Sick pay claims during Covid-19 pandemic keep Denmark’s welfare numbers high

Sick pay claims during Covid-19 pandemic keep Denmark’s welfare numbers high
Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash
More people in Denmark received sick pay as a result of an easing of rules due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to new data from Statistics Denmark.

Spending on sick pay thereby partly countered savings made by the state on unemployment benefits, with the number of unemployment benefit claimants steadily dropping.

During the second quarter of 2021, 86,700 people in Denmark received sick pay, a figure 19,100 – or 28 percent – higher than in the corresponding quarter last year.

The quarter prior to the coronavirus crisis – Q1 in 2020 – saw around 68,000 people receive statutory sick pay.

Sick pay was made easier to claim during the pandemic due to special rules introduced to helped ease its economic impact.

That included provisions to claim sick pay for people who are in higher risk categories for long or serious illness due to Covid-19.

The overall number of people claiming benefits still saw an overall drop in the last quarter, however, despite the increase in people receiving sick pay.

Lifting of restrictions as the virus was gradually brought under control sparked economic growth and an accompanied drop in unemployment.

READ ALSO: Denmark has record-low number of unemployment benefits claimants

 During the second quarter of 2021, 760,153 people received benefits including unemployment welfare and pensions, as well as sick pay.

That represents a 1 percent drop and the lowest number since the coronavirus reached Denmark in early 2020.

In 2019, the total number of people receiving benefits ranged between 697,000 and 706,000.

As such, there is still some way to go before the number reaches pre-coronavirus levels.

“Businesses are thirsty for labour and the number of vacancies is towering. There are very good possibilities to find work,” Niklas Praefke, senior economist with managers’ interest organisation Lederne, told news wire Ritzau.

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