In Denmark, pay is typically regulated by collective agreements or negotiated individually

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Denmark does not have a statutory minimum wage.

Pay and employment conditions are, as a rule, regulated by collective agreements or are negotiated individually between employers and employees.

The individual agreement can stipulate a minimum wage for the sector, and the trade unions publish annual wage statistics, which can be used as a starting point for salary negotiations.

The most common forms of payment systems in Denmark are based on monthly wages, day wages, hourly wages and piecework wages.

However, for sales workers, there may be provisional wages, and in certain sectors, specific schemes have been established which provide the opportunity to receive a basic wage via a performance-based wage or a bonus.

It is often possible to negotiate various kinds of wage supplements, for example length-of-service supplements or qualification supplements.

Additionally, the agreement will typically regulate overtime wages for any overtime and work on Sundays, as well as evening and night additions for the relevant sector.

Hourly wages, day wages and piecework wages are as a rule paid out one or twice a month and monthly wages are naturally paid out monthly, retrospectively. Wages are generally paid out to an employee’s NemKonto/Easy Account, unless otherwise agreed.

An employer is obliged to pay the agreed salary/wages.

The Consolidation Act on Equal Pay to Men and Women ensures that men and women receive equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. This means that men and women must receive the same pay if they perform the same work or if their work has the same value.

Employees on fixed-term contracts and part-time workers

Danish law contains a principle of equal treatment of employees on fixed-term contracts and part-time workers. The law applies if these workers are not covered by collective agreements where the principle has been implemented.

The principle of equal treatment means that these workers must at least work under the same conditions, including equal pay, as if they had been employed in a comparable permanent position in the company. For part-time workers, the principle applies proportionally compared to full-time employees.

Agency workers

Agency workers are also covered by the principle of equal treatment. This means that the posted temporary agency worker must at least work under the same conditions as they would be entitled to under the law, collective agreement or other binding general provisions if the temporary agency worker had been employed directly by the contracting enterprise for the same job. The principle of equal treatment applies to the following work conditions, among others: pay, length of working hours, overtime, breaks, rest periods, night work, holiday. 

However, if the temporary agency work is covered by a collective agreement entered into by the most representative parties in the Danish labour market (and which covers the entire Danish area) the principle of equal treatment in the Act does not apply. This means that even if the collective agreement places the temporary agency worker in a worse position than if they worked according to the principle of equal treatment, the conditions in the collective agreement are still legal.

Last updated: 11 March 2024