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Denmark set to permanently ease work permit rule as bill reaches parliament

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark set to permanently ease work permit rule as bill reaches parliament
Denmark is set to implement a permanent reduction to the minimum wage criteria on its Pay Limit Scheme, opening the door for more recruitment of skilled foreign labour. Photo by Headway on Unsplash

A government bill to permanently change the minimum wage criteria in a key work permit scheme will receive its first treatment in parliament this week.

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The government says the bill, which will permanently reduce the minimum wage required under the Pay Limit Scheme (Beløbsordning), will make it easier for companies to recruit skilled workers from non-EU countries.

Danish businesses have urged for work permit rules to be eased so they can meet a labour shortage by recruiting workers from abroad.

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“This is a wish that has been expressed by large parts of the Danish business community in recent years,” economy minister Troels Lund Poulsen told news wire Ritzau.

“With what we have now tabled, we are going to make a permanent arrangement which will thereby also give a framework for better conditions for Danish businesses which in a high number of areas are under pressure in relation to attracting and recruiting the necessary labour,” he said.

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

Low unemployment levels have resulted in business organisations, notably the Confederation of Danish Industry, repeatedly calling for more recruitment from abroad to be allowed.

Last year saw a majority in parliament pledge to support a proposal to reduce the Pay Limit scheme, an arrangement by which work permits are granted to non-EU nationals. The Pay Limit scheme allows work permits to be granted to applicants who have been offered a wage above a set amount by a Danish employer.

Under the old rules that minimum wage was 448,000 kroner per year. The agreement reduces it to 375,000 kroner per year.

The reduction was set to remain in place for an initial three-year period. However, the proposal was never passed into law because Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called an election before it was voted on in parliament.

The new government proposal makes the reduction to the Pay Limit minimum wage permanent, rather than introducing it on a temporary basis.

This is “first and foremost to give companies assurance that this will not be a ‘stop-and-go’ policy where there some rules that apply for a short period and then they’re gone again,” Poulsen said.

“Businesses now know what rules they need to follow,” he said.

“That makes it easier to make a recruitment process where you have a certainty about whether the people you are hiring can contribute positively to the company which is hiring them,” he said.

READ ALSO: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you are not an EU national?

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