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Denmark to scrap rule requiring Danish bank account for foreign workers

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
Denmark to scrap rule requiring Danish bank account for foreign workers
The construction site at the Fehmarnbelt tunnel project. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark's government is to exempt some foreign workers from a requirement to be paid into a Danish bank account, following a long campaign from business groups.

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A new government bill will exempt foreign workers who have received a work permit under the "researcher" scheme and four so-called "fast track" schemes from the requirement to open and receive payment in a Danish bank account. 

"When renowned companies in Denmark experience some rules as being inappropriate, we of course take this seriously," Kaare Dybvad Bek, Denmark's Minister of Immigration and Integration, said in a press release announcing the move. 

"We have therefore decided to make some adjustments that ensure more flexibility for the companies that are certified and treat their employees properly." 

The exemption will apply to those granted work permits under the "researcher" scheme and also to the "pay limit", "education" and "short-term" tracks of the fast-track scheme. 

The Confederation of Danish Employers last year led a campaign to end the bank account rule, which can mean that new recruits go months without receiving a salary, as they must first obtain a residency permit, then a CPR number, a Danish address, a health insurance card and access to the MitID digital identification service. 

READ ALSO: Why Danish businesses want to scrap bank account work permit rule

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To be eligible for a fast track permit, foreigners need to hired by a so-called "certified" company, typically a mid-sized and large company that hires internationally quite regularly. 

To become certified, a company must have at least 10 full-time employees in Denmark, and offer salary and employment conditions that meet Danish norms. 

Dybvad Bek said that the government had wanted to limit the exemption to established and reputable companies. 

"We have of course made sure that with the change in the law we do not open a floodgate for social dumping and underpayment," he said. "Several of the adjustments are therefore targeted at certified companies, where we know that the conditions are fair.”

For employees still covered by the bank account requirement, the government is proposing extending the time limit for setting up a Danish bank account from 90 days to 180 days.

The government proposes that the new bill should come into force on 1 July 2024. 

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