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EQUALITY

Danish study concludes women earn less than men for same jobs

A Danish study has concluded that women are often paid less than men for doing the same job.

Danish study concludes women earn less than men for same jobs
Men and women at a shared workspace. A Danish study has concluded that women are paid less than men for the same professions and jobs. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The study, from Copenhagen Business School, analysed the salaries of 1.2 million people in Denmark aged 30-55 years.

On average, women earn 7 percent less despite having the same profession and same job as their male colleagues, researchers concluded.

CBS professor Lasse Folke Henriksen, one of the report’s co-authors, said the results suggests that the overall disparity between the wages of men and women in Denmark is not solely a result of the pay grades in the professions in which they work.

“The equality debate has for some time focused on wage hierarchy in female-dominated and male-dominated professions,” he said.

“But this suggests there is also a wage gap between men and women with the same job function,” he said.

The study does not specify reasons for the wage gap. Henriksen said further research will address this, but existing research offers potential explanations.

“Family relations mean a lot. Women who have children put more work into home care and so on. That could help to explain it,” he said.

Denmark is not the only country looked at by the study.

The study uses data registered from 2015 and finds an overall wage gap for all countries of 18 percent, with women therefore earning considerably less than men on average.

Along with France, Denmark has the smallest wage gap (7 percent) of all countries analysed. Nordic neighbours Norway and Sweden are close behind with 9 and 8 percent respectively.

The largest wage gap found by the study was 26 percent in Japan.

“So Denmark is well placed,” Henriksen said.

“We also have analyses from further in the past so we can see that the wage gap has shrunk over the years. That’s very positive, and that has also happened in other countries,” he said.

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WORK PERMITS

Denmark issued 40 percent more non-EU work permits in 2022

Denmark issued over 21,000 work permits to non-EU nationals in 2022, an increase of over 40 percent compared to the previous year.

Denmark issued 40 percent more non-EU work permits in 2022

Preliminary figures issued by the Ministry of Immigration and Integration show that the number of work permits issued to non-EU nationals in 2022 was 21,553.

That represents an increase of more than 40 percent compared to 2021, when 15,167 permits were issued.

The number of work permits issued by Denmark has seen steady growth over the last four years, according to ministry figures.

In 2019, some 13,713 work permits were issued to non-EU citizens. The number dropped during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to 10,333 in 2020 before rising significantly in 2021 and 2022.

For work permits issued to EU nationals under the EU’s free movement rules, the numbers tell a similar story. Numbers released by the ministry show 18,578 such permits released in 2019, falling to 15,681 in 2020.

EU nationals were given 22,080 and 25,842 Danish work permits in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

It should be noted the British nationals would be registered under the EU category in 2019 and 2020 and the non-EU category in 2021 and 2022.

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“In a time with low unemployment it’s hugely positive that so many foreigners are choosing Denmark and contributing to our labour market,” Minister for Immigration and Integration Kaare Dybvad Bek said in a statement.

“That’s a huge benefit for Denmark and the Danish economy. We currently need hands in both the public and private sectors and the many people who come here through business [permit] schemes contribute to growth and better service,” he said.

“I am very pleased we are doing well on attracting labour from outside while also having rules that take good care of Danish wage earners,” he said.

Despite the growth in permits and Bek’s positive view of them, businesses have called for more to be done to increase foreign labour and there is also some demand in the opposition.

The Confederation of Danish Industry said in August that Danish businesses are finding it harder than ever to recruit staff and could hire 38,000 new workers immediately if they were available.

The Social Liberals, a centre-left opposition party, in November said it wants Denmark to increase its foreign workforce.

“It is still far too difficult for Denmark’s businesses to bring foreign labour to Denmark. There are trip wires everywhere, and we have a whole catalogue of proposals,” Social Liberal leader Martin Lidegaard said at the time.

In its coalition policy agreement, the government, formed in December, said that it would “relax access to foreign labour for as long as unemployment is low.”

READ ALSO: What do we know about Denmark’s plans to relax work permit rules?

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