Country Information

Denmark is a northern European country which spreads across more than 400 islands, about 70 of which are inhabited, and a small peninsula on the European mainland, directly north of Germany. It is to the west of Sweden and separated from Norway, to the north, by the Skagerrak strait. Despite its small size and population of only 5.8 million, Denmark is well known for its high degree of political and economic freedom, high quality of life, and robust economy. It has been a member of the EU since 1973, although it continues to use the Danish krone as its currency, rather than the euro. Denmark produces enough food to feed 17 million people and is a major exporter of meat, fish, dairy, and other agricultural products. It also has highly developed chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries and is a world leader in renewable energy. Trade and transport are also important parts of the Danish economy; Denmark is the fifth largest shipping operator in the world.

Employment Contracts

The employment contract must contain both parties’ addresses, salary, workplace location, employee benefits, work hours, start date, notice period and end date, if a temporary contract. A full-time employment contract must have the start date and a work week of 37 hours, while a part-time contract must have fewer hours. A temporary employment contract must be for a specific project, and the contract is over once the work is complete. Both of these contracts must be written, and all contracts must be at least a month long. Employees must be 18 years old to have an employment contract, while students who are working have the same rights as full-time employees. Employers require the employee’s permission to request a criminal record background check. They can also ask for a health certificate for work conducted in a hazardous environment. Any background check must follow data privacy laws.

Working Hours

The standard workweek is 37 hours per week, 5 days a week and is typically dictated by collective bargaining agreements. Employees are required to be given at least one full day of rest throughout the week; this day is typically Sunday. The average working week is capped at 48 hours over a four-month period. Overtime pay is set by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, which ranges between 150% and 200%. The agreement often allows employees to select a cash payment or extra time off.

Sick Leave

There is no limit on sick leave, but the employee must have a medical certificate. The employer must inform the state of the employee’s absence within five weeks of the illness. Social security pays 90% of the employee’s salary, up to DKK 4,355, after 30 days of illness for 22 weeks.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive four weeks of maternity leave before the birth and then 14 weeks after the birth at 50% of their salary. Male employees receive two weeks of parental leave, paid at 50% of their salary, and it must be taken within 14 weeks of the birth. Employees also share 32 weeks of parental leave.


Denmark has a minimum wage. Bonuses are common.

Vacation Leave

Employees receive 25 days of paid annual leave, which can be used as it is accrued.

Public Holidays
  • New Year’s Day
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Easter Monday
  • General Prayer Day
  • Ascension Day
  • Pentecost
  • Whit Monday
  • Constitution Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Second Day of Christmas
Health Insurance Benefits

Denmark provides universal healthcare.

Employment / Termination / Severance

There is no mandatory probation period. The notice period varies depending on length of service. Severance pay also depends on years of service. When terminating an employee, the employer must provide written notice. Employees can be terminated when a contract is finished. Employees cannot be dismissed if they are a member of a union. To dismiss an employee, an employer must have substantial just-cause such as misconduct, poor performance or economic reasons.

Local Laws & Regulations

We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

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Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Denmark, can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.
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