Types of employment

In Denmark, there are many different types of employment

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The most common form of employment is as a full-time employee, which in most cases corresponds to a work week of 37 hours and 5 weeks of annual leave. An employee can also be employed on a part-time basis, which means that they have a shorter maximum of weekly working hours than a full-time employee in a similar position.

There are also different types of temporary employment forms in Denmark, including among others: temporary work and project work. The difference from ordinary employment is simply that the employee is employed for a limited period, which is specified in advance and included in their contract.

A portion of independent workers work freelance or work on a consulting basis, in which the employer buys the person’s service from task to task. In such cases, the employer assumes no obligations in relation to leave, sick days, maternity leave or similar. Often, the freelancer must provide work equipment and offices themselves.

It is normal for students in both training and youth education to have jobs on the side along with their studies. As a part of the education, it is also possible to have a student position or an intern position in a company.

In some cases, an employee will be covered by the Act on Salaried employees. The Act gives the employee a number of rights, including rights concerning sick leave 

For the rules to apply, the employee has to be engaged in work of a particular kind and work for more than 8 hours per week on average. Furthermore, it is a requirement that the employee occupies a position in which the employee works under the instructions of the employer.

Employees directly covered by the Act on Salaried Employees typically work in the business and office sector, retail (for instance shop assistants), in warehouses or provides technical or clinical assistance services (for instance engineers, nurses, doctors).

Employees that work in construction, manufacturing, the agricultural sector, fishery, waiting staff and kitchen staff are typically not covered by the Act on Salaried Employees.

In Denmark, an employee must have turned 18 to enter into an employment contract that is legally binding. Specific regulations apply with regard to working hours, daily breaks, weekly days off, tasks allowed to be performed, etc., in cases where a person under 18 is to be employed.

If people between the age of 13 and 15, or who are subject to attending compulsory education, are to be employed, then the employer has to notify the minor’s parents or guardians of the employment, including the length of the working hours, and whether there are any accident and health hazards that may be tied to the work procedures, including whether the correct safety and health-related measures have been taken to counteract these risks.

Last updated: 11 March 2024