The long-awaited bill for a new law on employment certificates has been submitted to the Danish Parliament on 29 March 2023

On March 29, 2023, a long-awaited bill was presented to the Danish Parliament that aims to implement the Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions, which the EU adopted on June 13, 2019. The implementation of the directive was supposed to take place no later than August 2022, but it has been postponed several times in Denmark. If the bill is passed, it will entail, among other things, that a larger group of employees will receive an employment certificate with far more information than before.

The Ministry of Employment has proposed that the bill should be a new law that will replace the current Employment Certificate Act from 2010. The purpose is to provide employees with a better overview of what applies to their employment relationship and a higher degree of predictability, especially if they are employed on a fixed-term or part time basis.

There will be fundamental changes to the employer’s duty to provide information and the circle of employees covered by the rules, just as the bill introduces several minimum requirements regarding terms of employment.

The most significant changes introduced by the bill are:

1) A larger group of employees will be covered by the new Act
According to the current rules of the Employment Certificate Act, an employee is entitled to information about the working conditions from an employer (i.e. an employment contract) whose employment relationship has a duration of more than 1 month and whose average weekly working time exceeds 8 hours.

The bill proposes that all employees with an employment relationship where the predetermined or actual working time amounts to more than an average of 3 hours per week in a reference period of 4 consecutive weeks are covered by the rules of the Act. The proposed limit of 3 hours concerns both the predetermined working time and the actual time worked.

Furthermore, it is proposed that the Act should also apply to employees with an employment relationship where a guaranteed amount of paid work has not been fixed in advance before the start of employment. Such employees will often be in an on-call worker employment relationship. If employees are obliged under the employment contract to appear when on-call, such employment has often been referred to as “0-hour contracts”, they are entitled to be informed of the terms of their employment regardless of the actual number of working hours.

2) The bill strengthens the employer’s obligation to provide information
The proposed legislation continues the existing provision in the Employment Contracts Act, which states that the employer must provide the employee with information on all essential terms of the employment relationship. However, the proposal includes additions, in the form of an expansion with 5 additional points, which, among other things, concern temporary employees, employees with unpredictable work patterns, the duration and terms of any probationary period, the duration of paid absence, possible overtime arrangements and their remuneration, the right to training and social security schemes.

In addition, the employer must provide written notice to the employee of any changes to the agreed employment conditions as soon as possible and no later than the date on which the changes take effect.
Moreover, the bill also contains provisions on the employer’s duty to provide information to posted employees.

3) Most of the information regarding the employes terms and conditions must be provided within seven days
In the current Employment Certificate Act, the employer must provide the employee with information about all significant terms and conditions of the employment relationship, no later than one month after the employee’s commencement of employment. The bill proposes a significantly shorter deadline of seven calendar days after the start of employment for most of the required information regarding terms and conditions, while a deadline of one month still applies to some of the information.

However, it is recommended that employers provide all information together, thus ensuring compliance with the now tightened deadline of seven days.

4) New minimum requirements regarding employment conditions.
The bill also proposes several minimum requirements regarding specific employment conditions. This includes, among other things, that:

  • the introduction of a limit on any trial period, so that it may not exceed six months. For fixed-term employment, the trial period may not exceed one quarter of the employment period.
  • An employer may not prevent employees from taking concurrent employment in the form of secondary employment, provided that the employee can still work in accordance with the employer’s established schedule, and if the secondary employment is not incompatible with the existing employment relationship.
  • An employer can only require an employee – who has a predictable work pattern – to work if the work takes place within a predetermined reference time and predetermined reference days.

Entry into force
If the bill is passed, it is expected to come into force on July 1, 2023.

An employee who is already employed before July 1, 2023, may request to have their contract revised and adjusted in accordance with the new requirements of the law. The employer has eight weeks to comply with the request. Hence, Magnusson Law recommends employers to be aware of this upcoming possible change and that employers should ensure that their current templates for use to new and current employees are updated in this regard.

Would you like to know more?
If you have any questions about how you as an employer should handle the new rules, feel free to contact Tom Stener Froberg or Sam Jalaei.