Working in Denmark - general information
If you are going to work in Denmark, there are some things you should know and consider. When you are employed, a number of employment conditions apply. Here you can find short information on employment contracts, weekly hours, trade unions, etc.
There is legislation concerning the working environment, holiday, equal treatment and equal pay. You can find more information on Workindenmark which is the official Danish website for international recruitment. The website is in English, German and Danish. There is also an abbreviated version in Polish.
You can also obtain more information from the Danish Working Environment Authority:
Employers must provide employees with an employment contract outlining the terms of employment.
Employers must state, among other things, what you have agreed on with regard to pay, place of work, weekly hours, start of the employment relationship, holiday, periods of notice and the length of the employment relationship (if it is time limited).
In general, foreign workers in Denmark are covered by the same rules and agreements that apply to Danes.
Here you can find what an employment contract at least must contain information on:
Even if there is no statutory provision on what constitutes normal weekly hours, the normal working week in Denmark is 37 hours according to most collective agreements.
The majority of people work from Monday up to and including Friday in the period between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Weekly hours are, however, lower in connection with shift work and permanent night work. The working week may not exceed a maximum of 48 hours including overtime calculated over a period of four months (set by the EU). However, this does not apply to all areas.
If you work less than normal weekly hours, it is a matter of so-called reduced hours or part-time work.
Assessment of your qualifications
There are various ways in which you can have your foreign education and training assessed and recognised in Denmark. The Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education provides assessments of non-Danish degrees, diplomas and certificates – comparing qualifications with the nearest Danish equivalent so that your CV makes sense to a Danish employer.
If your profession is regulated by law, you do not need to ask for a qualification assessment. Instead, you need to apply for an authorisation in order to work within your profession. This rule applies if you work with, for instance, various hazardous materials or heavy machinery, and if you work in certain health-care professions.
If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA Member State and only work in Denmark for short periods of time, it may be sufficient to send a report to the public authority that regulates the sector you work in.
You will find more information about diploma recognition on the website of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science:
Some jobs require authorisation
In some cases, you must obtain a Danish authorisation. For example, foreign-trained doctors must be authorised by the Danish Patient Safety Authority.
Read more about authorisation for foreign-trained doctors on the website of the Danish Patient Safety Authority:
Read more about access to regulated professions on the website of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science:
When you negotiate pay and employment terms, it is an advantage to know a little about the special aspects of the Danish labour market. At the majority of Danish workplaces, pay and employment conditions are regulated via collective agreements between trade unions and employer associations. Therefore, there is no statutory minimum wage in Denmark. The social partners are responsible for compliance with the collective agreements that have been concluded.
The vast majority of Danes are members of a trade union, and as a foreign employee you can join a trade union.
More information about trade unions:
Holiday and holiday pay
All employees in Denmark have the right to five weeks’ holiday in each holiday year. The holiday year runs from 1 May to 30 April.
If you are an employee in Denmark, you have the right to five weeks’ paid holiday from your employer. This is on the assumption that you have worked for an entire calendar year prior to the holiday year.
If you have been employed for less than one calendar year, you earn 2.08 days of paid holiday per month of employment. If you have not earned the right to five weeks’ paid holiday, you still have the right to up to five weeks’ holiday without pay.
You and your employer normally arrange when you take your holiday. All employees have the right to three weeks’ consecutive holiday in the period 1 May to 30 September.
Workindenmark – homepage about working in Denmark
In Denmark, we have a homepage, workindenmark.dk, which advises people and organisations on all aspects related to recruiting new employees from outside Denmark. Workindenmark.dk helps companies and job seekers find the information they need. There are special sections targeted at highly-educated individuals, the health sector, international students and seasonal employees.
The homepage offers advice on Danish authorities and on how to create a good foundation for your new life in Denmark.
The website is in English.
Workindenmark’s job and CV banks
Workindenmark.dk includes access to a CV bank and a job bank.
In the job bank, you can search for jobs in Denmark within companies looking specifically for international labour. You can sign up for a subscription service and receive relevant job advertisements.
This requires that you register for the job bank’s subscription service:
You can also submit your CV to Workindenmark.dk’s CV bank and make your qualifications and competencies visible to Danish companies.