EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Job rotation

Phase: Anticipation
  • response to COVID-19
  • Training
Last modified: 03 August, 2021
Native name:

Job rotation

English name:

Job rotation


Job rotation implies that an employee in a company can be replaced by an unemployed person while in continuous training. The primary interest of the companies will typically be to give a competence lift to their employees. The instrument is open to all companies.

Main characteristics

Job rotation was introduced in the Act on active employment effort in 2003 (LOV nr. 1602 of 22 December 2010). Job rotation takes place when an employee in a company temporarily participates in further training or education and an unemployed person is hired as temporary worker. Specifically, employers hire unemployed people as temporary workers, while their permanent employed staff members complete training courses. There must be an hour-to-hour relation between the number of training hours and the number of temporary work hours.

The temporary workers are chosen among unemployed people with a minimum of 26 weeks of unemployment. The wage follows the collective agreement in the company and the employment period should go from a minimum of 10 hours to a maximum of 26 weeks. Students, trainees, apprentices and adult apprentices, such as people in education, are not covered by this job rotation scheme.

In 2020, the job rotation benefit amounted to DKK 190.44 (€25.5) per hour for both private and public companies. The administration of the job rotation scheme is currrently the responsibility of STAR (The Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment). STAR is an agency under the Ministry of Employment. Its aim is to support an effective labour market policy.


  • National funds

Involved actors

National government
Funding. The Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment ( STAR - Styrelsen for Arbejdsmarked og Rekruttering).
Regional/local government
Municipalities through job centres.
Employer or employee organisations
Union representatives involved in negotiating arrangement with the job centre and the employer.


In 2019, a state financed poll of DKK 20 million (€2.7 million as at 26 october 2020) gave the possibility to municipalities to offer people involved in job rotation to take up a vocational education as part of their job rotation course. The courses qualifying for the pool must have been started in 2019 or 2020.

Since 2016, the number of people in job rotation declined slowly to a level of 1,313 persons/heads in 2019 using the job rotation scheme. (Source: Jobindsats)

The 'job-first' approach means that the job centres give priority to sending the unemployed to a full-time job and not in part-time employment. Job rotation is mostly used in companies with unskilled or low-skilled workforce.

In 2010, 433 unemployed were in job rotation, and in 2011 the number had only increased to 471. However, at the beginning of 2014, the number of unemployed in job rotation strongly increased to around 5,000 full-time persons, or equivalent to 13,500 heads.

Response to COVID-19

The number of people/heads in job rotation has further declined during the first months of the COVID-19 crisis. In February 2020, 397 people were using the scheme. In March of the same year the number fell to 378, and in April to 338. In June 2020, 244 persons were in a job rotation course. In August 2020 the number decreased further to 192  (Source: Jobindsats, October 2020)


The scheme provides participating companies with the opportunity to reorganise their workers and thereby perform a smooth internal transition of the employees, instead of being forced to fire workers. This also increases flexibility within the firm. Moreover, it creates room for unemployed people in the job market. In addition, this measure is not expensive.

In 2013, the two main organisations in the area, the Danish Trade Union Confederation (FH) and the Confederation of Danish Employers (DA), estimate that the scheme has led to permanent employment for 70% of the unemployed that have been involved in a job rotation experience.


Its focus is mostly limited to blue collar workers and low-skilled workers. It is the task of the job centres to support the job rotation scheme, but the orientation towards a 'job-first' approach has reduced its perceived value. However, the advantages are stronger than the opposite and the social partners strongly recommend to make use of the scheme.

The scheme peaked in 2014 reaching a headcount of 13,500. The year after the number was halved, and since then the number has slowly declined every year.


Ballerup Kommune/municipality; Jammerbugt Kommune/municipality.
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