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08 April 2020
As part of its COVID-19 measures, the government has adopted changes to the Executive Order on Payment of Unemployment Benefits to facilitate the implementation of distribution of work plans.
Pursuant to the executive order, distribution of work plans can be implemented to allow employees to receive supplementary unemployment benefits during the period in which the plan is in force (up to 13 weeks).
According to the executive order, the implementation of a distribution of work plan is conditional on the plan being agreed in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement or a joint agreement between the employer and all of the employees in the business, department or production unit covered by the plan.
Thus, where an agreement on the distribution of work concerns an area that is not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, all of the employees in the business, department or production unit must accept the agreement on the distribution of work. Until now, agreements on the distribution of work had to be reported to the local job centre no later than one week prior to the date on which the agreement came into effect. This rule has now changed, so that an agreement on the distribution of work can be reported to the job centre when the agreement takes effect.
In addition, the changes allow employers to alternate different working patterns that can be agreed as part of an agreement on the distribution of work. Therefore, employers no longer need to follow the same work pattern throughout the term of an agreement on the distribution of work, as long as the shift to another type of work pattern has been agreed with the employees.
The different working time models which can, under the applicable rules, be agreed as part of an agreement on the distribution of work are as follows:
The above list of potential working time models is exhaustive and the same working time model must be applied in relation to all employees. However, the amended rules enable employers to alternate between the different working time models – subject to the modification that the term of one working time model (eg, two weeks of full-time work followed by two weeks of no work) must have ended before the employer can shift to another working time model. Any such change can occur only subject to agreement with the employees.
Employees who are covered by an agreement on the distribution of work will be eligible to receive supplementary unemployment benefits if they are members of an unemployment insurance fund and entitled to receive unemployment benefits.
The term of an agreement on the distribution of work may exceed 13 weeks subject to approval by the Regional Labour Market Council. However, it is important to keep in mind that employees can receive supplementary unemployment benefits for a maximum of 30 weeks.
When reporting an agreement on the distribution of work, a special form – which can be found here (in Danish) – must be used.
For further information on this topic please contact Yvonne Frederiksen at Norrbom Vinding by telephone (+43 35 25 3940) or email (email@example.com). The Norrbom Vinding website can be accessed at norrbomvinding.com.
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