Denmark announces new rules for working from home

New rules for people who work from home in Denmark have been announced following an agreement between a majority of political parties.

New rules announced by the Danish government adjust requirements for businesses to provide equipment for staff who use screens to work from home.
New rules announced by the Danish government adjust requirements for businesses to provide equipment for staff who use screens to work from home. Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

The Danish Ministry of Employment announced the new rules in a statement on Monday afternoon after the government and centre-left ally the Social Liberals (Radikale Venstre) agreed on terms with the opposition Liberal (Venstre), Conservative and Danish People’s parties.

The new rules are particularly important for people who use a screen for working from home.

Employees of companies are allowed to use their own equipment to work from home provided the equipment fulfils certain standards.

If it does not meet the standards set out in the new agreement, employers are obliged to provide the necessary hardware.

Under the outgoing rules, that rule applies for employees who work from home once a week or more.

The new rules relax this, meaning the employer must only provide equipment for staff who work from home or at other fixed places of work at an average of more than two days per week over the course of a month.

The change in rules, expected to take effect at the end of April, allow more flexibility for people who work on their screens at several different locations, the ministry said in the statement.

“I am pleased that we have now found a political and balanced solution which gives both more flexibility and consideration to employees with varying places of work,” Employment Minister Peter Hummelgaard said in the statement.

“We are now making the rules for home working more up-to-date so they reflect the labour market of today in which work for certain types of staff can be done at many different places and not just at the office,” he said.

A trade union which counts many office workers among its members slammed the decision to ease requirement on companies who have staff working from home.

“I am simply shaken,” Mads Samsing, the deputy leader of the trade union, HK, said to broadcaster DR.

“In practice, this is exclusively about employers wanting to get off cheaply by pushing their costs over to staff,” Samsing said.

The Danish Chamber of Commerce (Dansk Erhverv) was more positive.

“We (now) have a sensible and balanced set of rules for home working. It’s a set of rules which is easy to understand,” the organisation’s deputy director Laurits Rønn said to DR.

Hummelgaard said in the ministry statement that the rules would be reviewed again next year.

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Demand for labour remains high in Denmark with employment up for 14th straight month

Denmark’s labour market remains on a trend which has seen the number of people in paid employment in the country grow month-on-month since early 2021.

Demand for labour remains high in Denmark with employment up for 14th straight month

New data from national agency Statistics Denmark shows that the number of people in paid employment increased by 16,000 between February and March this year and now stands at 2,947,000. The data is corrected for variations caused by work that is season-dependent.

The new figures represent the 14th consecutive month in which the number of people working in Denmark has increased.

Additionally, more people are in work now compared to just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, with a knock-on effect on the economy and jobs.

145,000 more people are hired now than just before the Covid-19 crisis, senior economist with Sydbank, Mathias Dollerup Sproegel, told news wire Ritzau.

“The labour market continues to be a ray of sunshine in the Danish economy,” Sproegel said.

“Aside from record-high employment, unemployment is also close to the record-low from before 2008. That tells us that the labour force has been strengthen somewhat in recent years,” he said.

“That is due to earlier political reforms and an active effort to bring all available hands in the Danish economy into play,” he said.

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Another analyst, senior economist Lars Olsen with Danske Bank, said the figures evidenced that it is still possible to find staff to fill the many available positions on the labour market.

“This suggests that there are still reserves to draw on, probably among students and people who have not previously had a strong connection to the labour market,” he said in a written comment.

“It would also seem to help that the age of the state pension has been put up again this year, so nobody will reach pension age during the first half of this year,” he said.

READ ALSO: Could Denmark delay plan to increase retirement age?

Hotels and restaurants are among sectors which saw the strongest growth in employment in March, with over 5,500 new hires giving an increase of 4.6 percent.

Culture and leisure also saw notable growth at 3.3 percent or 1,900 people.