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WORKING IN DENMARK

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

The Local brings you a roundup of the latest jobs news and talking points related to working life in Denmark. This week we're looking at issues including job vacancy figures and government proposals on unemployment welfare.

Working in Denmark: A weekly roundup of the latest jobs news and talking points
Photo by Dose Media on Unsplash

Number of job vacancies highest at record level. How can they be filled? 

A total of 53,500 private sector vacancies were registered in the second quarter of 2021, an increase of 14,000 compared to the preceding quarter and the highest number in the 11 years the data has been recorded, according to Statistics Denmark.

Vacant positions now comprise 3 percent of all jobs in Denmark, according to the agency.

 

But as vacancies have soared over the summer, so has the number of people employed on the Danish labour market, with unemployment now close to dropping under the level it was at immediately prior to the Covid-19 crisis.

This points to a lack of available labour in Denmark, and a problem politicians and organisations have begun discussing solutions to.

You can read more about that here.

Government expects welfare reforms to boost workforce

Earlier this week, the government presented proposals to change welfare rules which it believes will add to the number of workers on the market.

Those proposals include cutting the standard monthly unemployment insurance payment for new graduates as well as shortening the eligibility period.

The government argues this will encourage university graduates to take jobs sooner, including unskilled work outside their area of expertise, if necessary.

In addition to this, people who have spent a certain amount of time on basic unemployment benefits and those subject to immigration rules could be given mandatory work in order to be able to claim the welfare.

This will get more people, particularly women with non-Western heritage, to take up jobs or simply “get out of their homes”, the government says, but opponents have called it “tantamount to state-backed social dumping”.

READ ALSO: What do Denmark’s proposed welfare reforms mean for foreign residents?

Unemployment figures latest

The most recent unemployment figures show that the number of people without a job in Denmark fell slightly by 500 between June and July. It should be noted that the two months include annual leave in a lot of sectors.

That gave a total number of around 108,600 jobseekers in Denmark or an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent.

Unemployment has now almost fallen to the level it was at prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest total is 5,800 higher than the number of unemployed in February 2020.

The all-time lowest unemployment rate in Denmark is 2.4 percent, recorded in 2008. It reached over 6 percent in the years after the global financial crisis and peaked at 5.5 percent during the coronavirus crisis.

Unemployment in Denmark falls to lowest level since pandemic began

Did you know? 

If you are covered by the Danish Salaried Employees Act (Funktionærloven), then you are entitled to certain notice periods before any significant change happens to the terms of your employment.

You can see in your contract whether you are a salaried employee (funktionær), but generally, the term applies to staff who have been employed for over 1 month and work more than 8 hours weekly, on average.

Sectors in which staff are considered funktionærer include business and administration, purchasing, selling and certain types of warehouse work, technical and cleaning services; and management and supervision.

READ ALSO: What you need to know if you lose your job in Denmark

Useful links

Below you’ll find a couple of helpful articles, guides and resources put together by The Local, which cover key aspects of working life in Denmark. 

Is this useful?

Please get in touch with me at [email protected] to let me know if this weekly feature is useful and any suggestions you have for jobs related articles on The Local Denmark.

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For members

TAXES

Why it pays to check your Danish preliminary tax return in January

Taxpayers in Denmark still have time to adjust their 2023 preliminary tax return (forskudsopgørelse) with Skat, the Danish Tax Agency, before too much or too little is deducted from January paychecks.

Why it pays to check your Danish preliminary tax return in January

Preliminary tax returns or forskudsopgørelser for the forthcoming year are released in November, meaning they can carry information over from the preceding tax year (the current year at the time of release). Tax years in Denmark follow calendar years.

If your circumstances have changed since last year, it’s therefore a good idea to update your preliminary tax returns for 2023 now.

It should be noted that taxpayers who do not pay the right amount of tax in the first month of the year can correct their preliminary returns later in 2023. This means the difference in tax paid in January would be spread across the rest of the year.

But if your circumstances have changed significantly since the last calendar year it makes sense to update now so that you are paying the correct amount of tax from the beginning of the new (tax) year.

READ ALSO: Forskudsopgørelse: Why checking your preliminary Danish tax return matters

“It’s never too late to go in and check your preliminary tax return. You can do that every day, all year round. It’s just important to do it now in relation to the paycheck for January,” Danish Tax Authority junior director Jan Møller Mikkelsen told news wire Ritzau.

Annual tax returns (årsopgørelser) in Denmark cover calendar years. They are released in March and finalised in late spring, meaning you have this period to correct the information on your tax return from the previous calendar year.

If you paid too much tax during the preceding year and didn’t adjust your preliminary return during the course of that year, you could therefore correct the final return the following spring to ensure you still paid the correct tax. Paying too much tax would result in a rebate, but the reverse applies if you pay under the correct rate for your circumstances, meaning you might receive a large bill further down the line.

Both of these scenarios can be avoided by adjusting the forskudsopgørelse during the ongoing tax (calendar) year.

When wages are paid into current accounts at the end of this month, it will be the first wage packet of 2023. That means now is the last chance to correct tax details carried over from 2022 to make sure deductions of income tax for the first monthly wage of 2023 are correct.

“We experience increasing numbers of calls from the public in January when people can’t understand why the first payment of the year is wrong,” Mikkelsen said.

“Now is the time to go in and check the preliminary tax return if you want to ensure the correct wages are paid in January,” he said.

The tax authority advises updating your preliminary return or forskudsopgørelse — a projection of your expected income for the year along with the deductions you’re eligible for — if your circumstances have changed in one or more of the following ways:

  • Changed jobs 
  • Been promoted or received a salary increase 
  • Taken on a mortgage 
  • Refinanced your mortgage 
  • Changed your commute 

Because a relatively large number of people refinanced their mortgages in 2023, this is an area that should be given particular attention for those affected, Mikkelsen noted.

You can change your preliminary tax return any day of the year by visiting the Skat website and signing in with your MitID. The agency can also be contacted over the phone or in writing for guidance on the preliminary return and other tax matters.

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