What are the requirements relating to advertising positions?
It is prohibited to discriminate against applicants directly or indirectly on the grounds of age, disability, race, colour, sexual orientation, religious belief, political orientation or national, social or ethnic origin. The employer may therefore not discriminate against applicants for vacant posts when recruiting.
Further, an employer may not search for a person with reference to gender and all vacant positions must therefore be aimed at both men and women.
What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries in relation to the following:
(a) Criminal records?
There are three kinds of criminal record:
- public; and
- a statement of no previous convictions in respect of children.
A private criminal record is the only criminal record and must be requested by a private person. If the employer wishes to obtain an applicant’s private criminal record, the applicant must give consent.
Only the police and public authorities can order a public criminal record. If it is required for a job application, a public criminal record can be issued only with the applicant’s consent.
Public authorities, private companies and other institutions that want to employ a person who will work with children under the age of 15 can order a child record.
(b) Medical history?
Applicants may be asked to disclose medical conditions if the information is relevant to the position in question. For example, a pilot or firefighter may be asked to undergo a medical examination.
According to the Salaried Employees Act and the Health Information Act, the employee must inform the employer of his or her medical situation at his or her own initiative if it affects job performance.
(c) Drug screening?
Drug screening is permitted only if the employer has a legitimate interest in a medical examination and the candidate or employee consents. Collective bargaining agreements may also contain rules on drug screening.
(d) Credit checks?
Credit checks are legitimate only if the employer has a legitimate interest in knowing the candidate’s financial circumstances, typically if the position qualifies as a position of special trust and involves money matters (eg, in a bank or heading a bookkeeping department).
(e) Immigration status?
For non-EU and non-EEA residents, the employer must check whether the candidate has a valid work and residence permit allowing him or her to work in Denmark. The employer will be fined if this is not the case.
(f) Social media?
Researching candidates via social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook is permitted, under the assumption that the information is retrieved from freely accessible public sources.
Inquiries made by an employer are legitimate and permissible only if the answers are necessary for the employer to assess whether the candidate is capable of properly performing his or her duties with regard to the position in question. This means that, as a rule, the employee cannot be asked about pregnancy, among other things.
Wages and working time
Is there a national minimum wage and, if so, what is it?
There is no statutory minimum wage in Denmark. However, employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement have a fixed minimum salary, which can be supplemented by individual agreements.
Are there restrictions on working hours?
According the Working Time Act, employees cannot work, on average, more than the statutory 48 hours a week over a four-month period. The employer must ensure compliance with the act.
The act is based on Directive 93/104/EC and applies unless the employee is covered by an agreement which, at the minimum, ensures the same conditions as the act.
Most collective bargaining agreements apply a 37-hour working week, excluding a half-hour lunch break per working day. This number of working hours is typical outside areas covered by collective bargaining agreements.
The following should also be observed:
- a daily rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours;
- one rest day (24 hours) per week that must be an extension of a daily rest period, with no more than six days between two rest days; and
- a night worker may not, on average, work more than eight hours per 24-hour period.
Hours and overtime
What are the requirements for meal and rest breaks?
Employees are entitled to a break during any working day lasting longer than six hours. The length of the break depends on its purpose (eg, coffee or lunch).
How should overtime be calculated?
Denmark has no general regulation regarding overtime. Many contracts state that the salary includes payment for overtime.
If the employee is hired for a fixed number of working hours, he or she can usually take time off in lieu of overtime pay for each hour of overtime worked.
All collective bargaining agreements have rules on overtime payment. The most typical model is 50% for the first three hours and 100% for all subsequent hours and Sundays and public holidays.
What exemptions are there from overtime?
An employee is entitled to overtime payment only if it has been previously agreed. Further, many contracts state that only ordered overtime entitles compensation.
Is there a minimum paid holiday entitlement?
Every employee is entitled to five weeks of vacation in every holiday year. The holiday year runs from May 1 to April 30.
Whether the employee is entitled to salary or holiday pay during the holiday depends on whether the employee has been employed in the accrual year, which is the calendar year, before the holiday year. If the employee has been employed for the entire accrual year, the employee is entitled to his or her usual salary or holiday pay during the entire holiday. If the employee has not been employed during the full accrual year, the employee is entitled to 2.08 holidays (with salary or holiday pay) per month of employment. However, the employee can still take the rest of his or her holidays up to a total of 25 days; the rest of the holidays are unpaid.
What are the rules applicable to final pay and deductions from wages?
Under Danish employment law, it is normal that an employee performs his or her services in advance of payment. However, exceptions apply in banking and the public sector. If remuneration is calculated over certain periods, it is payable on the expiration of each period, typically at the end of the month. However, in certain collective bargaining agreements, payments are made every two weeks.
Employees receive a net salary, from which tax and social security contributions are deducted by the employer. The level of deduction depends on the employee’s individual tax rate. The employer must register its employees with the tax authority, withhold the taxes to be paid by them and transfer the taxes directly to the tax authority.
Social security contributions of 8% must also be withheld by the employer before payment of the net salary. No other social security is payable on top of the salary, apart from a minor amount for supplementary pension purposes.
What payroll and payment records must be maintained?
Payroll and payment records must be maintained for five years.
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