies, you’ll receive a free one-year membership, so it might be a good idea for you to join IDA one year prior to your graduation. Hereby, you’ll also gain access to various discounts on insurance, bank interests, etc. which are listed on IDA’s web site.

Among others, as a member of IDA you will get

  • An interactive salary calculator via IDA’s app.
  • Free legal assessment of your contract of ­employment.
  • Counseling on job seeking and job interviews.
  • A weekly subscription to the magazine “Ingeniøren” (“The Engineer”).
  • An opportunity to participate in professional ­debates and meetings aimed at your special field.
  • Job search on aimed specifically at your field and direct job adverts on
  • Access to further training through the IEF Fund (the Fund for Post-Graduate Training for ­Engineers), which also focuses on graduates.

Unemployment insurance: money well spent

You probably expect to get an exciting job, when you finish your studies. However, it might be a god idea to sign up for unemployment insurance, while you are still studying.

If you sign up for unemployment insurance at least one year before you finish your studies, you will be eligible for jobseeker’s allowance as soon as you graduate. Getting unemployment insurance while you are still a student also has other advantages. For example, you may seek guidance when writing your résumé and job applications; further, you may attend workshops, events, and visits to companies. These different activities may help you get ahead. Best of all – it’s all free, provided that your line of study makes you eligible to receive a state education grant and that you are under thirty years of age.

Remember the 14-day rule
If you signed up for unemployment insurance while still a student, you must rejoin as a recently qualified full-time member no later than 14 days after graduation. Should you fail to do so, you will no longer be eligible to receive job seeker’s allowance for recent graduates, and you will have to spend one year working to once again become eligible.

As a recent graduate, you will receive approximately 15,000 Danish kroner (before taxes) per month in jobseeker’s allowance, and you are eligible to receive the allowance for two years. At New Year, the amount will be adjusted slightly, and every month you will report to the unemployment insurance fund via an electronic system.

Farewell, student job?
You do not necessarily have to quit your student job, just because you graduated and do not have a full-time job in sight. You can hang on to your student job and receive supplementary jobseeker’s allowance. This situation has a lot of advantages: You remain in the labor market, and at the same time you earn a higher income, since the number of hours you work, and not the amount of money you make, will be subtracted from your jobseeker’s allowance. Thus, you will almost always benefit economically by working part-time while receiving unemployment benefits.

Should you still choose to quit your student job, you must do so before you finish your studies, or else you may be affected by the general rules governing jobseeker’s allowance; if you quit your job for no reason, you may be quarantined for three weeks. In Denmark, people are free to join whichever unemployment insurance fund they want, and Akademikernes A-kasse (an unemployment insurance fund aimed at academics) dominates the field of engineers. If you work in IT, you may also join PROSA’s unemployment insurance fund.

Sources: Akademikernes A-kasse, Ingeniørforeningen IDA,