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Denmark: Employee rights

Updating author: Lise Lauridsen, Bech-Bruun
Consultant editor: Mette Søsted
Original author: Yvonne Frederiksen, Norrbom Vinding

Summary

  • There are various rules for employees' hours of work and there are particular restrictions for night workers. (See Hours of work)
  • Employees are entitled to rest breaks of a reasonable length if their working day is longer than six hours, and minimum daily and weekly rest periods. (See Rest breaks and rest periods)
  • Employees' weekly rest day should, as far as possible, be Sunday although there are exceptions for certain types of workers. (See Sunday work)
  • There are various rules regarding minimum paid annual leave for employees and when it may be taken. (See Holiday and holiday pay)
  • Pregnant employees are entitled to take pregnancy leave from four weeks before the expected date of childbirth and are required to take two weeks' maternity leave after the birth, following which they are entitled to take a further 12 weeks' maternity leave. (See Maternity and pregnancy rights and adoption rights)
  • Parents are each entitled to take 32 weeks of parental leave per birth, usually in the period immediately after the birth/maternity leave, and, in addition to parental leave, fathers are entitled to take two week's paternity leave. (See Parental and paternity leave)
  • Employees are entitled to take various types of other leave including leave to care for a seriously ill child or close relative who is suffering from a terminal illness. (See Other leave)
  • Employers must not treat part-time workers differently than comparable full-time employees solely on the grounds of working part time, unless such treatment is objectively justified. (See Part-time workers)
  • Employers must not treat fixed-term employees differently than a comparable employee on an open-ended contract solely on the grounds of having a fixed-term contract, unless such treatment is objectively justified. (See Fixed-term workers)
  • Legislation, which implements the Temporary Agency Work Directive (2008/104/EC), aims to ensure equal treatment of agency workers. (See Temporary agency workers)
  • Workers posted to work in Denmark from other countries are covered by various Danish employment laws. (See Posted workers)
  • Where a relevant transfer occurs, the employees affected automatically become employees of the transferee, and retain all of their existing employment rights and obligations. (See Transfers of undertakings)
  • In the event of the employer's insolvency, employees' pay-related claims are given priority in the distribution of its assets. (See Insolvency of employer)
  • Employers are generally free to decide what work rules apply on their premises and can impose sanctions for non-compliance, which can range from a warning to dismissal. (See Disciplinary procedures)
  • There are various rules regarding the processing of employees' personal data. (See Data and privacy protection)
  • Most employers are under no legal obligation to implement a whistleblowing policy, although financial institutions have been required to do so since 1 September 2014. (See Whistleblowing)