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Denmark

Staff

Updated 07/2012

Legal requirements

Employment conditions

Employment in Denmark is governed by the following legislation:

There is no legislation on minimum wages and normal working hours in Denmark.  Wages and working conditions are regulated by means of collective agreements.

The Working Time Directive has been implemented in Danish law by the Working Time Act. This contains rules on breaks, maximum working time, weekly days off, night-time working, etc.

Businesses with more than 35 employees must provide employees, through employee representatives, with comprehensive information on issues that significantly affect employees.

Holiday pay, wages and bonuses must be paid in accordance with the Holidays Act. Employees earn the right to 5 weeks' paid holiday annually.

Women are entitled to four weeks' maternity leave before the birth and 14 weeks after it. Men are entitled to two weeks' leave during the first 14 weeks. Parents then have 32 weeks' leave each, which they are free to divide between themselves.

Employment contracts

Businesses must inform employees of their employment conditions.

This information can be either a written statement, a written employment contract, a letter of appointment or one or more documents containing the information.

Types of employment contract 

Permanent employment: An employment contract that does not have a finishing date. It is up to the parties to agree on the employment conditions in greater detail.

Temporary employment: A date is agreed for the employment to be terminated, using objective criteria such as a date, completion of a task or the occurrence of a specific event. It is not permitted to extend/renew temporary employment several times in a row without having objective reasons. Basically, temporary employees may not be placed in a less favourable position than permanent employees.

Part-time employment: A lower number of weekly working hours is set than for full-time employees. Basically, part-time employees may not be placed in a less favourable position than full-time employees.

Employment under special conditions: Employment under special conditions applies to those who are unable to work under normal working conditions, because they are disabled or at school, for example. This includes flexitime and apprenticeships. It can be done by agreement with official authorities, organisations and the parties.

Employing foreigners 

It is basically possible to employ foreign workers. Nordic nationals do not require a work permit to live and work in Denmark. Other EU/EEA and Swiss nationals can apply for residence in Denmark under the EU rules on freedom of movement.

Employees who are posted to Denmark must have a legal basis for residence in the country, and the work must be done in accordance with the rules.

There are minimum social rules to follow, especially about non-discrimination, gender equality and health and safety.

Administrative procedures

Starting and ending employment

Businesses hiring staff must register as employers with the Danish Business Authority.

Foreign service providers that temporarily provide services in Denmark must register in the RUT (register of foreign service providers).

The business is responsible for withholding the employee's income tax, labour market contribution, special pension contribution and labour market supplementary pension. This is paid to SKAT every month.

LetLøn can submit employees' personal registration numbers to SKAT, send data sheets to SKAT and provide businesses with new and amended tax records for employees.

It is possible for a business to pay income tax and submit data sheets via SKAT's 'Self-service Business'.

LetLøn calculates the employees' income tax, labour market contributions, special pensions, labour market supplementary pensions, holiday pay, etc., and sends the information to SKAT, ATP and FerieKonto.

Social security contributions

Occupational injury and illness 

Employers must insure employees against work-related injuries. Occupational accident insurance must be taken out with an insurance company.

Insurance cover for occupational illness is obtained through contributions to the Labour Market Insurance Scheme for Occupational Illness. The size of the contributions varies between industry groups.

Sick pay

There are employer insurance schemes for sick pay, which are administered by the Danish Agency for Governmental Management.

Childbirth

Women are entitled to four weeks' maternity leave before the birth and 14 weeks after it. Men are entitled to two weeks' leave during the first 14 weeks. Parents then have 32 weeks' leave each, which they are free to divide between themselves.

Childbirth compensation 

Under the Act on Childbirth Compensation (Lov om barseludligning), all employers must be involved in a childbirth compensation scheme, so that they can obtain a partial refund of salaries they pay during maternity and paternity leave. Information on this can be found at:

Wage contribution returns

All employers are obliged to report income for individual employees, such as PAYE and labour market contributions. The reporting deadlines differ depending on the type of business.

Work permits for foreign workers

It is basically possible to employ foreign workers. Nordic nationals do not require a work permit to live and work in Denmark. Other EU/EEA and Swiss nationals can apply for residence in Denmark under the EU rules on freedom of movement.

Record-keeping

Employers' obligation to provide information 

Employers must provide information for the administration of unemployment insurance. The National Directorate of Labour or the unemployment funds may request information from an employer, including which employees it has employed and for how long, whether any specific members of an unemployment fund have been employed, what salaries have been paid, the reason for a member terminating his/her employment, and unemployment allowance payments for the first and second days of unemployment.

Dismissal

Any employee may be dismissed based on the company's or the employee's situation. Such dismissal must be on objective, reasonable grounds.

There are no formal requirements laid down by law, other than for individual employee groups such as salaried employees. In order to have proof, dismissal should be done in writing.

The employee is entitled to reasonable notice, and there are special rules for notice in the case of salaried employees.

If the employee has committed gross misconduct, dismissal without notice may be a possibility.

If the employer and the  employee are members of an employers' organisation or an professional association respectively, they should contact these organisations or associations.

Resources

Information for foreign employers and employees concerning working in Denmark can be found on the Ministry of Employment website:

The National Social Security Agency can be contacted with regard to social security (E 101, E 106).

Information concerning the rules, etc., on sickness absence can be found on the National Labour Market Authority website on sick pay.

For information on the mutual recognition of qualifications, contact:

You can also find information about employee opportunities in the event of unemployment at Jobnet.dk.

Virk.dk is an inter-agency portal developed in cooperation with business-related public authorities. It is the business community's digital access to the public sector.

Borger.dk is an inter-agency portal, which is aimed at citizens and offers full digital access to the Danish public sector. You can also find information there about public health insurance in Denmark and health insurance for nationals of other EEA Member States.

 

EURES, the European job portal, offers employers information and support on recruiting across the EU. As well as assisting jobseekers, it helps entrepreneurs find workers from across the EU. In border regions, EURES provides information on cross-border commuting and helps workers and employers with problems that may arise.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

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