Transparent and predictable working conditions in Denmark – New rules on their way

Many of our foreign clients are asking about the status of the implementation of the EU Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions (Directive 2019/1152/EU). The EU Directive was to be implemented by the EU members states on 1 August 2022 but has not yet been implemented in Denmark.

We would like to give you a status and outline the obligations that the new rules will set out for all companies operating in Denmark with Danish employees.

 

The Directive on working conditions

The Directive on Transparent and Predictable Employment Conditions has introduced notable changes to the labour market in many other member states, especially because the Directive obligates the employer to disclose specific information related to the employees’ employment conditions. Furthermore, the Directive sets out minimum requirements for the employees’ working conditions.

The Directive has pushed many member states to change their labour market conditions, and it has also been the view that the implementation of the Directive will cause changes to the Danish labour market. However, the Directive has not yet been implemented in Denmark.

 

Status in Denmark – Postponement of implementation

In Denmark, several regulations on labour market conditions are laid down in collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) initiated by the social partners, the Danish Employer Association (DA) and the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (FH). As the Directive provides for changes in the current labour market conditions, the contracting parties have requested a postponement of the implementation, in order to modify the CBAs. The request has been granted by the Danish Ministry of Employment and the implementation of the Directive has been provisionally postponed in Denmark.

Currently, a draft bill for employment certificates and certain working conditions has been in hearing. It is expected that the draft bill will be tabled and processed at the Danish parliament in November 2022. Moreover, it is expected that a new legislation will enter into force in Denmark on 1 July 2023.

 

What is the scope of the new law?

The proposed Act on Employment Certificates and Certain Terms and Conditions of Employment will apply to all who are employed with predetermined or actual working hours that amounts to an average of more than three hours per week (in a reference period of four consecutive weeks).

The law will also apply if no guaranteed amount of paid work is fixed in advance of employment.

 

Checklist – Which information is the employer obligated to disclose?

 The new law determines that the employer is obligated to disclose certain information to the employee within certain timeframes.

Under the new law, the following information must be provided to the employee within seven days from the start of the employment:

  • Name and address of employer and employee
  • Workplace location
  • Job description/job title
  • Commencement date of employment
  • Expected duration of employment (in case of fixed-term contracts)
  • Duration and conditions of any probationary period
  • Wage and wage payment dates
  • Normal daily or weekly working hours
  • Information regarding guaranteed working hours, advance notice, etc., when the employee’s working pattern is totally or predominantly unpredictable.

Furthermore, the employer is obligated to provide the employee with the following information within the first month of employment:

  • Employee’s rights to paid leave or other paid absence
  • Notices of termination
  • The relevant CBA and other agreements
  • Training/education that the employer may offer
  • Identification of the user company for temporary employment
  • Identification of social security institutions to which the employer may pay

Please note that additional information must be provided to posted workers, such as:

  • The country/countries that the employee will be posted at, and the duration
  • The currency of salary
  • Any cash or non-cash benefits related to the work assignments
  • Whether the costs of the worker’s return to the country of origin are reimbursed and, if so, the conditions under which they are reimbursed, and the conditions for the worker’s return to the country of origin; and
  • Whether any steps have been taken to obtain the necessary certificates in connection with the posting.

 

The Minimum Requirements

The new law also determines the following minimum requirements regarding the employee’s working conditions:

  • The probationary period in employment cannot exceed six months.
  • Employers may not prevent an employee from taking up employment with another employer unless the employment is incompatible with the existing employment relationship.
  • Employers may only require an employee with a wholly or mainly unpredictable work pattern to work, if the work takes place within predetermined reference periods and the employee has been given notice of the work assignment.
  • Employers must demonstrate that no fixed-hour contract has been concluded for on-call assignments exceeding three months.
  • Employees can request another form of employment with more predictable and secure working conditions after the end of the probationary period.
  • Employers must offer employees mandatory training at no cost to the employee.

 

What does this mean for you as an Employer?

Employees hired before 1 July 2023, do not have to obtain a new employment certificate or addendum, even if the employment certificate does not meet the employer’s disclosure obligation under the new law.

However, if the employee requests the missing information, the employer must provide such information within eight weeks of the employee’s request.

 

Our recommendation

We recommend and encourage all employers to adapt their Danish contract templates to the new rules. Especially the Employee’s rights to paid leave or other paid absence is a point of attention. As the new rules will apply for new employments, it might also be beneficial to change existing contracts to the new standards in order to ensure smooth HR processes.

LEAD I Rödl & Partner’s employment law team can, among others, provide guidance and assistance in this regard. For further information on the Danish rules on employment and working conditions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

 

Your Labour Law Team


 

Alexandra Huber

+45 5116 7494
alexandra.huber@lead-roedl.dk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jana Behlendorf

+45 23 24 60 22
jana.behlendorf@lead-roedl.dk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Navina Jegarubanathan

+45 60 52 43 04
navina.jegarubanathan@lead-roedl.dk

 

 

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