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EXPLAINED: What you should know if you want to quit your job in Denmark

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: What you should know if you want to quit your job in Denmark
Two points of reference usually set forward the rules that govern the resignation process in Denmark: your employment contract or the Salaried Employee Act. Photo by Rodeo Project Management Software on Unsplash

Thinking about quitting your job in Denmark? Make sure to familiarise yourself with the rules and practices that govern the process – as well as your rights and obligations.


Regardless of what led you to the point of quitting your current job, know that following the rules and best practices around giving notice, the resignation itself, and applying for unemployment benefits will always work to your advantage.

Two points of reference will usually set forward the relevant rules that govern the resignation process in Denmark: your employment contract or the Salaried Employee Act (Funktionærloven).

According to the Djøf trade union, the designation of "salaried employee" in Denmark primarily pertains to people working in business and office roles, occupying warehouse positions, or providing technical or clinical assistance services.

Additionally, for an employee to be eligible for protection under the Salaried Employee Act, they must have maintained an average work schedule of more than 8 hours per week.

The status of a salaried employee gives workers multiple entitlements within the employer-employee dynamic, including a predetermined period of advance notice for resignation, a justified explanation for termination, and compensation while on sick leave.

Notice rules

The rules for giving notice depend on whether you fall under the Salaried Employee Act. If you do, you can resign by giving one month's notice to the first of that month to your employer.

So, for example, if you want to quit by June 30th, you'll need to notify your employer by May 31st.

If, on the other hand, your employment isn't covered by the Salaried Employee Act, then you'll need to consult your employment contract to find out the specific rules for giving notice that apply in your case.

As a private sector employee, you will usually be subject to the regulations regarding notice periods outlined in the aforementioned act only if your employment contract specifies it.

No mention of rules on giving notice in your employment contract? Then you can usually quit with one day's notice.

It's advisable to openly talk to your employer if you want to quit your job earlier than specified in the notice rules or if you aren't in a position to follow these rules due to your circumstances.

Note: Other rules apply when it comes to the notice period on the employer side, and these depend on how long the employee has been working at the company or organisation - from one month's notice (0-6 months of employment) to 6 months' notice (more than 9 years of employment).


How do I resign?

Labour unions in Denmark tend to advise their members to always resign in writing so that they leave a written trace when it comes to the resignation process and the notice period.

Your notice of resignation doesn't need to be complicated or drawn out. Just state your name, position, the date on which you're quitting, what your last day at your job will be, and a request for your employer to acknowledge the receipt of the notice.

READ MORE: How can a work permit holder stay in Denmark after losing a job?

You're not obliged to disclose why you're leaving your current place of work; however, it's your responsibility to ensure that your employer receives your resignation notice in line with the applicable rules.

It's usually a good idea to notify your direct superior or manager in person before handing in your resignation.


Do I have to continue working during the notice period?

By default, you are expected to continue working as usual during your notice period. Failing to do so may result in compensation claims from your employer.

If you become sick, contact your doctor immediately so that you can get a medical certificate. Know that your employer may request to see it later as proof of your absence due to illness.

Can I qualify for unemployment benefits after quitting a job?

If you want to apply for unemployment benefits after leaving your job, it's a good idea to contact your unemployment insurance fund in advance and consult them on any questions you might have.

They should be able to give you professional advice on how your resignation might affect your right to unemployment benefits in Denmark. Avoid the error of reaching out to them after the fact.

READ MORE: A-kasse: Everything foreigners in Denmark need to know about unemployment insurance

As the IDA union points out, if you resign from your job or if the unemployment insurance fund determines that your dismissal was your fault, you will be subjected to a 3-week quarantine period by the social insurance authorities.

This quarantine requires you to remain registered with the Jobcentre (charged with finding jobs for job seekers in Denmark and ensuring that companies find the labour they need), actively seek employment, and be available for work in order to qualify for unemployment benefits after the quarantine period ends.

Know that the social insurance authorities may assess your eligibility for benefits based on factors such as cooperation issues at your workplace or violations of your employment agreement.



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