When going abroad to work, it is always good to be familiar with the laws of that country and your rights and obligations as a worker. In Denmark, as in many countries, there are many rules that newcomers do not even know about. The situation is even more complicated if there is a lack of good understanding of Danish or English, which will make it quite difficult to figure out how to solve the problem more quickly.
Such problems are far less common among those who found work in Denmark through employment agencies as they provide the best possible information on the most important aspects of a stay in this foreign country. Unfortunately, in solving some problems agencies can also be powerless, so before leaving, it is useful to take a look at the legal nuances in Denmark.
- Residence and work permit in Denmark. Before you go to work in this country, it is very important to find out if you need a permit. Citizens of the European Union do not need any special permits.
- Employment contract. There is no minimum wage in this country as it is considered to be an agreement between two parties: the worker and the employer. However, most companies in Denmark belong to employers’ associations and trade unions with which they have concluded collective agreements that determine working conditions and wages in a particular industry. In this case, the employer must pay the minimum wage under the collective agreement. In any case, whether the employer has a collective agreement or not, they must always provide you with a written employment contract stating:
- Your and employer’s names, surnames, company name, addresses;
- Work address. If the place of work is constantly changing (for example, when working in the construction sector and the objects are constantly changing), the contract must specify that the worker will work in different places;
- The date from which the worker is employed;
- Job title, specifics of work;
- The contract must also specify the period for which the worker is employed in the company, unless it is a long-term contract;
- Salary, bonuses, overtime rate (if any), and all other related information, including the date of salary payment;
- Working hours;
- Conditions related to termination of the contract and notice period;
- Information about holidays, pension accumulation, etc.;
- Information on meals, and accommodation, if these things are provided.
- There are progressive taxes in Denmark – the more a person earns the more taxes they pay. All employees, without exception, have a tax-free minimum that changes slightly each year, but is about 40,000 DKK per year. In Denmark, most employment-related taxes are paid by the employee himself, unlike in some other European countries where the employer has such an obligation. It is mandatory to pay and declare taxes in Denmark, which is why it is very important to get a social security number (CPR) and a so-called tax card (this is a form with taxes assigned by the SKAT tax office) when you start working. To obtain CPR and tax rates, you must complete a certain form and provide the required information in good faith. The amount of taxes to be paid will be determined by the tax office SKAT, which will assess your income, place of residence, suitable benefits and other aspects provided in the completed form. At the end of the employment period and upon return to the home country, or at the end of the year, an annual tax report must be completed. If you worked for the same amount of time as you planned, received the same pay as you planned and reported on your form, there should be no overpayment of tax or debt. But if something changed over the work period from what you planned and specified in your form to receive tax rates, you could potentially have a tax overpayment or a debt. These are quite complicated matters so it’s worth asking for help on how to fill out a form for obtaining a social security number and tax rates, and how to fill out an annual tax report. Such assistance is provided by consulting companies. When working through temporary employment agencies they usually take care of all of these things or provide information on how to do it for you completely free of charge.
- Traveling abroad is often done by car, which is why it is very important to know the laws related to driving, which apply to those who come to Denmark from other countries. If you are coming to Denmark from European countries, you can use your current driving license. For those arriving from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), driving licenses must be exchanged within 90 days. If you are in Denmark for more than 185 days and drive a car registered in your home country, you must obtain a permit from the Tax Authority SKAT. You must register your car in Denmark within 30 days of registering in an address in Denmark. The days of your stay in Denmark are calculated even if you stayed without a car in Denmark on previous occasions. Issuing a permit costs DKK 400. Keep your permit in your car at all times. To obtain a permit, you must fill in an application, attach a copy of the employment contract, a copy of the car registration documents, a paid permit receipt or other statement of the payment made and send it to the address indicated in the form. SKAT will analyze your application and issue a permit within ~ 3 months. Until you receive the permit, be sure to bring a copy of the completed form in the car so that you can inform the police officer that you have submitted the form and are awaiting the permit. For various reasons, the permit may not be issued. Please note that if you do not have a permit to drive a car in Denmark, if the police stops you, you will receive a very large fine and your car may be confiscated.
These are the main aspects you need to know when going to Denmark. When traveling abroad to work, it is important to understand where you are going; so it is necessary to get acquainted with the most important rules, the country’s system and the most relevant laws. This will make it easier to avoid potential problems and make your life and work abroad smoother.