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WORKING IN DENMARK

More foreign nationals have full time jobs in Denmark than ever before

A record number of foreign nationals are active on the Danish labour market and now comprise over 10 percent of all people in full time employment.

Foreign nationals make up more of Denmark's work force than ever before, according to a report, and there are signs the government could allow more to help ease the country's labour shortage.
Foreign nationals make up more of Denmark's work force than ever before, according to a report, and there are signs the government could allow more to help ease the country's labour shortage. Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash

The figure, reported by newspaper Berlingske, comes from an analysis by the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI), which found that 266,000 foreign nationals, reported to be a record number, were working full time in Denmark in October 2021.

As such, foreigners comprise 10.5 percent of total employment, according to the report.

The figure represents a notable increase over the last decade, having stood at 6.3 percent in 2011.

Foreign workers take up so much of the labour demand in Denmark that they are now indispensable, an analyst told Berlingske.

“There are so many workplaces which would not get by without foreign labour,” labour market researcher Thomas Bredgaard of Aalborg University told the newspaper.

Labour shortages were reported across most sectors in Denmark during much of 2021, with employment figures consistently increasing.

READ ALSO: Employment in Denmark grows for ninth consecutive month but is it sustainable?

The 2,895,000 people currently in work in Denmark is a record high level.

At the same time, unemployment levels are at their lowest since the period following the Global Financial Crisis of the late 2000s.

While generally opposed to easing rules on foreign workers, the government recently suggested it could be prepared to take steps to allow more foreign labour in response to the shortage.

In her New Year speech, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the government was “willing to discuss” the matter.

The Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party, an ally of the government’s in parliament, favours more lenient rules for foreign labour.

DI’s CEO Lars Sandahl also backed “new tone” from the government on foreign labour.

“It’s no secret that we, during 2021, have been very impatient to see solid political solutions for the massive societal challenge that labour shortage presents for the whole country across sectors,” Sandahl said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Are international workers the answer to Denmark’s labour shortage?

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WORKING IN DENMARK

Copenhagen Municipality demands payment from company accused of underpaying drivers

The Copenhagen Municipality wants the company Intervare, owner of online shopping firm Nemlig.com, to pay back millions of kroner amid accusations it underpaid drivers.

Copenhagen Municipality demands payment from company accused of underpaying drivers

A new report on social dumping, undertaken by Copenhagen Municipality, states that the city has demanded 4.7 million kroner from Intervare for unpaid wages for 72 drivers who delivered shopping to residents in the city, political media Altinget reports.

The company was subcontracted by Copenhagen Municipality to deliver goods to vulnerable residents.

According to the city council, however, Intervare systematically underpaid staff while also requiring them to work for 12 hours without breaks and denying them sickpay, Altinget writes.

“Although most companies behave properly, it is clear that there are still some bad eggs amongst the companies the municipality works with,” the Mayor of Copenhagen, Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, told Altinget.

“In that light, I’m happy that our control checks ensure a record high rebate to the workers who have been let down,” she said.

Intervare has repeatedly denied underpaying drivers who made deliveries on behalf of Copenhagen Municipality.

Nemlig.com, owned by Intervare, is Denmark’s biggest online grocery shopping service and experienced considerable growth during the Covid-19 crisis.

Social dumping is the practice of employers using cheaper labour than is usually available at their site of production or sale, for example by using migrant workers and paying them less than local minimum wages or outside the terms of local bargaining agreements.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What is a Danish collective bargaining agreement?

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