To many foreigners it comes as a surprise that Denmark has no legislation that dictates minimum wage or working hours. Moreover, firing employees is relatively easy and cheap for businesses.
Even though pay and working conditions are not regulated by law, this does not imply that employers can do what they want. Instead, this is where collective agreements between trade unions and employers' organisations come into play. In the financial area the collective agreement is negotiated between Finansforbundet and the Danish Employers' Association for the Financial Sector (FA).
In short, the Danish model builds on three pillars:
- Collective agreements between trade unions and employers' organisations
- Tripartite cooperation
- High degree of organisation
Flexibility and social security
By European standards, the agreements on the Danish labour market are highly flexible, for instance with regard to hiring and firing of employees. This also means that mobility is high within the Danish labour market.
In return for their high level of flexibility, Danish employees are guaranteed a relatively comprehensive social security in times of unemployment, illness or occupational injury. Social security is guaranteed by law to all employees. The combination of high flexibility and comprehensive social security is why the Danish labour market is sometimes referred to as based on a "flexicurity model".
The flexibility and security also apply to foreign labour. The law ensures that foreign employees are given the same rights as Danes on the labour market when the relevant permits and contracts are present.
If you want to know more
You can find more information about the Danish labour market and the flexicurity model from the Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment (STAR) and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment (STAR)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
You can also learn more about the Danish working culture and get some tips to deal with your Danish boss and colleagues here:
Danish working culture