Municipalities have learned from the corona: Drop rigid requirements for the unemployed

It is the experiences with closing down the job centers during the first wave of the corona epidemic that have set thoughts in motion at the National Association of Local Authorities.

– During the epidemic, we have learned a lot about how to run job centers digitally. The experiences have been really good, says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen (S).

He is mayor of Aalborg and chairman of the labor market committee of the National Association of Local Authorities.

– At the same time, we want to use the resources we have today even better. So we get a more flexible approach, where we spend fewer resources on those who do not have such a great need, and more resources on those with a great need.

Today, the requirements for the unemployed have been set in a completely fixed framework.

For example, the unemployed must have at least four interviews with the job centers within the first six months.

In addition, there are two more interviews with the job center and the unemployment insurance fund if the unemployed are insured.

But the municipalities will soften the requirements so that the starting point is the needs of the individual unemployed.

According to the municipalities, the job-ready unemployed who are estimated to be able to return to the labor market within a short time can manage with a virtual job universe.

Here it must be possible to ask questions 24/7 and chat with a job center employee.

Personal conversations should also be an option when deemed necessary.

According to Thomas Kastrup-Larsen, this will free up resources to make an extra hand-held effort for the unemployed, who have a little more difficulty finding a foothold in the labor market again.

For example, unskilled people or people with an education that is not immediately in demand by employers.

– We suggest making the system much more flexible. We believe that it gives better results rather than everyone having the same effort.

– But it requires a clear simplification of rules on Christiansborg’s part, says Thomas Kastrup-Larsen.

The proposal from the municipalities comes to light when a summit is held for finance committee members and top people from the administration in the country’s 98 municipalities.

It usually takes place in Aalborg Congress and Culture Center, but this year the meeting will be held virtually.

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