FTC regulated: Yes

Valid reasons for FTC use: objective and material reasons

Remarks

Sec. 1 (4) ESEA, refers to "objective criteria such as reaching a specific date, completing a specific task or the occurrence of a specific event".

Maximum number of successive FTCs: no limitation

Remarks

No statutory limitation regarding the maximum number of successive FTC, but renewal of FTC must be based on objective grounds according to Section 5 of the Act (No. 907 of 2008) on fixed-term employment.

Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: no limitation

Remarks

No statutory limitation regarding the maximum number of successive FTC, but renewal of FTC must be based on objective grounds according to Section 5 of the Act (No. 907 of 2008) on fixed-term employment.

% of workforce under FTC: 8.7

Remarks

Source: Eurostat, annual average for 2009.
The figure refers to the percentage of employee with a contract of limited duration (= temporary job) of total number of employee aged 15-74 years.
Eurostat data are based on the following definition:
"A job may be considered temporary if employer and employee agree that its end is determined by objective conditions such as a specific date, the completion of a task or the return of another employee who has been temporarily replaced (usually stated in a work contract of limited duration). Typical cases are: (a) persons with seasonal employment; (b) persons engaged by an agency or employment exchange and hired to a third party to perform a specific task (unless there is a written work contract of unlimited duration); (c) persons with specific training contracts."

Maximum probationary (trial) period (in months): 3 months

Remarks

- There is no general legislation regarding probationary periods in Denmark. For salaried employees (white-collar employees) however, a probationary period of up to three months may be agreed. This period cannot be extended. During the probationary period both parties are entitled to terminate the employment contract by giving 14 days of notice.
- Sec. 2 (5) ESEA provides that: "if the employer can substantiate that the engagement is on probation and that the employment relationship does not exceed a period of three months, termination on the part of the employment may take place given a period of notice of at least 14 days¿

Obligation to provide reasons to the employee: Yes

Remarks

- Sec. 2 (7) ESEA : At the employee's request, the employer must state the reason for dismissal. This provision only applies in respect of white-collar employees.

- Sec. 4 of the General Agreement (1973) concluded by the Danish Employers' Confederation and the Danish Confederation of trade Unions states that "in the case of dismissal of an employee who has been employed in a company for at least nine continuous months, the employee concerned is entitled to request the reason for his dismissal in writing".

Valid grounds (justified dismissal): none

Remarks

There is no general statutory prohibition against unfair dismissals, which means that the employer is, in principle, free to dismiss the employee.
This right can however be restricted by law or through collective agreements.
- For example, under the Employers' and Salaried Employees' Act, which only applies to salaried employees, those employees are entitled to compensation if the dismissal is "reasonably justified by the conduct of the employee or the circumstances of the enterprise" (sec. 2 (b) ESEA)
- In addition, with respect to collective agreements made under the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions and
the Confederation of Danish Employers, for example, the General Agreement [GA] between those two organisations prohibits arbitrary action in connection with dismissals of employees (sec. 4 (3) of the GA)
- Lastly, anti-discrimination laws place restriction on the employer's right to dismiss employees. [see below under prohibited grounds.]

Prohibited grounds: marital status, pregnancy, maternity leave, filing a complaint against the employer, temporary work injury or illness, race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, religion, political opinion, social origin, nationality/national origin, age, trade union membership and activities, disability, parental leave, ethnic origin

Remarks

There are a number of laws that protect all workers against dismissals for specific reasons:

- The Consolidation Act on Equal treatment of Men and Women as regards Access to Employment, 28 June 2006, prohibits discrimination due to sex. The Act also lays down special rules on the burden of proof in cases were an employee is dismissed during pregnancy, adoption or maternity.

- The Act (No. 1349 of 2008) on Discrimination on the Labour Market of 16 December 2008, prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination due to race, colour, religion or belief, political opinion, sexual orientation, age, disability or national, social or ethnic origin.

- The Act (No. 424 of 2006) on Protection against Dismissal due to Organisational Matters of 8 May 2006, protects employees against dismissal due to membership or non membership of a specific trade union and other organisation.

-National service (whether civil or military): Sec. 6 ESEA (applicable only to white-collar employees): "The fact that a salaried employee is called up for national service (whether civil or military) shall not entitle the employer to dismiss the employee (...)".

Workers enjoying special protection: pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave, workers with family responsibilities

Remarks

- See art . 7 ESEA and the Consolidation Act on Equal treatment of Men and Women as regards Access to Employment, 28 June 2006 that lays down special rules of the burden of proof in cases were an employee is dismissed during pregnancy, adoption or maternity.

Notification to the worker to be dismissed: written

Remarks

Sec. 2 (7) ESEA.

Notice period:

Remarks

Sec. 2 (2) ESEA. The notice period shall be:
* 1 month during the first 6 months' employment;
* 3 months after 6 months' employment
* increased by one month for every three years of service, subject to a maximum of 6 months.

tenure ≥ 6 months:

  • white-collar workers: 3 months.

tenure ≥ 9 months:

  • white-collar workers: 3 months.

tenure ≥ 2 years:

  • white-collar workers: 3 months.

tenure ≥ 4 years:

  • white-collar workers: 3 months.

tenure ≥ 5 years:

  • white-collar workers: 4 months.

tenure ≥ 10 years:

  • white-collar workers: 6 months.

tenure ≥ 20 years:

  • white-collar workers: 6 months.

Pay in lieu of notice: No

Notification to the public administration: No

Notification to workers' representatives: No

Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

Approval by workers' representatives: No

Notes / Remarks

Notes

With regards to blue-collar workers, the notice period is not provided in the law but in individual or collective agreements.

Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned): Over a period of 30 days, at least:
1) 10 employees in undertakings with 21 to 99 employees;
2) 10% out of 100 to 299 employees;
3) 30 employees in undertakings with at least 300 employees.

Remarks

Sec. 1 CDA

Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): Yes

Remarks

Sec. 5 - 6 CDA

Notification to the public administration: Yes

Remarks

Sec. 7 CDA

Notification to workers' representatives: Yes

Remarks

Sec. 5 - 6 CDA

Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

Approval by workers' representatives: No

Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): No

Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): Yes

Remarks

Sec. 5 (2) CDA

Priority rules for re-employment: No

Severance pay:

Remarks

* White-Collar workers:
Sec. 2a ESEA:
In case of dismissal of a salaried employee having worked continuously in the same enterprise for 12, 15, 18 years, the employer shall pays a sum corresponding to, respectively, 1, 2 or 3 months' salary unless the employee is entitled to old-age pension.

* Blue-collar workers: no statutory severance pay. Severance pay is regulated by collective agreements.

tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 months

tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 months

tenure ≥ 1 year: 0 months

tenure ≥ 4 years: 0 months

tenure ≥ 5 years: 0 months

tenure ≥ 10 years: 0 months

tenure ≥ 20 years: 3 months

Redundancy payment:

Remarks

* White-collar workers:
Economic dismissals are covered by severance pay. There is no specific statutory redundancy payment for collective dismissal.
Sec. 2a ESEA: In case of dismissal of a salaried employee having worked continuously in the same enterprise for 12, 15, 18 years, the employer shall pays a sum corresponding to, respectively, 1, 2 or 3 months' salary unless the employee is entitled to old-age pension.

* Blue-collar workers: no statutory redundancy payment.

tenure ≥ 6 months: 0 months

tenure ≥ 9 months: 0 months

tenure ≥ 1 year: 0 months

tenure ≥ 2 years: 0 months

tenure ≥ 4 years: 0 months

tenure ≥ 5 years: 0 months

tenure ≥ 10 years: 0 months

tenure ≥ 20 years: 3 months

Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

Remarks

Sec. 2b (1), (2) ESEA

Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method): For employees having worked for at least 12 months, compensation shall not exceed the salary of the employee corresponding to half of the period of notice; it may amount up to 3 months' salary for employees over 30 years of age, 4 months' salary for employees with at least 10 years of service; 6 months' salary for employees with at least 15 years of service.

Remarks

Sec. 2b (1), (2) ESEA

Reinstatement available: Yes

Remarks

No provision on reinstatement in the ESEA.
However the General Agreement, 1973 concluded by the Danish Employers' Confederation and the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions provides for reinstatement.

See also: OECD Table 2008 Denmark: "reinstatement orders are possible but rare"

Preliminary mandatory conciliation: Yes

Remarks

Case management in the Danish Labour Court
by Managing Judge Jørn Andersen, Head of Secretariate, 19.9.04, available at:
http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/ifpdial/downloads/lc_05/denmark.pdf

Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): ordinary courts

Remarks

The Labour Courts have jurisdiction over cases involving workers covered by a collective agreement whereas ordinary Courts have jurisdiction over dismissal disputes involving those not covered by a collective agreement.

In addition, special dismissal bodies have been set up by social partners for unfair dismissal cases for parties to collective agreements. Their decision can be appealed to ordinary courts.
See Danielle Venn (2009), "Legislation, collective bargaining and enforcement: Updating the OECD employment protection indicators", p. 30. Available at: www.oecd.org/els/workingpapers

Existing arbitration: Yes

Remarks

Regulated by Arbitration Act No. 553 of 24 June 2005, as last amended in 2008.