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WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in July 2022?

A massive sporting event, summer holidays from school and work and an update to preferred professions for work permits are among the changes and events coming up in July.

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in July 2022?
Denmark is gearing up for the Tour de France in the first three days of July. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Le Tour de France

Returning to its usual mid-summer slot after Covid-19 disruptions, the Tour de France gets under way in Copenhagen on July 1st.

The highly anticipated Danish Grand Départ will make its way through Zealand, pass over the Great Belt Bridge and then charge through hilly Vejle and the verdant South Jutland countryside.

It finishes, as usual, on Paris’s Champs-Elysées on July 24th.

READ ALSO:

Summer holidays

Many who go to school and work in Denmark have already begun their annual summer leave. Most schools broke up for the summer on June 24th, although this can vary a little locally.

For those in full or part-time employment who are covered by the Danish Holiday Act (Ferieloven), most will take three weeks off during the next couple of months, with most of this falling in July.

Of the five standard weeks or (normally 25 days) of paid vacation covered by the Holiday Act, the “main holiday period” begins on May 1st and ends on September 30th. During this time, three weeks’ consecutive vacation may be taken out of the five weeks.

Many take three weeks off in a row, sometimes coinciding with the school holidays (although 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.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about vacation in Denmark

Update to Positive List

The Positive List is a list of professions for which immigration authorities can issue work permits because Denmark is experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals in those fields.

People who are offered a job included in the Positive List can apply for a Danish residence and work permit based on the Positive List Scheme. An educational background in the relevant field is required.

The Positive List Scheme is one of a number of business schemes used to grant work permits for non-EU and EEA nationals who are unable to move to Denmark under the EU’s right to free movement.

The list is updated twice a year, on January 1st and July 1st.

The updated lists can be viewed on the website of the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).

Firms no longer permitted to ask age of job applicants

Companies in Denmark are, from July, no longer permitted to ask the age of candidates applying for jobs with them.

The law, which was adopted in parliament in March, comes into effect on July 1st.

According to the law, applicants should no longer give their age when applying for jobs. The objective of the new law is to prevent employers from rejecting applicants because of their age.

Tax deadline for businesses

If you are a business owner in Denmark you must register your results for 2021 at the beginning of July.

Information submitted up to 9am on July 4th will be considered submitted on time, the tax authority SKAT states on its website.

Companies whose accounting years run to December 31st can submit 2021’s results until July 7th, the tax authority SKAT states on its website, after the original deadline of June 30th was extended.

Self-employed people are still bound by the July 1st deadline.

READ ALSO: So you missed Denmark’s July 1st tax deadline. Now what? (2021)

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WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

Key law changes in Denmark in 2023 that you need to know about

Several new laws and rule changes are expected to enter into force or go through consideration in Denmark next year. The Local has compiled a list of the most important ones.

Key law changes in Denmark in 2023 that you need to know about

In 2023, there will be a number of significant changes to the rules and laws in Denmark that will affect multiple aspects of life in the country, including costs of living, the job market, welfare, travel, and immigration – to mention just a few.

The new government’s plan to relax access to foreign labour in Denmark for as long as unemployment is low and its inflation package – aimed at helping Danes cope with the rising living costs – are just some measures that will likely materialise in the year ahead.

In this article, we will go over these, and other, key changes expected to occur next year.

Making Denmark more accessible for skilled foreign workers

A new government policy may make it easier for skilled foreign workers to come to Denmark in 2023 by providing more options for obtaining a work permit.

The policy agreement between the three coalition parties in the new government states it will “relax access to foreign labour for as long as unemployment is low.”

This means making an existing deal to boost international recruitment permanent and taking measures to prevent social dumping, so foreign workers are given the same working conditions as Danes, the proposal states.

“In addition to this, the government will introduce a scheme with lower pay limits (beløbsordninger, ed.) for certified companies which are encompassed by controlled wage and working conditions,” it says.

An annual quota of work permits will be released under the scheme, which will be reviewed every two years, according to the plan.

“This will, under controlled conditions, give access to additional labour,” according to the policy proposal.

Streamlined family reunification?

The new Danish government could ease family reunification rules in 2023 – a break from the restrictive immigration policy seen in previous years.

Specifically, the new government plans to change language criteria applied in the family reunification process, as well as halve the so-called “bank guarantee” (bankgaranti).

This guarantee requirement demands couples deposit a substantial sum of money with municipalities. At the same time, the foreign partner is granted residence under family reunification rules.

You can find more information on these plans here.

Support measures aimed at addressing cost of living crisis

The new government plans to put forward an “inflation package” of support measures aimed at helping Danes struggling with high living costs caused by the inflation crisis.

The package is expected to include a new tax-free 5,000 kroner payment to senior citizens who receive the ældrecheck benefit – on top of the already-agreed 5,000 kroner.

The rest of the support package will focus on people who face drastic energy bill increases, mainly homes with independent gas heaters.
Furthermore, an allocation of 300 million kroner will also be set aside to help vulnerable families.

These measures were outlined in the policy agreement between the three coalition parties.

Deferred district heating bills

Starting in January, a new program will be implemented, allowing Danish businesses and households to postpone paying excess district heating bills.

The scheme is part of the previous government’s winter package aimed at addressing the record energy prices. In November, a scheme was introduced to allow people to delay payments for excess electricity and gas bills.

That means households and businesses can “freeze” their bill for 12 months at the same price they paid for the same amount of heating last year.

However, only the additional cost of the bill, not the entire bill, will be eligible for postponed payment.

When the 12-month period expires, an interest-free year will follow. Customers will then be able to choose whether to pay the excess amount to the energy company or pay it off over four years.

Important EU travel changes

Travellers should be aware of two travel-related updates within the European Union (EU) for next year.

Firstly, Schengen Area countries will begin implementing a new digital system (EES) to track the entry and exit of non-EU citizens at their borders starting in May 2023.

Additionally, the EU has introduced a COVID-19 certificate that may be required for travel in the region.

The EES system will enable the automatic scanning of passports replacing manual stamping by border guards. The system will register the person’s name, type of travel document, biometric data, and the date and place of entry and exit.

This data will be kept in a centralised database on a rolling three-year basis that is re-set at each entry.

For people living in Denmark as non-EU citizens, it’s worth knowing that the European Commission has confirmed that EES will not apply to non-EU citizens who live in Denmark.

Education reform

The government plans to invest more funding in vocational education programs and shorten around half of university Master’s degree programs to be completed in one year instead of two.

Furthermore, the eligibility requirements for the state student grant (SU) will be stricter, with the grant being available for a shorter time in relation to the length of education.

You can find more information on the main policies of the new Danish government here.

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