You can read about your rights in detail on workplacedenmark.dk. On this site, you can find more information on pay levels and terms for different types of labour. Below, you can find a summary of the conditions on the Danish labour market.
Pay levels and rights
An employer is always obliged to pay the salary/wages you agreed on. There is no minimum wage in Denmark, but there are collective agreements which determine the pay rates. The legislation on the labour market covers specific areas, such as health and safety, rights to holiday, sickness benefits, equal treatment and equal pay.
All employees at Danish workplaces have a number of rights. You have the same rights as your Danish colleagues doing the same type of work as you if you work for a company which is covered by a collective agreement in Denmark.
Trade unions are intitled to try to conclude collective agreements with employers and employers’ organisations. Being organised in a trade union is a basic right in Denmark. Many employees in Denmark are members of a trade union. Being in a union is not a legal requirement – it is voluntary. The employer cannot demand that an employee becomes a member of a particular trade union. Generally, trade unions are specified according to trade and the type of work.
Health and safety
Danish regulations regarding health and safety at the workplace also apply to all employees who are working in Denmark – no matter for how long.
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all of their employees work under acceptable, safe and healthy conditions.
It is the employees’ responsibility to follow all the security regulations, e.g. regarding the handling of machines or dangerous substances, or the requirements to use protective equipment, such as respiratory protection, hearing protection and protective gloves.
All employees who work more than eight hours per week must be issued an employment contract no less than a month after being employed. The contract must describe the type of work, weekly working hours, pay and bonuses, termination notice, etc.
In Denmark, the working hours will typically be 37 hours per week in a regular job in either the private or public sector. The weekly working hours will often be less than 37 hours if the job involves working in shifts or takes place at night. Working hours must be organised so that the employees have a rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours within each 24-hour period. Within each period of 7 days, the employees must have a weekly day off, which must be immediately connected to a daily rest period. The weekly day off must, as far as possible, fall on Sundays and, as far as possible, at the same time for everyone employed in the company.
The Holiday Act normally applies to all employees working in Denmark. The employer must follow the Holiday Act, and an employee cannot waive their right to holiday. An employee earns approximately two days’ holiday per month of work. All employees are entitled to 25 days of holiday per whole year of employment – even if you have not earned paid holiday.
As an employee covered by a collective agreement, there might be a ban on termination without a proper, factual reason, e.g. if the employee is unfit for the job or if termination is necessary due to cutbacks.
An employer cannot terminate an employee due to their gender, race, skin colour, religion or faith, political stance, sexual orientation, age, handicap or national, social or ethnic origins. Likewise, it is illegal to terminate an employee due to pregnancy or parental leave.
Furthermore, an employee cannot be terminated because they are a member of a union or choose not to be a member of a union or because they are not a member of the same union as their co-workers.