This Autumn, the Danish Government and the Government of Greenland, Naalakkersuisut, are expected to pass legislation which will make it easier for foreign companies to undertake large-scale projects in Greenland.
The new legislation proposes various changes to the current employment system in Greenland with the aim of encouraging investments in, and implementation of, large-scale projects of particular importance to the economic development of Greenland. If the legislation is passed, it will impact on projects carried out after 1 January 2013.
The proposed legislation applies only to building and construction activities in connection with establishing businesses for the exploitation of minerals, raw materials or of hydropower for the generation of energy.
The legislation will only apply to the construction phase and thresholds will apply in order for a project to qualify as "large-scale". A project must be too large to be executed, either in terms of resources or capability, by the country's own companies and workforce.
In order to support the recruitment of the necessary workers, changes to the current rules on the hiring of foreign labour are proposed. The present legislation provides for the granting of a Greenland residence permit, with a view to acquiring employment, if significant employment or business related considerations favour meeting the application, and provided that the salary and employment conditions correspond to Greenlandic standards. It is proposed to ease these requirements, making it possible to employ foreign labour provided that the salary and employment conditions are acceptable as well as objectively and reasonably justified.
It will thus be possible for foreign employees, who are subject to a foreign collective bargaining agreement, to maintain the salary and employment conditions of their collective bargaining agreement, provided that these are not significantly inferior to similar foreign collective bargaining agreements.
The provisions in the legislation will apply in parallel to the rules in the Aliens Act. This means that the general rules on applications for work permit will continue for foreigners applying for a permit based on the legislation. The condition on corresponding work condition will just no longer be decisive.