Trade Union

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 375.000 persons 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 membership in FTFa. Here you get cheap A-kasse and a good lønsikring if you want that.

Trade Unions

While the A-kasse will secure your right to receive unemployment benefits if you lose your job, it's the union that secures your rights on the labour market.

What the Unions do:

  • Unions negotiate wages and working conditions in collective agreements with employers, or employer organisations representing employers.
    These agreements are called "overenskomster" and they cover 100% of all workers in the public sector and approximately 75% of all workers in the private sector.
  • Unions assists individuel members in legal matters related to their work, work conditions, employment contract and working environment. They can advise you on how to handle if you get fired, if your employer goes bankrupt, work-related injury cases, rehabilitation etc.
  • Unions can provide counselling on career opportunities and further education of their members.
  • Unions have exclusive members-only offers on insurance, discounts on cultural experiences, holidays etc.

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 58 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 much 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" is the winner in our test "Most value for money" among all the 22 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" there is no waiting period in ASE, "Det Faglige Hus" and KRIFA, which means that you will have access to use all services, including professional and legal help from the first day of your membership.
FRIE has a waiting-period of 14 days if you buy the "FRIE Favorit" membership, however if you change from another union where you have paid member fee for the past 2 months, you will not have any waiting period in FRIE either.

Regardless of what the waiting period is, you can always only get help if the "problem/case" has occured after you have signed up for Union 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 member of you will be covered by the agreement about pay and work conditions ("overenskomst") 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 7,000 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.

Yellow Unions packages

Here you can see our brief comment about 2 of the yellow Unions/A-kasser.
They are both interdiciplinary and you can become member regardless of your job type or education.

"Det Faglige Hus" has over the last years experienced a large increase in member numbers, and is therefore a very popular choice. It has Denmarks cheapest offer when it comes to A-kasse with Union membership for DKK 566 per month (2024).
It is our opinion that Det Faglige Hus offers a good professional service, including competent legal advice. For wage-earners we recommend Det Faglige Hus.

"ASE" is after our opinion the best offer for self-employed.

ASE A-kasse + Union

Anyone can join regardless of their professional field or job type.
The price for A-kasse + Union is DKK 601 per month for wage-earners.
For self-employed ASE offers two products "HR Jura" from DKK 99 per month and "ASE Selvstændig" for DKK 99 per month. For the self-employed this will be a total price with A-kasse from DKK 626 per month.

Possible to purchase additional insurance of wages? Yes, but only if you are member of both A-kasse + Union.

Sign Up for ASE 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 566 per month.
Possible to purchase additional insurance of wages? Yes, but only if you are member of both A-kasse + Union.

Sign Up for "Det Faglige Hus" online

Main topics about A-kasse

Transferring periods of work and insurance from another EEA CountryAs an EU citizen you can transfer acquired rights from Unemployment Insurance between EU contries. Be aware that there are some requirements and deadlines that are important to meet. And you have to use a PD U1 Form. Read more here..
Transferring unemployment benefitsUnder certain conditions you can go to another EU country to look for work and continue to receive your unemployment benefits from the country where you became unemployed. And you have to use a PD U2 Form. Read more here..
Unemployment benefits ("dagpenge")Remember you have to be member of an A-kasse for 1 year before you can claim Unemployment benefits ("dagpenge"). And you must meet the income-requirement. Read more here..
International graduatesGraduates in Denmark can get Unemployment benefits from the first day after graduation, if they have been member as student of an A-kasse for at least 1 year. Read more...
Residence CardIf you are a non-EU citizen you must have a residence Card which allows you to take any job with one day notice. This is because you must be available for the labor market for being eligible for unemployment benefits ("dagpenge").
Membership fee and taxYou will automatically get a deduction in your tax for your fee to the A-kasse and trade union. There is no ceiling on the amount you can get a deduction for when it comes to contributions to A-kasse, whereas you can get a maximum deduction of DKK 7,000 for a trade union.