Terms of Employment

Information on collective agreements and terms of employment for employees in Denmark, including the regulation of pay and working conditions...

In Denmark there is no legal minimum wage. Salaries and terms of employment are defined by collective agreements reached between employer associations and trade unions. These agreements define things such as minimum salaries, notice periods and working hours.

A collective agreement is between two parties and defines the working conditions applicable for all concerned businesses or enterprises. One party in a collective agreement is always a trade union representing all the employees involved. The other party may be either a single employer or an employer's organisation. An employer must offer the conditions outlined in an agreement to all employees working within the areas defined by the agreement irrespective of whether an individual employee is a member of a trade union. All employees must be offered the same pay and working conditions. Agreements between a trade union and an individual employer are often referred to as "adoption agreements".

The government has minimal involvement in the regulation of pay and working conditions. Approximately 75 percent of Danish workers belong to trade unions. Foreign workers can also join.

Some employment conditions are defined legally, such as parental leave, illness allowance, contracts and annual leave. All employees have five weeks holiday entitlement each year in proportion to the time worked in the previous year. The holiday year runs from 1 May to 30 April. If an employer does not belong to an employer organisation then the terms of employment of all the people working for them are defined by the contract agreed between the employer and employee. Such contracts must meet all legally stipulated requirements.