Denmark wants migrants to work 37 hours weekly to earn benefits because “there are too many, especially with non-Western backgrounds, who do not have a job.”
Migrants in Denmark may have to work 37 hours a week to earn their welfare benefits, as the minority Social Democratic government suggests in a recent proposal. As the proposal states, migrants who have been on benefits for at least three years would have to find work to keep them.
The government claims the new reform is necessary because many foreign women do not work, particularly those who come from the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey.
As Daily Mail reports, the proposal stated:
“If you come to Denmark, you have to work and support yourself and your family. ‘If one cannot support oneself, one must have a duty to participate and contribute what is equivalent to a regular working week to receive the full welfare benefit.”
The reform would help migrants integrate into Danish society, according to Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
The government’s strategy is to start the program with the migrants who know the Danish language a bit, providing them access to skills they would need to acquire to work.
Even though the Social Democrats still don’t have a majority, their plan would most likely be backed by center-right politicians.
Yet, the proposal has suffered heavy critics and was called “foolish” by Mai Villadsen, a member of the opposition Red-Green Alliance. As she thinks, it could cause downward pressure on the wages of other workers.
In a post on Twitter, Villadsen wrote:
“Absurd and antisocial unemployment benefit attack from the government. The foundation of our welfare society is a strong safety net.”
In the meantime, Mirka Mozer, head of the Immigrant Women’s Center, expressed beliefs that the plan was not ambitious enough.
“We have lots of women who are willing to take jobs, including jobs that are 37 hours (per week), but there need to be more 37-hour jobs.”
She claimed the Immigrant Women’s Center had contacts with many companies offering jobs to immigrant women. But unluckily, most of them were only four-to-10 hours per week. Mozer continued:
“Some certainly fear that their (welfare) benefits will be reduced because they can’t get a 37-hour job.”