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Source: EURES The European Job Mobility Portal. For up-to-date information visit the Living and Working Conditions section about Denmark on the EURES Portal.

How you find a job

The Danish job centres

If you are in Denmark and looking for work, you can, without registering and free of charge, receive assistance and an overview of local job opportunities at the local job centre.

There are 94 job centres nationwide. Thus, there is a job centre in nearly all of the country’s 98 municipalities. However, certain municipalities cooperate with other municipalities and therefore do not have their own job centre.

The job centres provide assistance that facilitates your personal job search, which means that they can give you advice and guidance, as well as help you use the facilities they provide for your job search.

The website jobnet.dk (in Danish only) is the Danish job centres’ online service for jobseekers and employers throughout the country. Here you can register your CV, assign a job agent and look for open positions in the extensive job database.

Find your local job centre here or find more information on looking for a job in Denmark at www.workindenmark.dk 


Workindenmark is a public employment service for Danish companies and international candidates, comprised of three service centres and the portal www.workindenmark.dk. Workindenmark is a supplement to the recruiting efforts already taking place at the country’s job centres.

The Workindenmark centres in Copenhagen, Odense and Aarhus offer goal-oriented recruitment services for industries and companies in which there is a need for highly qualified candidates.

Workindenmark offers recruitment services to job seekers and all types of companies that turn to the centres with a request to work in Denmark or to recruit international candidates.

The portal www.workindenmark.dk offers the following services:

  1. A job bank, which you can use to search through a large number of English-language job vacancies in Denmark, as well as establish a job agent who notifies you in case of relevant job opportunities.
  2. A CV bank, where, as an international job seeker, you can register your profile and make yourself visible to Danish employers.
  3. Information in English regarding working conditions, taxes, salary, medical coverage, registration documents, residence and work permits, life in Denmark, etc.

How to search for a job

Searching for a job in Denmark is not significantly different than searching for a job in other countries. Essentially, there are four ways of searching for a job in Denmark:

  1. Applying for a job listed in an actual job advertisement
  2. Applying spontaneously to a company that you are interesting in working for
  3. Entering your CV into a database, either at a job portal like workindenmark.dk, or at a private recruitment company
  4. Searching for a job within your network

About searching for jobs and interviews:

A job application should not take up more than one, clearly legible A4-sized page.
You should always include a CV, describing your previous work experience, educational background, courses, expertise and hobbies.

It is also recommended that you include any relevant educational or training certificates and recommendations from previous employers.

The job application serves as something of an appetizer. It should describe what your motivation is for applying for the job, and give an impression of why your previous experience, professional qualifications and social skills make you the best candidate for the job.

Normally, you will receive a confirmation from the company, stating that they have received your application. However, it is only after the application period that you can expect a definitive response, after which you may be called in for an interview.

In many professional fields, they use different types of tests in the recruiting process, e.g. personality tests. Often there will be more than one interview.

At workindenmark.dk there is an e-learning course on looking for a job in Denmark: Make it Work in Denmark. The course consists of four modules:

  • 'Job search in Denmark': On finding vacancies and compiling CVs and applications that will meet the needs of Danish companies.
  • 'Using LinkedIn in your job search and professional network': About profile optimisation, companies’ use of LinkedIn for recruitment and use of networks and LinkedIn in job hunting in Denmark.
  • 'Contact companies and succeed in your job interviews': About training in contacting companies and going to job interviews.
  • 'An introduction to Danish workplace culture': About unwritten rules, for example, hierarchies and equality, meeting culture, the value of punctuality, Danish irony and humour, social conventions and tone.

Furthermore, you are always welcome to contact the Workindenmark centres for advice and guidance.

How you find a place to live

The vast majority of employees choose to rent housing, in particular when staying in Denmark for a shorter period of time. Depending on your finances and the length of your stay, you can also choose to own your housing, or a share of it.

In the major cities in particular it can be time-consuming finding suitable housing and it is therefore recommended that you start well before you expect to use. You should also be aware that the prices in and around the major cities (Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus and Aalborg) can be considerably higher than in the rest of the country.

Searching for housing:

The internet is by far the most useful method for searching for housing in Denmark. It also provides the advantage of allowing you to begin your search for housing before you arrive in Denmark.

There are numerous free as well as fee-based websites and portals that mediate housing. Often the websites are structured so that you can search for housing based on various criteria, for example rental period, location, price and size. At certain websites it is also possible to create a search profile, so that you can receive automatic updates by email when a new housing fulfilling your criteria is found.

At the free websites in particular, there is often high demand for the housing offered. For that reason, it recommended that you contact the housing provider as soon as you are given an interesting offer.

Private rental associations often provide rental housing to international workers for shorter or longer periods. The housing that the rental associations can offer is owned by Danes who do not have a need for their housing for a period of time, for example when being posted abroad.

If you wish to buy housing, you can turn to a real estate agent. Real estate agents are responsible for selling housing and can provide you with information as well as show you housing.

In many cases, your employer may also be of help. Many larger workplaces also have agreements with relocation companies, which help international workers find both medium-term and permanent housing.

Recognition of qualifications and degree certificates

The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers

The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.

Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU

As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.

For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.

Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe

The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:
- An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
- The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.

Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU

Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.

In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.

  • The European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.

  • The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs)

A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.

  • The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.

  • Europass

Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents

  • a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  • a language passport,
  • certificate supplements,
  • diploma supplements, and
  • a Europass-Mobility document.

The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.

Forms of employment

In Denmark, you must have turned 18 to enter into an employment contract that is legally binding. Specific regulations apply with regard to working hours, daily breaks, weekly days off, tasks allowed to be performed, etc., in cases where a person under 18 is to be employed. If people between the age of 13 and 15 are to be employed, then the employer is notify the minor’s parents or guardians of the employment, including the length of the working hours, and whether there are any accident and health hazards that may be tied to the work procedures, including whether the correct safety- and health-related measures have been taken to counteract these risks.

In the case of employment lasting more than 1 month with weekly working hours of more than 8 hours, the employer must provide written proof of employment no later than 1 month after the employment commences. Even if your employment does not meet the requirements for obtaining an employment contract, it is a good idea to ask the employer to draw up a brief written employment agreement to avoid any doubts at a later stage.

The most common form of employment is as a full-time employee, which in most cases corresponds to a work week of 37 hours and 5 weeks of annual leave. You can also be employed on a part-time basis, which means that you have a shorter maximum of weekly working hours than a full-time employee in a similar position.

There are also different types of temporary employment forms in Denmark, including among others: temporary work and project work. The difference from ordinary employment is simply that you are employed for a limited period, which is specified in advance and included in your contract.

A portion of independent workers freelance or work on a consulting basis, in which the employer buys the person’s service from task to task. In such cases, the employer assumes no obligations in relation to leave, sick days, maternity leave or similar. Often, the freelancer must provide work equipment and offices themselves.

It is normal for students in both training and youth education to have jobs on the side along with their studies. As a student you have the same rights as a full-time employee, but have fewer scheduled hours (circa 10–20 hours a week) and receive a wage on an hourly basis. As a part of the education, it is also possible to have a student position or an intern position in a company.

It is also possible to work as a person posted by a foreign company to Denmark. As a person posted to Denmark by a foreign company, you are covered by a number of rights and obligations regulated by The Act on the Posting of Workers (Udstationeringsloven). Furthermore, as a posted person you are to ensure that you have a legal basis for your stay in Denmark. Read more about foreign posting here.

In Denmark, employment conditions can either be agreed upon or negotiated between the employee and the employer, or negotiated through a collective agreement between unions and employer associations. Collective agreements entail provisions regarding, for example, salary, working hours, education/training, retirement, and rules for salary in case of illness or contract termination. It is not customary to legislate these.

However, the legislation does include minimum requirements for certain aspects. This is, for example, seen in the Holiday Act (ferieloven), the Proof of Employment Act (ansættelsesbevisloven), the Act on Equal Treatment (ligebehandlingsloven), the Act on Earnings in Case of Sickness or Maternity (lov om dagpenge ved sygdom eller fødsel), etc.

Seasonal work in sectors and statistics

Seasonal workers are primarily hired In Agriculture. Approximately 20 pct. Of the labour in this sector are workers from abroad. In the beginning of the Covid 19 crisis the agricultural sector were concerned, when borders around in Europe closed down. Current reports have not yet included big challenges in this matter.

Jobindsats.dk, the central authority with Danish Labour Market statistics provides no specific statistics on Seasonal work.

Measures put in place for frontier and seasonal workers

All persons with a “worthy purpose” can enter Denmark. For the moment this include all work-related travels irrespective of profession. All persons need to provide adequate documentation. For workers this can be a work contract or – for posted workers – a PD A1.

For further information https://um.dk/en/travel-and-residence/coronavirus-covid-19/ 

Special schemes and/or conditions for seasonal workers

Employers in Denmark are encouraged to advise foreign workers of the general recommendations on avoiding Covid-19 before they arrive at the company and upon arrival go through the company's Covid measures. General guidelines have been translated to relevant languages. No special working conditions for EU Seasonal Workers in Denmark have been introduced.

Job search in Denmark

The three Workindenmark Centres – EURES members and part of the Danish Ministry of Employment - have a website (workindenmark.dk). The website showcases current English-texted job vacancies in Denmark, including seasonal work. Workindenmark.dk also has a CV database currently used by 3,500 companies seeking candidates for vacant positions in their company and offers a free-of-charge e-learning course and video tutorials on searching for a job in Denmark, as well as a wealth of information on moving to, living in, and of course, working in Denmark. This includes information on all necessary steps and practical matters involved toward being allowed to live and work in Denmark as a foreign national. Workindenmark also has a Facebook and LinkedIn page for jobseekers in English.

Employment contracts

It is a requirement by law that you, as an employee in Denmark, are to receive an employment contract, provided that you work more than 8 hours a week, and the employment lasts longer than a month. This applies regardless whether your working conditions are encompassed by an agreement or not.

Under an employment contract, the employer is obligated to inform the employee about the conditions of the employment relationship. This may include, among other things, information about the work area, the form of employment, working hours agreed to and the concrete working location.

The contract may, in certain cases, also include non-compete and client obligations.

Provided that the obligations are regulated by an agreement, the employment contract will refer to the agreement.

At base, international employees working Denmark are also covered by the regulations and agreements applicable on the Danish job market.

The employment contract should, at a minimum, include a number of basic details. You can see exactly which details here.

Notice period:

The length of the employee’s and the employer’s notice periods or the rules about them must also be stated in the employment contract. In many cases, however, they follow the conditions that are either stipulated by an agreement or the Act on Salaried Employees (funktionærloven).

An employer may generally make changes to your employment contract by virtue of the rights of management, to the extent the employment conditions do not stipulate against essential changes. If essential changes become relevant, e.g. with respect to work tasks and area of responsibility, salary, working hours and location, the employer is to provide you with notice equal to your notice period. In that way you have the opportunity to either accept the revised conditions or decline them and terminate your employment.

Working hours

As a general rule, the working hours in Denmark are laid down in an agreement, and for the vast majority of areas, normal working hours are agreed to 37 hours per week. Working hours are primarily between Monday to Friday in the time frame between 6:00 am to 6:00 pm. Breakfast break is normally 30 minutes long. At certain workplaces, the breakfast break is paid as part of general working hours, while at others it is paid by the employees themselves.

For employees over the age of 18, the EU Working Time Directive also provides the following framework for working hours:

  • A daily rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours.
  • A break during a work day exceeding 6 hours. The length of the break depends on the purpose of the break, e.g. whether it is a break intended for a meal.
  • One 24-hour period off per week, which must follow directly a daily rest period. No more than six 24-hour periods between two 24-hour periods off are allowed.
  • Weekly working hours of maximum 48 hours on average, incl. overtime.
  • An employee on night shift must not work more than 8 hours on average per 24-hour period.

In some cases, these rules may be derogated from in collective agreements. For example, other rules govern daily rest periods for e.g. work on farms and shift work.

Overtime is normal in certain jobs, and can either result in compensatory leave as a supplement to the 5-week annual leave, or it can be paid out as part of one’s salary. It is important that the contracts contain clear rules pertaining to whether the over-time work is to be compensated for, or paid out as salary, and how over time is to be settled.

For minors between the ages of 13 and 14, working hours may not exceed 2 hours on those days the minor attends school and 7 hours on school-free days. The weekly working hours may not exceed 12 hours a week in weeks with school days and 35 hours a week in school-free weeks.

15 to 17 year-olds who are subject to attending compulsory education may work 8 hours a day on days that are not school days. The weekly working hours may not exceed 12 hours a week in weeks with school days and 40 hours a week in school-free weeks.

The working hours for 15 to 17 year-olds who are no longer subject to attending compulsory education may not exceed the customary working hours for adults working in the same sector. Working hours may not exceed 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week.

Leave of absence and holidays (annual leave, parental leave, etc.)

The official public holidays in Denmark are those recognised by the Church of Denmark. These are New Year’s Day (1 January), Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Great Day of Prayers (fourth Friday after Easter), Ascension Day (fortieth day after Easter), Pentecost (fiftieth day after Easter), Whit Monday (day after Pentecost), Christmas Day (25 December) and Second Day of Christmastide (26 December).

Most agreements and employment contracts give the employee the right to time off work on these days, unless the normal work procedure or a specific type of work does not allow this.

Aside from these, there are a few unofficial holidays in Denmark, on which many people are off work. These are, among others, Constitution Day (5 June), Christmas Eve (24 December) and New Year’s Day (31 December). Your workplace and any applicable labour agreements decide whether you are off on these days.


As an employee you have the right to 5 weeks of paid holiday leave from your employer, if you have worked an entire calendar year leading up to the holiday year (1 May to 30 April). Earned holiday leave is paid out either in the form of salary during the holiday and a holiday supplement or as a holiday allowance.

If you have not earned the right to 5 week’s paid holiday, you still retain the right to 5 weeks’ holiday, however without pay from the employer.

The new scheme for paid leave entered into force on 1 September 2020. Under the new scheme, employees are to earn and take their leave at the same time over a 12-month period (leave year). This means, for example, that leave which is earned in February can already be taken in March of the same year. However, an employee has the opportunity to take leave in a further 4 months so that there are 16 months within which to take leave (the leave period).

Leave is earned continuously from 1 September to 31 August of the following year (12 months), and 2.08 day's paid leave is earned for each month of employment. An individual employee earns 5 weeks’ paid leave a year. An employee must have earned leave before it can be taken, unless agreed otherwise with the employer.

Leave may be taken in the period from 1 September to 31 December of the following year (16 months). As today, an employee has the right to take 3 weeks’ continuous leave (principal leave) in the period from 1 May – 30 September. All employees are entitled to take 5 weeks’ leave in the leave year.

Maternity leave and parental leave

All pregnant women have the right to 4 weeks of leave for delivery and thereafter 14 weeks of maternity leave. Fathers have the right to 2 weeks of paternity leave, which they are to take out in the course of the first 14 weeks after delivery of the child. Over a total period of 20 weeks, parents can receive a daily maternity allowance, if they meet the basic requirements.

After the first 14 weeks of maternity leave, each of the parents has the right to parental leave of up to 32 weeks. Together they have the right to a daily allowance for 32 weeks. Fathers may, if he chooses, begin his leave before the first 14 weeks after delivery of the child.

Each parent is entitled to extend their parental leave by 8 weeks. However, parents who are employed may also choose to extend their leave by up to 14 weeks. It is not possible to extend the leave by any number other than eight or 14 weeks.

If the leave is extended, you can apply on borger.dk (only in Danish), and the daily allowance will be decreased during the period of leave, as maximum a sum corresponding to 32 weeks of daily allowances may be paid out.

It is possible to resume working and postpone up to 32 weeks of parental leave and defer the leave up until the child has turned nine. You cannot defer the leave if you have chosen to extend it.

For adoptive parents, the same rights apply in general as for biological parents.

There are differing regulations on leave for those parents who are working, who are unemployed, who are self-employed or who are studying/have graduated.

You can contact Udbetaling Danmark if you are uncertain or have questions about the maternity regulations.


Denmark does not have a legally stipulated minimum wage.

Pay and employment conditions are, as a rule, regulated by collective agreements or are negotiated individually between employers and employees.

The individual agreement can stipulate a minimum wage for the sector, and the unions publish annual wage statistics, which can be used as a starting point for salary negotiations.

The most common forms of payment systems in Denmark are based on monthly wages, day wages, hourly wages and piecework wages.

However, for sales workers, there may be provisional wages, and in certain sectors, specific schemes have been established which provide the opportunity to receive a basic wage via a performance-based wage or a bonus.

It is often possible to negotiate various kinds of wage supplements, for example length-of-service supplements or qualification supplements.

The bulk of the collective agreements also encompasses supplementary pension schemes.

Additionally, the agreement will typically regulate overtime wages for any overtime and work on Sundays, as well as evening and night additions for the relevant sector.

Hourly wages, day wages and piecework wages are as a rule paid out one or twice a month and monthly wages are naturally paid out monthly, retrospectively. Wages are generally paid out to an employee’s NemKonto/Easy Account, unless otherwise agreed.

The employer pays the wage after having deducted income tax and employment contributions; the employer also pays holiday contributions and pays for any portion of the wage that is to go to the employee’s pension savings.

It is required by law for your employer to generate a payslip for you. The payslip is your receipt confirming that the company has deducted tax, labour market contribution, etc. The payslip should contain, for example:

  • The employer's name, address and CVR number.
  • The employee's name, address and CPR number, and, where applicable, an employee number
  • The date for preparing the salary statement
  • Pay period
  • Gross pay (pay before tax)
  • Rate of employee´s ATP contribution
  • Withholding tax retained
  • Labour market contribution retained
  • Disbursement to the employee
  • Which tax card you used (primary tax card, secondary tax card or tax exemption card) as well as the deduction and deduction percentage indicated on the employee's tax card. The date on which the money is paid to the employee
  • The employee's A-income for the pay period and the total A-income for the year so far

The employee's withheld tax for the pay period and the total tax paid for the year so far

Most social and health insurance contributions are paid through tax.

When you work in Denmark, you are to pay tax from your wage to the state and municipality. Through taxes you pay into the Danish welfare system, which encompasses child care, schools/education, elderly care, access to medical care and hospitals among other things. Treatment from dentists, physiotherapists and chiropractors, etc. are in part covered by universal healthcare coverage.

In contrast with most other forms of social insurance, unemployment insurance is optional in Denmark. Thus, you are not automatically insured against unemployment, but you can sign up for insurance through unemployment funds (A-kasse), if you wish to. Read more about unemployment insurance at workindenmark.dk.

Termination of employment

An employer must always have a substantial reason for firing an employee; such as unfitness, cooperative problems or a situation in the company which requires dismissal (for instance work shortage, restructure or cost-savings).

If an employer is not satisfied with your effort as an employee, it is normal for the employer to provide one or several warnings, so that you have the opportunity to correct the situation that the employer is dissatisfied with.

The termination notice period applicable to both you and your employer must be stated in your employment contract. If your employment is covered by an agreement, then the termination notice for both parties typically follows the provisions therein.

If you are employed as per the Act on Salaried Employees (funktionærloven), then there are specific regulations that apply in conjunction with terminating your employment. Pursuant to the Act on Salaried Employees, notice of your dismissal is given 1 month before your resignation. For employers, other regulations apply depending on how long you have been employed.

The employer’s notice period is stipulated as per the Act on Salaried Employees according to the following scheme:

Duration of employment

Notice periods

0–6 months 

1 month

6 months – 3 years

3 months

3–6 years

4 months

6–9 years

5 months

9+ years

6 months

Agreed probationary period of max. 3 months

14 days

Agreed temporary assignment of max. 1 month

No notice 

Your notice period as a salaried employee is based on a 1-month period. But no notice is required when you are employed during the agreed probationary period of max. 3 months or have had an agreed temporary employment of max. 1 month.

It is not necessary for termination to occur in writing in order to be legally binding. However, it is recommended that you request written termination for the sake of having evidence. If you yourself terminate your position, this should also occur in writing.

If the company employing you goes bankrupt, you can receive assistance from LG (Lønmodtagernes Garantifond), which is administered by the state pension ATP (Arbejdsmarkedet Tillægs Pension).

LG ensures that you as an employee receive paid wages, holiday pay, pension, etc., in the case that your employer goes bankrupt, dies or ceases to exist.

Read more about what to do and what you can get coverage for here

An employer may not terminate your employment simply because you are the member of a specific union organisation – or not a member of an organisation – as Denmark ensures the right to freedom of association. Furthermore, an employer may not require membership in a specific union organisation.

You can receive a government age-based pension, which is called a state retirement pension (folkepension), from when you are between 65 and 68 years old, depending on when you were born. Specific rules apply for earning the right to a state retirement pension if you come from a country outside of the EU/EEA. You can read more about these rules here.

If due to illness or physical impairment you can no longer support yourself, you may have the right to an early retirement pension. However, you only have the right to an early retirement pension if your working capability has decreased and there are no other possibilities for you to return to the job market, through for instance treatment or retraining.

Healthcare system

Everyone who comes to Denmark and obtains a habitual residence is enrolled in the resident register and has the right to Danish health insurance.

After registering in the resident register in the municipality of residence, you will automatically be included in the general health insurance. You are sent a health card – a yellow card – and receive full access to the healthcare system to the extent that insurance covers. 

You must bring your health card when you see a doctor, specialist, dentist, dental hygienist, physiotherapist, foot therapist, chiropractor, psychologist, pharmacist, hospital and the municipality.

When registering in the resident register you are expected to choose a practising doctor. The practising doctor is your primary entry point into the healthcare system in Denmark, which provides prevention, treatment and subscription, and any appointments with specialist doctors or hospitals.

In case of sickness you should attempt to contact your practising doctor first, whenever possible.

If you become ill beyond the doctor’s opening hours, you can call the on-call medical service. Find non-emergency medical service here (in Danish only).

If you witness an accident in which one or more persons have been seriously injured, or if a person suddenly becomes very ill or is unconscious, call an ambulance on the phone by dialling 1-1-2.

An emergency admission is an alternative to the emergency unit in case of minor injuries that you cannot handle yourself.

Note that in several regions, you should call by phone to make an appointment with the emergency unit/emergency admission. You can read more about how to get in touch under Accident & Emergency Department at this website.

Treatment at your practising doctor, medical on-call service, emergency room and hospitals is covered by the public health insurance and you should therefore not pay anything yourself.

You pay for prescription medicine yourself, but health insurance can cover various percentages of the price, depending on your annual expenses for medicine.

Treatment at dentists, physiotherapists and chiropractors is partially covered by universal health coverage. That is, you have to pay for a portion of the treatment, and universal health care covers a subsidy, which varies depending on the type of treatment concerned.

It is possible to obtain private health insurance, e.g. Sygeforsikring Danmark, which provides further opportunities for subsidies for treatments at the dentist, physiotherapist and similar medical professionals. Read more about Sygeforsikringen Danmark here (only in Danish).

Income and taxation

People who work in Denmark have to pay taxes in Denmark from the very first day. This also applies to temporary employees such as seasonal workers and craftsmen. Depending on the person's personal and financial affiliation, there may be different types of tax liability.

Like the other Scandinavian countries, Denmark has a high tax burden, but it stems from Denmark’s particularly extensive welfare system, among other things.

The taxes you pay contribute to financing schools, daycare facilities, nursing homes, free education, free medical assistance, hospitals and similar things, which in other countries are paid through insurance funds.

Taxes may vary depending on how much you earn and which municipality you live in. However, there is a ceiling for the maximum amount of tax you must pay, which in 2020 will be 52.06% of your personal income.

In addition, one pays a labour market contribution of 8% of work income in the form of wages and profits from self-employment.

As a general rule, everyone on a salary income is entitled to a personal allowance, which is a minimum amount that is not being taxed. In addition, you are granted employment allowance and a job allowance that are also not being taxed if your salary is subject to a payable employer contribution or if your company disburses a profit. The employment tax allowance in 2020 amounts to 10.50%. and may not exceed DKK 39,400, while the job allowance in 2020 is 4.5%. of income in excess of DKK 195,800 and may not exceed DKK 2,600.  Applicable tariffs and rates can be viewed at skat.dk.

Social contributions are included in the national income tax and are not required as a separate fee.

In Denmark there is a 25% VAT (Value Added Tax) on goods and most services.

If you own your own home in Denmark, you will have to pay taxes on ownership of land and buildings and property value tax. Tax on ownership of land is a tax payable to the municipality on the value of your land. The land value is the value of your land without buildings on it. The charge is determined by the local municipality and levied twice per year. If you have any questions about land tax, you should contact Borgerservice (Citizen’s Services) in the municipality where your home is situated. Property tax is a tax payable to the state on the value of your property. Property value is the value of the real estate, including land and buildings. The property value tax equates to 1% of the property value up to DKK 3,040,000, and 3 percent of the remainder if the value exceeds that.

There is a special tax system for researchers and high earners recruited abroad. Based on a number of conditions, these groups have the possibility, over a period of a maximum of 84 months, to pay a gross tax of 32.84% of their salary (salary, holiday allowance, fees, bonuses, commissions, etc. plus the value of access to company car and company paid telephone, including paid data communication, health treatments paid by employer, etc.) without any deductions, instead of applying the general income tax. These 84 months can be divided into several periods.

Salary in Denmark depends on which agreement one is included in, or whether one has an individual agreement.

In 2017, the average Dane had, over a 14-year period, an annual gross income of DKK 326,048. After payment of tax, interest costs and maintenance obligations, the average Dane had a disposable income of DKK 235,312. (Source: Statistics Denmark)

To receive a salary in Denmark, you as a taxpayer must register with the authorities and obtain a tax card. You can read much more about tax and fees, and register as a taxpayer at SKAT’s website.

When you leave Denmark, you are to ensure that you notify SKAT so that you can be de-registered as a taxpayer and so that SKAT can settle any outstanding balances. You can find relevant forms and guidance at SKAT’s website.

The education system

Education in Denmark is mainly free and paid through your taxes.

International workers are expected to have completed equivalent degrees which provide access to equivalent courses of study in their home countries and comply with language requirements.

All Danish education, from primary school to PhD level, fall within the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). This means that it is easy to compare educational levels across EU borders. You can read more about EQF here.

Childcare and school-aged children

Since it is normal in Denmark for both parents to work, there is a large selection of public daycare options at low prices.
The public care options are run by the municipalities, and include, among other things, nurseries, daycare centres or municipal daycare services. Contact your municipality regarding relevant local services for children.

Primary school (EQF 1+2)

Children living in Denmark have the right to receive education in a 10-year basic schooling system.

There is a 10-year basic compulsory education for all children living in Denmark, applicable from late-August in the calendar year that children turn 6.

Almost 80% of all Danish children attend the Danish folkeskole, which offers free education. The folkeskole is the public primary school, consisting of obligatory children’s groups and one to nine classes, as well as a voluntary tenth class. Folkeskole is not compulsory in Denmark, and for that reason you can freely choose whether your child will attend folkeskole, a private school or receive home-schooling.

Efterskole (independent residential schools) (EQF 1+2)

Folkeskole graduation classes, namely eighth, ninth or tenth class, can also be completed at an efterskole, which is a residential school open to all young people between the ages of 14 and 18, with a focus on philosophy of life, public education, and democratic citizenship. Children can choose as there is a varied selection of subjects including sports, music, art, etc.

Secondary education (EQF 4)

A secondary education can begin immediately after ninth or tenth grades and has the objective of preparing the child for further education, e.g., at a university.

There are four different types of educations that grant access to further education: STX (general student degree) (3 years), HF (higher education preparatory degree) (2 years), HHX (commercial student degree) (3 years), HTX (technical degree) (3 years).

The language of instruction in secondary education is, as a rule, Danish.
However, there are also secondary educations in English, French and German, for example the IB programme (International Baccalaureate®).

Vocational training (EQF 3+4+5)

Vocational training may begin immediately after ninth or tenth grade, and is a practically oriented education consisting of school periods at an educational institution and an internship in a proper work environment.
Vocational training covers both the traditional skilled-craft domain and a number of other sectors including, e.g. business, service, agriculture and technology.

Professional academy educations (EQF 5)

Professional academy education is a brief higher education (normally 2 years) with a professional orientation towards providing qualification.

The educations follow specific fields and companies in which technology, healthcare, economy, etc. are found and combine internships with the schooling programme.

Professional bachelor (EQF 6)

A professional bachelor’s education is a professionally oriented, qualified, medium-long higher education. The education combines theory and practice, and is often aimed at a specific field or profession, for example educators, teachers, healthcare professionals and the like. To obtain a professional bachelor's degree takes 3 and a half years, including 6 months of practical placement.

University educations (EQF 6+7)

Bachelor’s and master’s degrees are research-based, higher educations offered by universities, business schools and similar institutions. These educations are offered within the main areas of expertise of natural science, medical science, technical science, humanities, theology and social sciences.

The bachelor’s education takes 3 years. The master’s education is a structure on top of this, and typically takes 2 years.

Cultural and social life

Danish leisure activities include everything from ballet, cinema, exhibitions, museums, music and theatre to courses, lectures, sports and many different associations.

The associations are the centre of both social and cultural activities, and you will find an association for like-minded people, regardless in which field your hobbies lie.

Football is the national sport, but handball, swimming, sailing and cycling are also popular. You can find an association in your local area at among other things DGI’s website.

Literature plays a very important role in Danish cultural life. In particular, Nordic crime fiction has gained widespread popularity in recent years. Libraries can be found in most towns and also serve as local cultural centres. You can locate your local library here.

Additionally, Danish film and TV production have won international acclaim and recognition, and many Danes enjoy going to the cinema.

All of Denmark is covered by a large network of bicycle paths, and it is common to travel by bicycle, particularly in large cities and on cycling holidays. Read more about cycling in Denmark here.

Danes are for the most part informal and easy to socialise with. People address each other using first names and use the impersonal pronoun du (you) as a form of address instead of the polite form De (which is somewhat equivalent to the literary ‘thou’ in English and largely equivalent to Sie in German, vous in French or usted in Spanish).

Knowing how to speak Danish is advantageous. Nevertheless, Danes often speak and understand one or more foreign languages, primarily English.

In larger companies, English and other primarily languages are fairly common as working languages.

In Danish companies, the general tendency is towards relatively fluid organisational structures. At many workplaces, there is often an informal, indirect tone between colleagues and often this is also the case between employees and management. People use each other’s first names as well as informal pronouns and forms of address with each other. They often share opinions, perspectives and both positive and negative critique with each other.

Text last edited on: 2022


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