Working conditions and trade unions

The terms of employment and salaries are generally regulated by collective agreements

Read more and self-services

A total of 91 job centres are placed throughout Denmark. Basically, there is one job centre in each municipality in Denmark.

In each job centre you will have free access to computers as well as general information on how to find a job in Denmark. Please note that the job centres do not have the capacity to translate CVs or job vacancies. The concept is self-service, which means that the job centres provide resources enabling you to find work, and an IT-system to advertise job vacancies for employers by using a job and CV database called "Jobnet". This can be accessed through the job centre computers or via the following website:

Map of Danish job centres (all names are in Danish):

It is a legal requirement that employers must provide employees with an employment contract outlining the terms of employment, regardless of whether there is an applicable collective agreement. As the terms of employment are primarily regulated by collective agreement, the employment contract will typically include reference to the applicable collective agreement.

The standard working week in Denmark is a five-day week of 37 hours per week. Primary working hours are Monday-Friday from 06:00 - 18:00. Lunch breaks are typically 30 minutes. Lunch breaks are paid as regular working hours in the public sector, whereas most private employees pay for lunch breaks themselves. However, this varies from workplace to workplace.

Working hours are not regulated by law in the private sector, but rather determined by collective agreement or individual contracts.

Working culture in Denmark: Most Danish workplaces are characterised by a horizontal structure and open dialogue between management and employees. The working culture is cooperation-oriented and the working environment is characterised by open and informal social conventions.

On the website Workindenmark.dk, you can read more about a number of things that may be relevant for you to know if you are going to work in Denmark:

The Danish labour market is, to a great extent, regulated by the various players in the labour market themselves, in contrast to regulation by legislation. Under the Danish Model, employers and employees reach voluntary collective agreements on pay and working conditions. The trade unions play a pivotal role in the Danish labour market, and there is a high level of union membership among Danish workers.

Trade unions assist with cases regarding pay and working conditions and can help in connection with work-related injury cases, rehabilitation, etc. Some trade unions also offer personal consultancy and career planning or offer discount schemes on petrol, shopping centres, insurance, etc. These offers vary according to the industry with which the trade union is associated.

Your choice of trade union depends on your training/position and workplace. The various trade unions are associated with specific unemployment insurance funds, but you do not need to be a member of both a trade union and an unemployment insurance fund – it is possible to be a member of just one of these organisations, independently of the other.

Many workplaces have trade union representatives, who represent the trade union in the workplace and employees interests vis-à-vis management.

An industrial injury is an accident or disease caused by the work or working conditions. It may be caused by a fall at the workplace where you break your leg, a back injury sustained due to heavy lifting, eczema due to an allergic reaction to substances in the working environment, a severe mental strain etc.

If you have been injured in connection with your work, this will be reported by your employer to the employer's insurance company or by your GP to Arbejdsmarkedets Erhvervssikring (AES).

Your accident can be recognised as an industrial injury if:

  • the accident occurred as a consequence of your work or the conditions under which the work was carried out
  • the severity of your injury exceeds the minimum threshold set out in applicable legislation
  • the distress you experience is caused by the injury you sustained in the accident.

Your disease can be recognised as an industrial injury if:

  • the disease is on the list of occupational diseases
  • it can be documented that the disease has been caused by your work.

If your disease is recognised as an occupational disease, you may be entitled to compensation.

Who must report an industrial injury?

In the vast majority of cases, you do not need to do anything in order for the industrial injury to be reported.

If you have been in an accident, it is your employer's duty to report the injury to the insurance company with which your employer has taken out industrial injury insurance. Initially, your employer's insurance company processes the claim. The insurance company will gather information about the accident and the injury you have sustained. The reporting must take place within nine days at the latest of the injury having been sustained. Even if the injury does not result in any compensation, the employer must still report it if the injured person is unable to fully resume work five weeks after the injury was sustained.

Your employer does not have a duty to report occupational diseases. If you have a disease that may have been caused by your work, your GP or specialist reports this to Arbejdsmarkedets Erhvervssikring (AES).