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WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

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

New parental leave rules come into force, schools return and summer flight disruption are among changes and events coming to Denmark this autumn.

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in August 2022?
Parental leave rules change in Denmark in August while kids return to school. Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

‘Earmarking’ parental leave laws take effect

New Danish parental leave rules, ratified last year to bring the country into line with EU directives, take effect in August.

After the EU in 2019 passed a directive which required member states to ensure a minimum of nine weeks’ “earmarked” parental leave for each parent by 2022, discussions in 2021 between the government and labour market representatives resulted in an agreement over new rules, which was passed by parliament towards the end of last year.

The parental leave is called “earmarked” (øremærket in Danish) because the two parents cannot transfer the leave from one to another, which would allow one parent to take all or nearly all of the statutory parental leave.

Under the outgoing system, 32 weeks of parental leave (forældreorlov) could be distributed between parents as much or either sees fit and can be taken concurrently or consecutively.

The new rules tag more of the statutory parental leave to each parent, with 24 weeks of leave granted per parent following the birth of a child, with a total of 11 weeks “earmarked” for each parent.

The mother has a right to four weeks’ pregnancy leave prior to giving birth and both parents can take two weeks’ parental leave immediately after the birth.

That leaves a remaining earmarked 9 weeks, which can be taken at any time withing the first year after birth but are tagged to each parent, as are the initial 2 post-birth weeks. If one parent does not use all of their 11 weeks, those weeks lapse.

We have full detail on the new rules in this article.

Kids return to school after summer holidays

The school summer holidays, which often coincide with the dates on which parents place their annual leave, are about to come to an end.

Most municipal childcare institutions (like vuggestue and børnehave) reopen on August 1st, as do childcare facilities for school-age children like skolernes fritidsordning, SFO.

The first school day after the summer holidays is Monday August 8th in most of the country, but it’s worth checking with local authorities if you’re in doubt. All municipalities post the school term dates on their websites – see Odense Municipality’s website here for an example.

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

Festival season isn’t over yet

The return of Roskilde has successfully been and gone and the 2022 Tour de France will probably pass into Danish folklore, but it’s not all done and dusted for those who enjoy the summer vibe of music festivals and major sporting events.

August music festivals include the chillout vibes of the electronic festival Stella Polaris and the more upbeat Strøm Festival in Copenhagen.

Those with Tour de France withdrawal can bask in the Postnord Denmark Tour, the country’s traditional pro cycling race which takes in some of the locations spotted on this year’s Grand Depart.

End of negative interest rates at banks

Several Danish banks and mortgage providers announced in July that they would be increasing their interest rates.

In some cases, this means the end of negative interest rates that have seen many Danish bank customers pay to have their savings deposited with a bank.

Broadcaster TV2 lists Nykredit, Arbejdernes Landsbank, Vestjysk Bank, Lån & Spar, Saxo Bank, Stadil Sparekasse, Frørup Andelskasse, Facit Bank, Basis Bank, Bank Norwegian, Santander Consumer Bank and Lunar as banks without negative interest rates. The list is accurate from August 1st, from when Vestjysk and Lån & Spar announced they will scrap negative interest rates.

Meanwhile, Jyske Bank, Danske Bank, Nordea, Sydbank, Sparekassen Danmark and Spar Nord will all have higher interest rates effective in August (which first took effect in July in some cases), although the rates are still negative.

Since 2021, many major banks in Denmark have charged negative interest on personal accounts with a balance of more than 100,000 kroner. The policy has been a source of consternation to foreigners in Denmark, driving them (and their savings) to smaller banks that have a higher cap. 

READ ALSO: Denmark’s banks raise interest rates but many still remain negative

15,000 European flights cancelled in August

For those who have not yet been on their summer vacation, travel plans could be affected by a large number of flight cancellations for services in the coming month.

Airlines in July cancelled a further 15,000 flights in Europe this August as they continue to struggle with staff shortages and strikes, according to data.

The data, from flight airline analysis firm Citrium, show that airlines have cancelled 25,378 flights from their August schedules, of which 15,788 are in Europe.

Airlines across Europe have been struggling with staff shortages, with passengers reporting long queues at airports.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: Airlines cancel 15,000 flights in August

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For members

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?

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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