Employment minister says Green Card revision is imminent
By Annette Birch
The article was published by the Copenhagen Post, http://cphpost.dk/news/employment-minister-says-green-card-revision-is-imminent.8750.html
Green card legislation needs to be revised, admitted the employment minister, Mette Frederiksen (S), at a parliamentary hearing yesterday. The hearing was held in order to follow up on a report by 21 Søndag that showed that many highly-skilled foreigners on green cards are employed as low-skilled underpaid workers.
“I can only distance myself from employers who exploit people in that situation,” said Frederiksen.
“It is therefore necessary that we discuss Green Card Provision.”
She underlined that it was also important to take into account the need for Danish businesses to recruit highly-skilled foreign workers.
Dansk Industri, a lobbying organisation for Danish businesses, agreed that it was necessary to revise the Green Card Provision as it had never been the intention to have green card holders working in low-skilled jobs in Denmark.
“We think that it would be best to keep the provision, but make it more specific towards the Danish labour market,” said Claus Aastrup Seidelin, a labour market consultant in Dansk Industri.
He emphasised that the Green Card Provision has been an advantage for the Danish economy – and especially for medium-sized companies that often have difficulties going through the costly process of recruiting highly-skilled workers in other countries.
DF: It was a mistake
The purpose of the Green Card Provision was to grant Danish companies easier access to highly-skilled labour, and it has been widely used. In 2013, Udlændingeservice reported that it had issued green cards to 2,328 foreigners.
Martin Henriksen (DF) thought that his party had made a mistake by voting for the Green Card Provision.
“A lot of foreigners come to Denmark [on green cards]. They can have all the good intentions in the world, but they end up in jobs which were not intended for them,” said Henriksen.
Green card revision just around the corner
Frederiksen would not divulge the content of the revision, despite several attempts by Henriksen. She only said that the government was making an inquiry into all provisions involving the granting of permits to foreigners who come to Denmark to work. A final proposal is just around the corner.
“With regard to what the green card will consist of, you will have to keep your breath until we present our conclusions,” Frederiksen said. She will discuss the proposal with the parties in parliament when it is ready.
Dansk Industri noted that the companies would benefit the most from the highly-skilled foreigners, who tend to have skills highly sought after by the Danish labour market.
“You could construe that foreigners, who have skills sought after by the Danish labour market, should be given more points than those with skills not so sought after in the labour market,” Seidelin said.