Danish employment contracts

Last updated 3/5/2024
Get a quick overview of what should be included in a Danish employment contract and tips on salary negotiations. Sometimes employment contracts in Denmark are drawn-up between the employer and the employee, without the involvement of a trade union.

If you are a civil servant, your employment contract is almost always regulated by trade union agreements. However, this is not as usual in the private sector. Even if your employer is not bound by a collective bargaining agreement, there are always a few general laws, which the employer must adhere to; the Work environment act, the Holidays act, the Equality act and the Sick pay act. 


What should always be included in a Danish employment contract

  • The employer's and employee's name and address
  • The address of the workplace
  • Your job title or a description of your work tasks
  • The date employment commences and possibly the end date for employment on a project basis 
  • The employee's rights - for example whether they are paid during holidays
  • Rules for notice of termination
  • Salary, additional salary, when pension is paid
  • Working hours (daily or weekly) as well as any agreement for overtime work
  • Indication of the current collective agreement or other agreements
  • Other important factors that can affect the employment relationship


Trade union agreements

In Denmark contract negotiations are decentralised, which means that they are undertaken without the involvement of the government and parliament. Negotiations are solely between the social partners in individual sectors. As a starting point, the employer should also comply with the rules of the agreement regarding any non-organised employees.

Most contracts are for a period of between one and four years. After that there are new contract negotiations. 


The Danish Salaried Employees Act (Funktionærloven)

Many people working in Denmark are employed on the basis of the Danish Salaried Employees Act (funktionærloven). Funktionærloven, like collective bargaining agreements, includes laws concerning the employment relationship with regard to, among other things, termination, sickness, parental leave, and competition and customer clauses.

Professionals who are employed under funktionærloven  include people who work in commerce and offices, qualified technical professionals, employees who perform clinical work or employees in managerial positions. Check with your employer or trade union if you are an employed under the funktionærloven.


Find out more at The City of Copehagen's website


Negotiating your salary in Denmark

You salary can be determined in various ways: individually, between you and your employer, partly collectively through agreements with your trade union.

You can also negotiate non-monetary benefits. Many employers can offer different types of benefits as a complement to your salary. Check with your employer, and perhaps your trade union, to find out what the possibilities are at your workplace in addition to your monthly salary.


Find out more at The City of Copehagen's website


37 hour working week - full-time in Denmark

Workplace agreements set the standards for wages, working hours and other conditions of employment. Working time in Denmark is 37 hours/week for full-time employment as a rule. In case of shift work and fixed night work, working times can be somewhat shorter. Working time can be up to a maximum of 48 hours per week including overtime.


Working in both Denmark and Sweden

You should be aware that your Danish employment contract can include a clause, which relates to work in two countries. This means that your Danish employer does not allow you to work part-time in Sweden at the same time as you are employed in Denmark. The Danish employer may be subject to Swedish social insurance legislation if you also are working in Sweden, and would then have to pay Swedish employer contributions on your salary - a large expense which the employer does not necessarily want to. If you have any further questions about working in two countries, please contact the Øresunddirekt information centre. Contact information is found below. 


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