Amendments to Concept of Industrial Accidents to Cover “Temporary” Injuries

New Legislation Enacted

Author: Tina Reissmann, Partner - Labora Legal

The Danish Parliament recently amended the Danish Workers’ Compensation Act for the purpose of, among other things, easing the requirements for when an injury can be recognized as an industrial injury. The new Act specifically sets out that “temporary” injuries may also be recognized as industrial accidents. Examples of temporary injuries include a wound, strain or minor psychological reaction healing or passing by itself within a short period of time. The decisive factor as to whether the injury can be characterized as temporary is, pursuant to the legislative material, if the injury has psychological or physical consequences “which in any way affect the general condition or daily life of the injured person either on a temporary or permanent basis.” The new Act comes into force on January 1, 2020. Thus, the easing of the concept of industrial accidents does not apply to cases concerning accidents occurring before this date.

Supreme Court Ruling on the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Tina Reissmann, Partner - Labora Legal

The Danish Supreme Court recently established that an employer’s dismissal of a disabled employee with a publicly-funded, reduced-hours job when he reached the mandatory retirement age and the public funding lapsed did not conflict with the Anti-Discrimination Act. First, the termination of the public subsidy based on the employee reaching the statutory retirement age cannot be considered discrimination based on age or disability. Second, the subsidy was a clear condition for the employment. Since the basis of the employment had lapsed as a consequence of the cessation of the reduced-hours working scheme, the dismissal was not in conflict with the law.

Functional Impairment under the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Tina Reissmann, Partner - Labora Legal

The Danish Western High Court was not satisfied that an employee’s functional impairment at the time of dismissal could be expected to be a long-term one – and for that reason, the employee did not have a disability within the meaning of the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act. If an employee has a functional impairment rendering the employee unable to function on equal terms with other employees, the employee does not necessarily have a disability as defined in the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act. This also requires that the functional impairment can be considered a long-term one at the time of dismissal. That was the key issue before the Danish Western High Court in this case.

Dress Code Not in Conflict with Danish Act on Equal Treatment of Men and Women

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Tina Reissmann, Partner - Labora Legal

The Danish Board of Equal Treatment found that a workplace dress code setting different attire rules for men and women was not in conflict with the Danish Act on Equal Treatment of Men and Women. The Board of Equal Treatment found that the company’s dress code set requirements for professional and formal attire for both men and women. Taking into account the open-office landscape and visits from international customers and business partners, the Board of Equal Treatment held that the company’s enforcement of the dress code was not in conflict with the Act.

The Christmas Party: Summarily Dismissal

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Author: Tina Reissmann, Partner - Labora Legal

Behave appropriately – also at the Christmas office party. This is clearly illustrated by this case, where a dismissals tribunal had to decide if the employer was justified in summarily dismissing a middle manager, who had behaved in a sexually offensive way at the Christmas office party towards a female colleague from another department. The umpire found that the middle manager had behaved in a sexually offensive way towards the female employee at the Christmas office party, which constituted gross misconduct. The fact that the case involved a manager who had displayed this kind of behavior towards an employee was an aggravating factor and it did not matter that the manager and the employee worked in separate departments or that the manager had had an immaculate employment record for more than 25 years. Accordingly, the summary dismissal was justified and the tribunal found in favor of the employer.