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A-kasse and Union

A-kasse and Trade Union difference

There is free choice when it comes to membership of Unemployment Insurance Fund (A-kasse) and Trade Union!
You do not need to be a member of both an A-kasse and a Trade Union – it is possible to be a member of just one of these organizations, independently of the other.

A-kasse = Unemployment benefits

Membership of an Unemployment Fund ("A-kasse") provides financial security in the form of Unemployment Benefits if you loose your job.

Additional wage-insurance ("Lønsikring")

If you are not satisfied with the amount you can get in Unemployment benefits ("dagpenge") with a normal A-kasse membership, then you has - as an A-kasse member - the option to buy additional wage-insurance (in danish called "Lønsikring").

Around 273.000 danes have bought this extra insurance on top of the normal A-kasse membership.
To be able to buy this additional insurance you must start with signing up for a normal A-kasse membership. When you have become a member of an A-kasse, you can buy the extra insurance.

With dagpenge + Lønsikring you can be covered for up to 90% of your current salary.

Most of the A-kasser also offers "lønsikring". If you consider buying lønsikring, then we recommend that you check our list with the A-kasser who offers lønsikring, before you sign Up with an A-kasse.

According to our survey of the lønsikring offered by the A-kasser, we find that you get the best offer with a memberhip in FTFa. Here you get cheap A-kasse and a good lønsikring if you want that. The first 6 months of lønsikring is for half price.

Trade Unions

Trade unions assists in professional and legal matters related to your work, work-conditions, employment-contract, if you get fired etc. A Union can also help in connection with work-related injury cases, rehabilitation and more. Some trade unions also offer personal consultancy and career planning and discount schemes on shopping, holidays, tickets for sportsevents, insurance, etc. These extra member-benefits associated with a Union membership varies among the different Unions, and you must check the website of the A-kasse/Union before you sign Up, if discount Schemes are important for you.

Regardless of which Union you become member of, also the cheapest (read more about the cheap "yellow unions" below) you get the same legal help, and access to the discount Schemes.
If you want career planning, you must check on the website whether this is included in the membership before buying.

How do you become member of an Union?

You can divide the Union membership types (how to become member) in three groups

  • Some Unions in Denmark are very tight associated to an A-kasse, and both A-kasse and Union only takes members from a specific/few proffession(s). In these cases the A-kasse and Union use the same name (for instance 3F A-kasse and 3F Union, FOA A-kasse and FOA Union). However it is still two different legal units and you can sign up individually in the A-kasse and Union.
  • It is not all A-kasser who is so close connected to a Union, but instead they often cooperate with several unions that covers their members professional fields. This is the case for FTF A-kasse (cooperates with more than 70 Unions), Akademikernes, "Min A-kasse", "MA A-kasse" and AJKS. With membership in one of these A-kasser it is not possible to buy Union together with A-kasse membership, but you must instead become member of one of the Unions with which the A-kasse cooperates.
  • Finally, the rest of the A-kasser are in a group called "Yellow A-kasser/Unions". These includes "Det Faglige Hus", KRIFA, Frie and ASE. They also use the same name for A-kasse and Union, like the first group, but the Yellow A-kasser/Unions covers all professional fields and takes everyone as members. A characteristic of the "yellow unions" is also that the fee for Union membership is much lower than for the traditional Unions (group one).
    You can expect to get the same professional and legal help with a cheap membership in of the "the yellow" as you do with the must more expensive membership in other kind of Unions. However the Yellow Unions are not a part of the traditional negotiations about working conditions between employer and employee Unions, that takes place every third year in Denmark.
    If you plan to stay many years in Denmark and want to support the overall development of good working conditions in Denmark, you should probably not go with one of the cheap memberships in one of the yellow Unions. However if you just want to be sure to get legal and professional help, then Yellow Unions can be a good choice.
    A membership with a Yellow Union has become very popular, and "Det Faglige Hus" has had the best progress in number of members for many consecutive years now, of alle the 24 A-kasser/Unions.
    Yellow Unions are especially popular among foreigners living and working in Denmark.


Be aware of a waiting period in some Unions
It is normal among the Unions that you can only use the professional and legal help, after you have been member for some months. This waiting period is called "karensperiode" in danish. Normally the Unions websites don't inform much about the waiting period, so if you want to be sure, you must read the terms & conditions of the Union, or call them to ask.

In the popular "yellow Unions" that offer A-kasse with cheap Union the waiting-periods are: ASE (6 months), Frie (3 months), "Det Faglige Hus" (2 months), KRIFA (no waiting period).
KRIFA has recently changed their waiting-period from 2 months to no waiting-period. This means that if you become member in KRIFA, you have access to use all services, including professional and legal help from the first day of your membership.

Please note that especially helps with choosing an Unemployment Fund (A-kasse).
If you also want membership of a Union, your choice of trade union should depend in first place on your needs and wishes for services/member benefits.
However you must know that in Denmark many professions and workplaces are mainly connected to a specific Union that covers the companys professional field.
We recommend that you talk with your colleagues before choosing Union, because it may be seen as not "correct" from your colleagues if you sign Up with one of the cheap "yellow unions". However in Denmark we have full freedom to choose the Union we want to be member of, so regardless of what you hear on your work-place you are still free to choose the Union you prefer.
No matter what Union you are memebr of you will be covered by the agreement about pay and work conditions that applies for the company you work in.
So also with a membership in one of the cheap "yellow unions" you get the same rights as your colleagus in matters of pay and other work-conditions.

Also fee for Union can be deducted in tax
As long as your yearly fee for the Union membership does not exceed DKK 6,000 per year you can deduct the full amount in your tax. The fee for A-kasse membership can always be deducted in full, regardless of the amount you pay in fee.

Read more about Trade Unions in Denmark.

Yellow Unions packages

Here you can see our brief comment about 3 of the yellow Unions/A-kasser.
All 3 are interdiciplinary and you can become member regardless of your job type or education.

KRIFA is the yellow A-kasse with the highest number of members. In KRIFA you can use all services from the first day (no waiting period).
It is our opinion that KRIFA offers a good professional service, including competent legal advice.
"Det Faglige Hus" has over the last years experienced a large increase in member numbers, and is therefore a very popular choice.
"Frie" has the cheapest offer when it comes to A-kasse with Union membership. Also FRIE has very good reviews on Trustpilot.

KRIFA A-kasse + Union

Anyone can join regardless of their professional field or job type.
The price for A-kasse + Union goes from DKK 554 to 724 per month (3 different levels of Union).
Possible to purchase additional insurance of wages? Yes, but only if you are member of both A-kasse + Union.

Apply for membership online

FRIE A-kasse + Union

Anyone can join regardless of their professional field or job type.
The price for A-kasse + Union goes from DKK 544 to 618 per month (2 different levels of Union).
Possible to purchase additional insurance of wages? Yes, requires only membership of A-kasse.

Apply for membership online

Det Faglige Hus A-kasse + Union

Anyone can join regardless of their professional field or job type.
The price for A-kasse + Union is DKK 545 per month.
Possible to purchase additional insurance of wages? Yes, but only if you are member of both A-kasse + Union.

Apply for membership online