Danish businesses and trade union praise party over international hiring plan

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Danish businesses and trade union praise party over international hiring plan
The Moderate party presented a proposal that could make it easier for Danish businesses to hire international staff. Photo: Emil Nicolai Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

A call by the Moderate Party, a partner in the coalition government, to expand the freedom of Danish companies to hire staff from abroad has been welcomed by the business community.


The Moderate Party on Tuesday presented a proposal to give companies an “overtaking lane” to hire staff from abroad, provided they are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

“There are pay limit schemes, positive lists, all sorts of rules that SIRI [the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration, ed.] has to decide whether people live up to,” party leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen said, referring to the agency that processes work permit applications.

“We propose an overtaking lane – a proposal that trumps all of this. That is, if you are an employer who has a collective bargaining agreement and a union-covered business, you should basically be able to bring people in on a wage that complies with the bargaining agreement,” he said.


SMVDanmark, an organisation for small and medium-sized Danish businesses, called the proposal an “important play” by the Moderates.

The Moderate Party proposals included 12 different points all aimed at increasing foreign labour in Denmark.


These include “making case processing smoother, scrapping the requirement for a Danish bank account and taking out the ability to reject residence applications based on assumptions”, SMV Danmark noted in a statement.


"It’s been said many times but it can’t be said enough: We need labour and it’s going to get much worse in future. Many European countries are in the same situation and we therefore can’t presume Romanians, Poles and others will come and rescue us,” SMVDanmark director Jesper Beinov said in the statement.

“So the Moderates’ focus on it being easier to attract new staff from countries outside the EU is absolutely correct and must be praised,” he said.

Trade union 3F praised the broader proposals made by the Moderates, on the basis that they reward companies that join collective bargaining agreements and have appointed trade union representatives, known in Danish as tillidsrepræsentanter.

“I’m very pleased that Lars Løkke Rasmussen is recognising the Danish labour model with today’s pronouncements,” 3F chairman Henning Overgaard said in a statement.

“It is these businesses and workers who are the foundation under Danish growth, well-being and welfare,” he said.

3F is one of Denmark’s largest trade unions and has bargaining agreements in place at more workplaces than any other union in the country, according to its website.

“I would strongly encourage the other two government parties, the Liberals and the Social Democrats, to support the Moderates' proposal and to put concrete action behind these words," Overgaard said.

The proposal to free up access to foreign labour has not yet been discussed with the other two coalition parties, the Social Democrats and the Liberals.

The three parties in the government would need to agree on the plan before a bill is likely to be drawn up.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also