Working in Denmark: A weekly roundup of the latest jobs news

Find out all the latest information related to jobs in Denmark with The Local's weekly roundup of relevant news.

Working in Denmark: A weekly roundup of the latest jobs news
Elgiganten is struggling to source goods for Black Friday and Christmas. Photo: Elgiganten

Top Danish employers still not back at 100 percent office attendance According to the Børsen newspaper, many of Denmark’s largest companies are encouraging employees to continue working from home, even though from the start of this month, Denmark’s government has allowed 100 percent attendance.

The pump manufacturer Grundfos is currently still only allowing 50 percent of its employees to be present at any one time, factory workers at Danfoss are also sticking to the same shift pattern they have had throughout the pandemic, while Chr Hansen, is only gradually bringing workers back. 

Danish retailers expect price hikes due to supply shortages 

Major Danish retailers Elgiganten and Alle Power have told the Børsen newspaper that shortages of microchips and constraints on global logistics were making it hard to build up stockpiles ahead of Good Friday and the Christmas shopping season, with both companies saying they were likely to have to hike prices for consumers. 

“Our clear ambition is to stay sharp when it comes to prices, but over time it’s going to affect prices for the end consumer if the price of components is increasing and producers are putting up prices.  

Danish film workers protest brutal industry environment 

As many as 415 workers in Danish television and film have written an open letter protesting the “bullying” culture that has grown up in the industry as production houses struggle to meet the unprecedented demand for content from streaming services such as Netflix. 

“We do not accept violence – mental or physical – harassment, bullying, threats to smash anyone’s career or other bullying methods. It is an abuse of power and should not take place at a time when #MeToo has long been rolling out all over the world, starting precisely in the film industry,” the letter reads.

Danish wind giant Vestas downgrades expectations for 2021

Denmark has downgraded its profit and revenue expectations for this year, citing “supply chain constraints, cost inflation, and restrictions in key markets caused by Covid-19″.

The company now expects revenues of €15.5-16.5bn, rather than €16-17bn), and its profit margin to drop to to 5-7 percent from 6-8 percent, it said in its report on the three months leading up to the end of June. 

Low number of travellers keeps Copenhagen Airport in red

A massive decrease in the number of passengers has led to Copenhagen Airport posting a pre-tax loss of 851 million kroner in the first six months of this year, four times the loss posted in the same period last year. 

The airport has hosted just 1.4 million passengers in the first six months of the year, 72 percent down on the same period in 2020, and 90 percent down on the same period in 2019. 

Meeting with regions brings no progress on nurses pay conflict 

A meeting between the Danish Nurses’ Council (DSR) and the Danish Regions, which represents the five regional health authorities, on Wednesday morning brought no progress towards ending the strike. 

“It was clear at the meeting that both parties have a really hard time seeing a negotiated solution,” Grete Christensen, chair of DSR said. “We need to find a solution. The health service demands it, because the conflict has major consequences for patients and citizens.” 

Anders Kühnau, the Danish Regions’ chief negotiator said that “unfortunately we didn’t get what we were hoping for” at the meeting. 

The nurses have been on strike for eight weeks over pay. With the number striking, which started at 5,000 set to increase to 6,500 on September 7th.

Top economists call on finance minister to put the brakes on overheating economy

Economists at some of Denmark’s top banks have called on Finance Minister Nicolai Wammen to tighten fiscal policy to prevent Denmark’s economy overheating. 

“There’s no doubt that financial policy should be tightened up, and this will no doubt happen, simply because we will not have coronavirus support packages in place anymore,” Lars Olsen from Danske Bank told the newspaper. “But beyond this there are also reasons to bring in further tightening of financial policies when you can see that the upswing is so powerful.” 

Niels Rønholt, an economist at Jyske Bank, also suggested that the government needed to do “a little more” than simply allowing support packages to expire. 

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Feriepenge: Denmark’s vacation pay rules explained

If you work for a company in Denmark, your yearly time off is likely to be provided for by the 'feriepenge' accrual system for paid annual leave.

If you work in Denmark, a good understanding of 'feriepenge' (holiday allowance) rules will help you plan time off in the summer and around the calendar.
If you work in Denmark, a good understanding of 'feriepenge' (holiday allowance) rules will help you plan time off in the summer and around the calendar. Photo by Felipe Correia on Unsplash

One of the perks of being a full-time employee in the country, Danish holiday usually adds up to five weeks of vacation annually. There are also nine days of public holidays, which everyone benefits from.

The Danish Holiday Act (Ferieloven) provides the basis for paid holiday through accrued feriepenge (‘vacation money’ or ‘vacation allowance’). This covers most salaried employees, although some people, such as independent consultants or freelancers, are not encompassed.

What is feriepenge?

‘Holiday money’ or feriepenge is a monthly contribution paid out of your salary into a special fund, depending on how much you earn.

You can claim back the money once per year, provided you actually take holiday from work. It is earned at the rate of 2.08 vacation days per month.

If you are employed in Denmark, you will be notified when the money can be paid out (this is in May under normal circumstances) and directed to the website, from where you claim it back from national administrator Udbetaling Danmark.

Anyone who is an employee of a company registered in Denmark and who pays Danish taxes is likely to receive holiday pay, as this means you will be covered by the Danish Holiday Act (ferieloven). You are not an employee if, for example, you are self-employed, are a board member on the company for which you work or are unemployed.

How do I save up time off using feriepenge?

The law, which covers the five standard weeks or (normally 25 days) of paid vacation, states that you are entitled to take vacation during the vacation year period. You earn paid vacation throughout a calendar year at the rate of 2.08 days per month.

You earn vacation time in the period September 1st-August 31st. You can then use your vacation in the same year that you earn it and up to December 31st the subsequent year – in other words, over a 16-month period.

These rules also mean that holiday earned during a given month can be used from the very next month, in what is referred to as concurrent holiday (samtidighedsferie).

So when can I take time off using this accrued vacation?

The Danish vacation year is further broken down so that there is a “main holiday period” which starts on May 1st and ends on September 30th. During this time, you are entitled to take three weeks’ consecutive vacation out of your five weeks.

A lot of people take three weeks in a row while others break it up – which is why you often hear Danish people who work full time wishing each other a “good summer holiday” as if it’s the end of the school term.

Outside of the main holiday period, the remaining 10 days of vacation can be taken whenever you like. You can take up to five days together but may also use the days individually.

If your employer wants to decide when you should take any of your vacation days, they have to let you know at least three months in advance for main holiday, or one month in advance for remaining holiday (barring exceptional circumstances, such as an unforeseen change to the company’s operations or if the company closes for the summer shortly after you begin employment).

If you have not earned paid vacation, you still have the right to take unpaid holiday.

Public Holidays

In addition to the vacation days, there are also public holidays. These are bunched up mostly in the early part of the year and around Christmas. However, the period between June and Christmas includes the above-mentioned main annual leave, so there’s not usually long to wait until you can take time off.

Denmark has public holidays on:’

  • New Year’s Day  
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday  
  • Great Prayer Day (Store Bededag)
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • Christmas Day
  • Boxing Day

In addition to the usual public holidays, companies can choose to give extra time off, for example on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. There are also differences regarding Labour Day and Constitution Day, depending on where you work, what kind of work you do, or the collective bargaining agreement under which you are employed.

Sometimes you can get a whole day off for these extra holidays, sometimes just a half day. Check with your employer for details.