Job Centre Guide - Version 3, July 2005

Job Centre Guide - Version 3, July 2005

Job Centre Guide Version 3, July 2005

Job Centre Guide - Version 3, July 2005

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 2 Content I. Job Centre Guide – all the information you need ___ 3
II. Why Job Centres ___ 4
III. What are the Job Centres’ responsibilities ___ 5
1. Citizens using the Job Centres ___ 7
2. Parallel efforts – when employment efforts and social initiatives go hand in hand ___ 9
3. The enterprise and the Job Centre ___ 11
4. Payment of benefits, etc. – not a job for the Job Centre ___ 12
5. Work availability ___ 13
6. The organisation and political foundation of Job Centres ___ 14

Planning and management in the Job Centres ___ 16
8. IT ___ 19
9. The right of appeal – through the employment board of appeal ___ 22
IV. Job Centres and pilot Job Centres ___ 24
1. Job Centre responsibilities ___ 24
2. Management and organisation ___ 25
3. Special conditions concerning terms of employment ___ 27
4. Financing ___ 27
5. Physical location ___ 27
V. Process ___ 29
1. Dialogue phase until 1 February 2006 ___ 29
2. Agreement phase – 1 February until 31 December 2006 ___ 29
3. Rules for the transitional period ___ 30
4. Phasing in of target groups ___ 30

Setting up a local employment council ___ 31
6. Specialised rehabilitation initiatives ___ 31
VI. Cooperation pilot projects and employment offices ___ 33
1. Employment offices ___ 33
2. Cooperation pilot projects ___ 34
VII. Annexes ___ 36
1. The legislation on responsibility for and management of active employment efforts ___ 36
2. The jobseeker at the Job Centre – examples ___ 37
3. Parallel efforts – examples ___ 39
4. Work availability assessment and work availability inspection, and employability profiling inspection ___ 41
5. Organisation of Job Centres – an example ___ 43

The employment plan and performance audit ___ 47
7. The local employment councils ___ 49
8. The regional employment councils ___ 51
9. The employment regions ___ 54
10. The National Employment Council ___ 56
11. Hotjobs ___ 57
12. Wage-subsidy jobs on ___ 58
13. Jobs with special conditions - flex jobs and wage-subsidy jobs for persons receiving disability pensions ___ 59
14. ___ 60
15. The employment boards of appeal . . 62

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 3 I. Job Centre Guide – all the information you need This is the place to look if you need information about the future structure in the employment area. The new structure means that the Public Employment Service (PES) and municipalities will move into new Job Centres together. With this Guide, the National Labour Market Authority provides overall information – the Why, How, Who, When, etc. – of these new Job Centres. However, we cannot answer all questions with this Guide; partly because the answers to some of the questions relating to technical details and certain aspects of the new structure must be found elsewhere, for example, in the legislation pertaining to the new structure; and partly because executive orders and the planning of organisational structures and processes following from the new legislation are still under way.

This Guide will therefore have to be updated as all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

The new legislation on the employment area was adopted on 17 June 2005 and the content of the legislation adopted is described in this version of the Job Centre Guide.

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 4 II. Why Job Centres? The challenge facing Denmark is considerable: there will be even greater need for labour in the future, as the proportion of elderly people increases and the proportion of young people decreases. This will raise certain demands. If we are to prevent enterprises and society from experiencing a shortage of qualified labour, the demand is simple: we must organise Danish employment efforts efficiently and optimally. The aims of employment efforts are:
  • to get the unemployed into employment as quickly as possible,
  • to ensure that enterprises find the labour they need,
  • to ensure that people on sick leave return to work as quickly as possible,
  • to ensure an inclusive labour market, and
  • to ensure our future welfare – by increasing the labour force as much as possible and by ensuring efficient employment offers.

The labour market reform "More People in Employment" was an important first step towards more efficient employment efforts – the next step is the upcoming structural reform and the establishment of Job Centres throughout Denmark. The Public Employment Service (PES) and municipalities will be merged in new Job Centres throughout Denmark in the coming years. Here, the PES and the municipalities will work together on employment efforts for jobseekers and enterprises. The overall benefit of creating Job Centres is that we will then have one employment system with one-stop access for all citizens.

This is not the situation today. Today, the PES takes care of some jobseekers while municipalities take care of others.

The background for the current structure of the employment area is historical rather than rational: there seems to be no strong argument for processing the same problems via two different systems depending on whether the jobseeker has unemployment insurance or not. On the other hand, there are strong arguments in favour of gathering forces in a joint Job Centre where citizens can go if they need a job; a joint centre where enterprises can look for the labour they are short of, and centre employees can focus on the labour market in its entirety and thus provide better advice and help to the individual jobseeker.

The aim is to make it easier and quicker to match enterprises and jobseekers and to improve and target the employment efforts for the individual jobseeker.

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 5 III. What are the Job Centres’ responsibilities? The Job Centres will be the key to Danish employment efforts. A Job Centre will be established in every municipality in Denmark except in very small municipalities that will instead enter into binding cooperation with other municipalities. The main task of the centres will be to establish a quick and efficient match between jobseeker and enterprise.

Enterprises must be provided with the labour they need as quickly as possible; jobseekers must be provided with jobs equally quickly; and unemployed jobseekers and people on sick leave must be ensured the quickest way back to work.

Self-service: Everyone who can manage on their own should do so. This should be the guiding principle for every contact between the Job Centre and a jobseeker or an enterprise. Both people that are looking for a job and enterprises that are looking for people to employ will be instructed in the use of the self-service IT tools available at the Job Centre. Those in need of more, or other, forms of assistance will receive it. Services for enterprises: Employment efforts only provide outcomes if there is good communication and close contact to enterprises. The Job Centres must know the enterprises’ needs for labour in order to prevent bottleneck problems and provide support for people who are forced to change jobs across sectors.

The right labour is not necessarily people closest by. It is therefore essential that qualifications, and not municipal borders, guide matchmaking between enterprise and jobseeker. The organisation of the services for enterprises by Job Centres and the use of the job database must ensure quality and scope of recruitment for enterprises. This is a prerequisite for efficiency. Furthermore, together with enterprises the Job Centres must help unemployed people regain their foothold in the labour market. This is an important collective task. All studies into the effect of employability enhancement suggest that job training and wage subsidies at the right enterprises constitute the most efficient measures to help the unemployed back on the labour market.

This applies to public-sector as well as private enterprises.

Coordinator for unemployed jobseekers: The basis for the Job Centres’ contact to the unemployed is clear. They must find the shortest way to employment. The Job Centre coordinates the employment efforts for all the unemployed; those close to the labour market as well as those in need of extra assistance in order to gain or regain their foothold in the labour market. A central element is that the Job Centre must use the national employability profiling tools when helping the unemployed. These are tools that help provide a quick overview of whether the unemployed person needs special support, or only needs a little help to proceed independently.

The Job Centre assesses the employment potential of unemployed people on the basis of their job history and a personal interview. The unemployed person is placed in one of five so-called match categories. The match category will be decisive for the process the individual has to complete in the effort to get a job. A high match means focus should be on seeking a job here and now. A lower match could mean that specific job training in combination with social benefits is needed. The employability potential of the unemployed person will be assessed on an ongoing basis as part of his or her contact with the Job Centre.

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 6 Newly arrived foreigners: The Job Centres must prepare individual contracts for newly arrived foreigners covered by the Danish Integration Act as quickly as possible after their arrival in Denmark. The contract should describe which activities may contribute to the foreigner learning Danish and finding employment. Specialist knowledge: In principle, the Job Centres should be able to tackle all assignments relating to unemployed people, jobseekers, and people in employment who need assistance under legislation managed by the Job Centres.

In a range of situations the Job Centres may, however, require specialist knowledge in order to meet its responsibilities.

This could be for example specialist knowledge in the area of disabilities, ethnic minorities, international employment services, and gender equality. The employment regions are responsible for ensuring that this specialist knowledge is available to the Job Centres. This is achieved in practice by the director of the employment region entering into agreements with institutions, external actors, or with the people responsible for the employment efforts in a specific Job Centre. How this specialist knowledge is to be organised in the employment regions has therefore not been set in advance.

People on sick leave: The Job Centres must follow up cases involving sickness benefits. This means that the Job Centre must follow up with an interview with the person on sickness benefits before the end of week 8. The purpose is to ensure that as many as possible are kept in employment and not excluded from the labour market, as well as to ensure that the period of sick leave is kept as short as possible. The Job Centre must include the enterprise and the doctor in its follow-up and coordinate its efforts with other efforts e.g. by hospitals. Some people on sick leave are so severely impaired by their illness that the way back into a regular job must go through rehabilitation.

Finally, in its profiling of the person on sick leave, the Job Centre may find that the person can only take on a flex job, or should be recommended early retirement with disability pension.

Active measures: For some unemployed people even massive job-seeking efforts are not enough to gain foothold in the labour market. Here, the Job Centre’s task is clear: the Job Centre must organise a process that can lead to the person getting a job in consultation with the unemployed. Such a process could involve job training in a public-sector or private enterprise, wage subsidies, or educational measures – or perhaps a combination of all of the above. For some people, rehabilitation and a flex job could be the way back to work.

External actors: The Job Centres can enter into agreements with external actors about employment efforts targeted at different groups.

This can either be done by offering external actors assignments for tender or by using agreements entered into by other Job Centres, regionally or nationally. External actors can be involved in overall employment policy efforts, i.e. contact work and employment services, or they can act as sub-contractors. This means that an external actor may prepare job plans for jobseekers, etc.

Guidelines for job plans by external actors” specifies which assignments can be delegated to external actors and the scope of action of external actors when responsible for efforts, including in areas that the authorities are responsible for.

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 7 1. Citizens using the Job Centres Everyone in need of assistance and employment services are to contact a Job Centre. This is irrespective of whether the individual is a recipient of unemployment benefits, social benefits, or other benefits, and it also applies to people already in work but who need advice and guidance in their search for a new job. The overall objective is the same for everyone: finding work! The focus of the Job Centre is to find the quickest way to employment. The Job Centre is responsible for the entire process – from a person contacts the Job Centre until he or she finds a job, or otherwise becomes economically self-sufficient or retires from the labour market. The basis for Job Centre efforts is the resources and needs of the individual. Naturally, these will differ significantly from person to person. Therefore, the Job Centre’s task is to quickly determine the special needs of the individual. Those who can mange on their own will receive less assistance than those who are in need of more assistance, advice, guidance and other offers. It all depends on the unique situation of the many different people contacting the Job Centre, such as:
  • people in work who are looking to change jobs
  • newly unemployed people who are still close to the labour market
  • people in need of assistance to find a job
  • people in need of assistance to retain their job due to illness, or
  • people who are newly arrived in Denmark and in need of assistance to enter the Danish labour market for the first time.

Everyone will receive the same treatment. Using e.g. the employability-profiling tool, a Job Centre employee will help the individual assess his or her needs with regard to finding a job. People in work who are looking to change jobs: Most people know where to look for and find a job. They only need limited assistance from the Job Centre. Example 1: Pernille works shifts, but is looking for something else Pernille works shifts in the medical industry; but working shifts takes its toll on family life and she is therefore looking for a job with fixed working hours. At the Job Centre she obtains information about the options available to her within her sector, and she is instructed in how to search for jobs via

She is able to find a new job within a month and a half.

Newly unemployed people still close to the labour market: Many people experience shorter periods of unemployment in Denmark each year. Some have unemployment insurance, others do not; but they have one thing in common: they only need assistance with regard to active job hunting etc. in order to find a new job.

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 8 Example 2: Poul in need of personal assistance Poul has impaired hearing and therefore requires a sign language interpreter if he is to manage on equal terms with hearing people in his everyday life. Having completed his master’s degree in engineering, he reports to a Job Centre.

In connection with the employability-profiling interview, the employee at the Job Centre informs him that he is entitled to a personal sign language interpreter up to 20 hours each week while at work. This is according to the act on compensation for disabled people in work etc. With this knowledge in mind, Poul goes job hunting and lands a regular job as an engineer at an engineering firm after a couple of months.

People in need of assistance finding a job: Some people need more help getting a job – for example in the form of a qualifications upgrade, job training at an enterprise, or a job search course. If the individual jobseeker needs assistance gaining a foothold in the labour market, the Job Centre will make a job plan in consultation with the jobseeker. The Job Centre and the jobseeker will agree on the goal of the plan and what is needed to reach this goal. Example 3: Mahmoud in need of Danish lessons Mahmoud is an immigrant. He is on start help and is therefore required to report to the Job Centre.

The Job Centre assesses that his Danish skills are too poor for him to hold a regular job or a job involving wage subsidies.

The Job Centre offers Mahmoud lessons two days a week at a language centre and job training at an enterprise the remaining three days of the week. The Job Centre arranges for Mahmoud to have a mentor during the start-up phase at the enterprise, to help him on his way. The Job Centre will contact Mahmoud at least once every third month to hear how he is getting along. Similarly, the Job Centre will be in regular contact with the enterprise and Mahmoud’s mentor. People at risk of loosing their attachment to the labour market due to illness: People who are at risk of unemployment due to illness may need the Job Centre’s assistance in order to retain their current job.

If they are already without a job, they need assistance getting back into the labour market. The Job Centre and the person on sick leave will decide on actions together to help him or her back to work. Perhaps, the person on sick leave needs a doctor’s report declaring him/her only partially well, or a work ability test. At all events, the focus will be on retaining the sick person’s attachment to the labour market.

Example 4: Anna suffers a disabling back injury and is offered rehabilitation Anna is a child carer. She gets a back injury and reports sick to her employer. Her employer reports her absence due to illness to the Job Centre. A doctor’s assessment

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 9 reveals that the injury is chronic and that Anna will not be able to carry out work that involves lifting and pulling, or other back strain. In connection with the first follow-up interview, the Job Centre assesses that Anna can work half time at the local after-school activity centre.

However, the job turns out to be too hard on Anna and the Job Centre arranges a new interview with her. On the basis of this interview and an overall assessment of Anna’s case, Anna is offered rehabilitation as a doctor’s secretary, according to her own wish. She completes the training programme and finds a job in a doctor’s office.

Newly arrived foreigners entering the Danish labour market for the first time: Newly arrived foreigners covered by the Danish Integration Act must find employment as quickly as possible. Often this means the Job Centre must chip in. The Job Centre must prepare a contract with the newly arrived foreigner offering him or her an introduction programme including language lessons. This applies both to foreigners that are eligible for introduction benefits and foreigners that are not eligible for introduction benefits.

Example 5: Hannah is reunited with her husband Hannah has just been reunited with her husband, who is a refugee in Denmark.

She has formal training as an accountant and work experience from a medium-size accounting firm in Iraq, her home country. The Job Centre – i.e. the job consultant and the language consultant – prepares an individual contract in consultation with Hannah. Hannah’s formal training, work experience, and competences etc., are included in the contract. They agree that Hannah must start on a Danish language programme right away. Hannah speaks English in addition to Arabic. The Job Centre therefore tries to find her on-the-job training in a large accounting firm with international links. One month later this has happened.

Read more examples in annex 2.

2. Parallel efforts – when employment efforts and social initiatives go hand in hand People not readily able to find a job due to social problems, language or health problems, should also be able to receive assistance from the Job Centre. The Job Centre must ensure that employment efforts are tailored to the individual’s needs. If a person is having difficulties gaining access to the labour market as well as other problems, the Job Centre has to take special account of two things: firstly, all of the individual’s other problems do not have to be solved before embarking on job-hunting preparation and job-targeted efforts; secondly, a job or job-targeted efforts may be part of the solution to many of the other problems burdening the person.

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 10 People who need social services must receive these from the local social services office. However, the Job Centre will still be responsible for efforts related to employment, while the social services are responsible for social efforts under the Act on Social Services. There must be balanced cooperation between the two areas; employment efforts and social initiatives must go hand in hand. To enhance the possibilities for returning to the labour market, the Job Centre will serve as a coordinator of the employment-related efforts – also during periods when a person is completing social or health programmes outside the Job Centre.

This coordinator function includes checking up to see if the person has moved any closer to entering the labour market, and standing ready with employment-related offers as soon as the person is able to cope with these. The parallel efforts by Job Centres and the social services also apply to unemployed people who have insurance. These people can be offered a combination of social, language, health and employment-related programmes, provided they are available to the labour market according to the general rules.

Some people are unsuccessful in moving closer to the labour market, and for them early retirement with disability pension might be the solution. In this connection, the Job Centre will be responsible for ensuring that all other options have been looked at e.g. employability enhancement, rehabilitation, and flex job, before a claim for disability pension can be raised. The Job Centre cannot decide whether a person is eligible for disability pension or not. This is up to the social services to decide. However, the Job Centre may recommend to the social services that a claim for disability pension is raised.

The Job Centre may do this when it finds there is documentation that a person’s ability to work has been permanently reduced and all relevant options to improve his or her ability to work have been looked at. Once the Job Centre has submitted its recommendation, the case is to be considered final with regard to the person’s ability to work and any possibilities of improving this ability.

Example 6: Camilla is the mother of Markus who is showing symptoms of DAMP/ADHD Camilla is a young, unemployed single mother. She has no vocational training and almost no work experience, except from short periods of unskilled part-time work. She has her hands full taking care of her 5-year-old son Markus, who is showing symptoms of DAMP/ADHD. She is having difficulties coping with everyday demands and is unable to imagine how - on top of everything else - she will have time and energy for a full-time job.

The Job Centre arranges for a social worker from the social services’ department for children and young people to contact Camilla.

As a result of these interviews, Camilla is assigned a “family support person” to help her manage her everyday chores and her son. The Job Centre also refers Camilla to a clarification process at a work rehabilitation centre. Here, she will both take part in different workshops and receive training in basic subjects at pre-college level.

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 11 This is a pre-rehabilitation process to determine whether Camilla will be able to complete training as a social and health-care assistant. The Job Centre will then assess whether Camilla can start on a proper rehabilitation programme at a later stage. Read more examples in annex 3. 3. The enterprise and the Job Centre In general, job turnover in Denmark is smooth and efficient, involving enterprises and employees finding each other entirely without intervention from the public employment system. If enterprises are unable to find qualified candidates to fill a vacancy, they can approach a Job Centre.

All Job Centres can help the enterprise with their recruitment, irrespective of where in Denmark the enterprise is located and irrespective of where in Denmark the unemployed live. The Job Centres comprise a nation-wide public-service system which is to ensure the greatest possible transparency of the job market and support recruitment, job search and employment services across trades and professions and across municipal borders. The digital tools, including, are central components for this cross-cutting recruitment and employment service. Enterprises are free to choose any Job Centre they wish to work with, although not with regard to services relating to absence due to illness, rehabilitation, etc.

These services will be offered by the Job Centre in the municipality where the person reported sick resides, unless several Job Centres have entered into cooperation agreements on joint efforts in these areas. It is important that central and local government work together in a Job Centre on services targeted at enterprises, so that the Job Centre’s enterprise contact is coordinated. Jobseekers, etc. should not experience any differences when receiving services from local and central government employees respectively, and enterprises should not experience an unnecessary administrative burden or extra casework.

The two systems may learn from each other with regard to services to enterprises, and it is important that competences are utilised in joint efforts tailored to the individual enterprise.

Collaboration on services to enterprises in the Job Centre should contribute to solving the enterprise’s demand for labour, quickly and efficiently. At the same time, these collaborative efforts should provide for targeted dialogue with enterprises about job retention for people on sick leave, wage-subsidy jobs, job training offers, light jobs with special conditions, etc. Collaborative efforts might also include initiatives in favour of the inclusive labour market, social partnerships, and enterprise network creation in the local area.

Moreover, offering enterprise services in partnerships across Job Centres could also be considered, in that it would enable coordination of the services to enterprises in relation to a larger section of the labour market.

Opportunities for collaboration across Job Centres are described in more detail in annex 24 (not available in English).

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 12 Example 7: Allan Jensen’s Fruits & Vegetables in X-town needs a sales clerk. One evening after work, Allan sits down at his computer and clicks his way to He decides to submit his job advertisement to the job database by himself. During the process he phones the Help Desk for help in clarifying a couple of questions. Three days later, Allan receives the first responses to the advert, and after one week, he is able to remove it from the database, as he has already found and hired a new employee.

Example 8: Leif Sørensen’s Metal Workshop in Y-town just signed a major contract and is now in need of 11 new metalworkers (welders primarily) in the production.

The enterprise submits its order on After one week, six people have contacted the enterprise and all of them have been employed. The enterprise now contacts the local Job Centre and asks for help finding the remaining five employees still needed. The local Job Centre finds four more qualified metalworkers for the enterprise. However, neither the local Job Centre nor other Job Centres close by can find a qualified worker to fill the last vacancy. Entering into an agreement with the local Job Centre, the enterprise finds two unemployed workers who are not readily qualified for the job but who are willing to take the necessary training.

They are employed with wage subsidies. Example 9: During an enterprise consultant’s visit to Johnsen’s Wood Factory the owner reveals that he is actually in need of some extra help. The enterprise consultant promises to take the request with him back to the Job Centre and tells the enterprise the Job Centre will be in contact within two days.

Two days later the Job Centre phones the enterprise to tell them they have found someone with a profile that matches the job. An interview between the enterprise and the candidate is arranged for the next day. Following the interview, the enterprise decides to hire the candidate. 4. Payment of benefits, etc. – not a job for the Job Centre

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 13 To make sure the coming Job Centres keep focus on what is most essential – namely find unemployed people work – job services and payment of benefits etc. will be kept separate.

This division of responsibilities is a key concept in the establishment of the Job Centres because it stresses where the focus should be in the daily work: the Job Centre will be working professionally with job matching and the labour market; there is no need for special competences with regard to benefits etc. and managing payment of these.

In practice, this means the Job Centres will have the following responsibilities: following up on jobseekers’ job search efforts, or in cases pertaining e.g. to sickness benefits, through regular interviews; deciding – in consultation with the jobseeker – whether he or she should be offered job training, education, rehabilitation, or a flex job, etc.; and, keeping an eye on whether people are participating in the different offers, thus checking whether unemployed people are actually available to the labour market.

However, it is not the Job Centre’s responsibility to pay out benefits, nor will it be responsible for deciding in matters regarding claims for benefits, the size of a benefit, and other financial matters pertaining to individual cases.

Matters concerning money, benefits, and payment will be managed elsewhere. Another part of the local government will take care of uninsured target groups. Unemployed people with insurance will – as is the case today – be served by their unemployment insurance fund. This means e.g.: the responsibility for matters concerning whether a person is eligible for social benefits lies with the local payment office/another part of the local government – not the Job Centre; and responsibility for matters concerning whether a person on social benefits should be granted a lump-sum benefit to cover unforeseen expenses (dentist’s appointment or new glasses, for example) belongs to the social services – not the Job Centre.

Nor is it a Job Centre responsibility if a recipient of unemployment benefits believes he or she is entitled to a higher rate. Such matters belong with the relevant unemployment insurance fund. If the Job Centre becomes aware that a person on sick leave is no longer entitled to sickness benefits, they must report their finding to the local payment office to have them stop the payments. This could be the case if a person on sick leave is absent from treatment or, without a fair excuse, refrains from participating in the Job Centre’s follow-up interview regarding his or her case.

The tasks under the Act on an Active Social Policy, the Act on Benefits in the Event of Illness or Childbirth, and the Integration Act to be covered by the local government employment efforts at the Job Centres will be described in more detail in an executive order to be issued in January 2006. 5. Work availability The Job Centres will have special focus on people’s readiness and ability to search for and keep a job. However, how the Job Centre is to manage cases concerning work availability differs depending on whether the unemployed person involved is insured.

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 14 Unemployed people with insurance: The unemployment insurance funds will keep their current responsibilities with regard to unemployed people with insurance.

The funds must calculate and pay out unemployment benefits, provide service, advice and guidance, make decisions regarding work availability, and launch possible sanctions. The role of the Job Centre will be to report so-called negative incidents to the unemployment insurance fund. Such incidents could be when an unemployed person stays away from an interview, declines a job offer, etc.

Unemployed people without insurance: The Job Centre will be responsible for assessing whether unemployed people without insurance are available for the labour market. If the Job Centre assesses that an uninsured person is unavailable for the labour market, the centre must notify the relevant part of local government (the office paying out the social benefit) that a sanction is required. The Job Centre’s recommendation will be on the basis of a collective assessment of whether the individual person is exploiting his or her employment opportunities, including whether he or she is participating in the offers available from the Job Centre.

In this way, with regard to assessing work availability, the case will have been fully clarified when the Job Centre asks the local payment office to carry out a sanction. The local payment office will therefore not need to carry out any further assessment but merely determine the sanction (e.g. determine the consequences this will have for the benefit). Foreigners receiving introduction benefits under the Integration Act will be assessed similarly.

In its assessment the Job Centre must take account of whether there are extenuating circumstances – according to the rules on work availability for uninsured – which justify the unemployed person not exploiting his or her employment opportunities, for example illness or lack of child care opportunities. Therefore, the Job Centre will not be required to recommend a sanction in cases involving circumstances which do not release a sanction according to the rules on work availability. In connection with the realisation of a sanction, the local government must assess whether the person involved, and his or her spouse, are able to manage without benefits or not, and if not whether cash assistance should be paid out anyway, possibly entailing a repayment obligation.

Read more about work availability in annex 4.

6. The organisation and political foundation of Job Centres There is no one, fixed model for how a Job Centre should be organised. Job Centres may be organised in many different ways. The important thing is that the structure reflects the intentions of the legislation in the employment area. In other words, central and local governments have a large degree of freedom when organising the Job Centres. Only few conditions have been defined beforehand:

  • Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 15
  • Job Centres must be established in all municipalities throughout Denmark. The only exception from this rule pertains to the seven small municipalities which have less than 20,000 inhabitants. Each of these will enter into a binding agreement with another municipality regarding the establishment of a joint Job Centre in one of the municipalities.
  • The Job Centre must serve as an access-point for all citizens in need of advice and service in relation to employment.

In connection with the establishment of Job Centres, the municipalities must ensure that the employment efforts are maintained by a separate part of local government. This means that: o the separate part should carry out responsibilities that are separate from the remaining local government, including from payment of benefits and responsibilities in the area of social services, etc.; o the separate part should have its own employment efforts budget; o the municipal manager of the Job Centre /the separate part of local government cannot at the same time be the manager of another part of local government; o the employees cannot at the same time perform work for other parts of local government.

  • The separate part of local government may also be responsible for assignments pertaining to Youth Education Guidance and Danish language teaching for foreigners etc.
  • Decisions about citizens’ financial matters and benefits etc. should not lie with the Job Centre, but in another part of local government/or with the unemployment insurance fund.
  • The Job Centre should be established collaboratively between municipalities and the state. The municipalities and the state must prepare a plan for how employment efforts will be organised at the Job Centre.
  • An executive order will be prepared by January 2006 concerning which responsibilities, in addition to those described in the new legislation on active employment efforts, belong to the Job Centres and which responsibilities will be part of central and local government collaboration at the Job Centre. The municipal council will decide how the individual municipality will plan and implement the municipal employment efforts. There are a few items the individual municipality must decide on:
  • The municipal council must decide where the separate part of local government responsible for the employment-related efforts should be placed relative to the remaining local government. The municipality is free to choose where in the organisational structure of its government it wishes to place the Job Centre.
  • The municipal council must decide under which municipal committee the employment efforts should belong. The municipal council can choose either to let the finance committee manage the employment efforts, or the municipality can set up a standing committee that will manage the employment efforts. This standing committee could also manage the municipality’s industrial policy and overall integration policy, as well as responsibilities pertaining to Youth Education Guidance and Danish language teaching for foreigners etc.
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  • Municipalities with an intermediate form of government or an intermediate form of government with shared administration must also decide under which committee the employment efforts should belong. The chairman of the standing committee on the employment area could at the same time serve as the chairman of another committee.
  • Municipalities constituted by a city government may decide which member of the city government should have immediate responsibility for the employment area. The municipality must set up an advisory committee in its articles of association which are to provide advice on the employment area.

Regardless of the committee structure chosen, the committee must have immediate responsibility for management of the municipality’s responsibilities under the legislation on active employment efforts, the Act on an Active Social Policy (however, not including Parts 10 and 10a), the Act on Benefits in the Event of Illness or Childbirth, as well as employment efforts under the Integration Act and associated benefits (however, not including sections 35-39). The committee will also have the political responsibility for managing benefits associated with the legislation mentioned. The budget responsibility for employment efforts must be placed with the local government part of the Job Centre.

The Job Centre may, however, choose to place the executive responsibility elsewhere, e.g. with an external actor. This also applies to local government employment projects and rehabilitation centres, which may be embedded either in the Job Centre or in another part of local government.

If the executive responsibility is placed with an external actor or in another part of local government, the Job Centre will have the role of procurer with regard to purchasing empty slots on programmes for unemployed people. Moreover, there are a number of issues which central and local government will have to decide on together. The Job Centres may be organised and structured in many different ways. The municipalities and the state must agree on this. They must decide on e.g.:
  • The organisational structure of the Job Centre.
  • The physical location of the Job Centre. The same Job Centre can have offices and departments on several different locations.
  • Staffing, management structure, employees etc. of the Job Centre.
  • Conditions concerning use of administrative tools, procedures, control of production and follow-up etc. 7. Planning and management in the Job Centres Central and local government must work together when planning and organising the employment efforts in the new joint Job Centres. This does not involve a shift in the division of responsibilities: The municipal council will still be responsible for the employment efforts in relation to municipal target groups, and the state will be responsible for the unemployed people who have insurance.

The Job Centres will have new tools in their planning of the employment efforts: an annual employment plan and performance audit.

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 17 Employment plan: Each year, the municipality and the state will prepare an overall employment plan for the coming year’s efforts in the Job Centre. The plan must contain targets, priorities, and budget for the employment efforts: for the overall efforts; and for the efforts divided between the municipality and the state. Furthermore, the plan may include results and conclusions from the performance audit, as well as the plan prepared by the local employment council concerning efforts targeted at enterprises.

Read more about the employment plan in annex 6 Performance audit: Results and effects must be in focus. Consequently each year, the municipality and the state must carry out a performance audit of the overall employment efforts at the Job Centre and the efforts divided between the municipality and the state. The performance audit should include e.g. 1) results and effects of the Job Centre’s efforts compared with those of other Job Centres; 2) an indication and assessment of the savings to be gained from more efficient employment efforts; and 3) an indication of the areas where more efficient efforts are needed.

The performance audit must be based on figures and calculations from the national measurement system

Read more about the performance audit in annex 6. The Job Centre will have several different partners: a local employment council, which will be set-up in conjunction with each Job Centre, will provide advice to the responsible officers in the Job Centre about planning and organisation of employment efforts. Moreover, four new employment regions and associated regional employment councils will monitor, analyze, and support the employment efforts in the regions. The local employment councils: The local employment councils (abbreviated as LBRs after the Danish title) will provide advice about employment efforts to the management at the Job Centre and coordinate and develop the local preventive efforts aimed at people having difficulties managing in the labour market.

The LBRs will thus be included in the preparation of the employment plan, e.g. through a joint seminar where the plan will be discussed. Furthermore, the LBRs will be consulted and may submit recommendations concerning amendments to the plan. The LBRs will take over the current coordination committee’s task of strengthening local enterprise-targeted efforts for people at the margins of the labour market. The LBR will prepare a plan for how the efforts aimed at enterprises can be facilitated through e.g. local partnerships. Read more about the local employment councils in annex 7.

The employment regions and the regional employment councils: The central-government employment regions and the regional employment councils (abbreviated as RBRs after the Danish title) will analyse the developments in the regional labour market, monitor, and follow up on results and effects of Job Centre efforts, and solve cross-sector employment policy issues. The employment regions and the RBRs will support the employment efforts in the Job Centres through:
  • giving advice on local employment efforts e.g. preparing an annual analysis report about the results and effects of efforts in the region, and e.g. hosting a conference with all the relevant stakeholders in the region;
  • making knowledge available regarding developments in the regional labour market, including information about the current and future labour demands of enterprises;
  • Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 18
  • earmarking separate state funding for the prevention and abatement of bottlenecks (lack of qualified labour);
  • ensuring access to required specialist knowledge within special initiative areas. This could be e.g. specialist knowledge in the area of disabilities, integration efforts, or specialized rehabilitation initiatives;
  • offering binding state framework tenders with a view to ensuring the results and effects of employment efforts aimed at target groups across Job Centres and that have special problems with regard to the labour market and thus need specialised attention and initiatives. These could be university graduates, professional groups that have only few unemployed people in the Job Centre, or people with disabilities:
  • launching quick and active efforts in connection with major layoffs or company closures of significance for the local area.
  • The employment regions and the RBRs will monitor and follow up on results and effects of the employment efforts in the Job Centres and can act if individual Job Centres have serious problems achieving the right results:
  • If the legislative requirements to the employment efforts are not being met, or if results deviate significantly from results in other comparable Job Centres, the region may contact the relevant Job Centre to discuss the problems. If required, the region may enter into a written agreement with the Job Centre to improve efforts. As part of the agreement, the region may offer to finance consultancy services to help the Job Centre improve its efforts.

If an agreement cannot be entered into or if the results are not improved as agreed, the relevant Minister may, encouraged by the region, order the Job Centre to involve external actors in those parts of the employment efforts that are lacking in results. The RBR must always be included in the decision to take action regarding a Job Centre. The focus on results and effects of the employment efforts means that the Job Centres that can show good results will be granted a great degree of freedom in implementing employment efforts, whereas Job Centres showing less good results will experience closer follow-up on their employment efforts.

The regional employment councils will prepare annual analysis reports on the results and effects of the local Job Centre’s employment efforts. In the analysis reports, the RBRs will provide recommendations as to which areas of initiative should be stressed, and will thus guide the minister in determining future targets for the employment efforts. Read more about the regional employment councils in annex 8. Read more about the employment regions in annex 9. The National Employment Council and the Minister: On the basis of the analysis report and the recommendations of the regional employment council (RBR), every year the Minister declares a number of political targets for the employment area.

These targets concern areas of initiatives which will need special focus in the coming years so as to improve the results of national or regional efforts. For example, the Minister may declare that efforts should be improved for short-term unemployed so that the average period of unemployment for the recently unemployed is lowered across Denmark. Or that rehabilitation

Job Centre Guide, Version 3, July 2005 19 and employability enhancement efforts for persons with a limited capability to work should be enhanced with a view to finding regular employment for them. The National Employment Council (abbreviated BER after the Danish title) will continue to advise the Minister as regards employment policy as it does today, and will also advise the Minister with regard to the forward-looking targets for employment efforts. As something new, the BER will also advise the Minister for integration on matters relating to employment efforts in accordance with the Integration Act.

Read more about the employment council in annex 10. The municipal council and the state base their plans for employment efforts in Job Centres on the Minister's targets for employment efforts. The parties responsible for employment efforts in the local Job Centres must therefore take the Minister's targets into consideration when planning initiatives for the coming year. This applies both to central and local government efforts at Job Centres. It will be possible for each Job Centre to carry out and plan efforts so as to match local needs. Job Centres that obtain good results in an area covered by the Minister's targets do not have to focus on these targets when planning initiatives for the coming years.

This is a consequence of the general principle that Job Centres with good results and effects of initiatives have a large degree of freedom with regard to planning and implementing their employment efforts.

When the Minister will declare the year's targets has not been fixed yet, however the Minister will declare the targets in time for them to be included in the Job Centres' employment plans for the coming year. 8. IT The Job Centres will have common IT tools and access to the same data. The objective of creating such an efficient, effective, and cohesive IT support system is to make it quick and easy to find a candidate for the job and avoid bottlenecks. Job Centres will have a number of common IT systems, state IT systems, and municipal IT systems.

A common IT-based data basis is a central element in the IT support for active employment efforts.

The shared data in the Job Centres will be based on,, employability profiling tools, and the Labour Market Portal - Furthermore, the state and municipalities will have case processing systems for insured and uninsured target groups respectively. - jobs and recruitment service for everyone With a million visitors every month and 12,000 viewings of available jobs per day, is Denmark's largest job portal.

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