Denmark wants to ban employers from asking age of applicants and squeeze rules on jobseekers

A job interview handshake. New Danish rules could prevent employers from asking the age of potential new staff.
New Danish rules could prevent employers from asking the age of potential new staff. Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash
A new agreement has been announced between Denmark’s government, labour organisations and local authorities, aiming to ease the lack of labour currently prevalent in the country.

The agreement, which focuses on several areas of the labour market, aims to prevent older people from being overlooked for jobs due to their age.

Under proposed new rules, which would have to be passed by parliament, employers would be prevented from asking potential hires how old they are.

Additionally, the deal includes funding for courses for new graduates, designed to help them enter the jobs market soon after completing their studies.

READ ALSO: What does Denmark’s new labour proposal say about foreign workers?

Unemployment insurance providers (A-kasser) and job centres will be required to disseminate latest information on vacancies and to match companies with suitable job candidates.

“The aim is that no jobseeker leaves a (job centre) interview without being informed of where there are job vacancies – which they will be expected to apply for,” the agreement states.

A fund from which money for communication relating to jobs can be applied for will also be established. The fund will be allocated 15 million kroner per year in 2022 and 2023.

New rules will also tighten demands on people who receive unemployment insurance via their A-kasse if they fail to comply with the minimum number of job applications which must be sent weekly.

Available jobseekers who have not applied for a job within a month will be summoned to a job centre appointment as well as sanctioned.

The latter proposal was not supported by the umbrella organisation for trade unions, Fagbevægelsens Hovedorganisation (FH), which nevertheless decided to support the overall package.

“We know unemployed people really want to work and we think rules are already strict today,” FH chairperson Lizette Risgaard said in a press statement.

The agreement also pledges to assist companies to employ workers from other parts of Europe.

But it was criticised for not going far enough to resolve Denmark’s labour shortage by employers’ organisation Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening (DA), which also said it had some positive elements.

Employment minister Peter Hummelgaard called the deal “clever and balanced”, adding it would help resolve the labour shortage and bring more people into the workforce.

READ ALSO: Are international workers the answer to Denmark’s labour shortage?

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  1. I am afraid that this will not resolve much as it is easy to figure out how old someone is by looking at the years that people finished their education or by seniority in the last job(s). What needs to stop is the stigma people have about over 50’s being too old for anything. Since when is experience bad? what on earth does ‘overqualified’ means?

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