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Living and working conditions

Denmark

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area - 42 925,46 km2

Population – 5,789,957

Official Language – Danish. Recognised regional languages - Faroese, Greenlandic, German

REGISTRATION AND RESIDENCE PERMITS

It is your citizenship that decides whether you can travel to Denmark to work, or whether you need a residence and working permit before you arrive.

In this respect, there is a distinction between citizens of Nordic countries, citizens of EU/EEA and citizens from third countries. In addition, special rules apply for cross-border workers and workers posted by foreign companies.

If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you have the right to live and work in Denmark, without having to apply for a residence permit.

When you arrive in Denmark, however, you must address a number of practical issues concerning your stay in Denmark if it is to last more than three months.

Among other things, you are required to obtain a certificate of registration. A certificate of registration is the documentation substantiating your right to stay in Denmark. In addition to this, you are to ensure that the Danish authorities are properly notified about where you live and about your tax situation.

You can obtain your certificate of registration by appearing in person at the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration.

Alternativly, you can turn to International Citizen Service in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Aarhus or Odense. Here, all government agencies are gathered under one roof. It is therefore, as a rule, only necessary for you, and anyone accompanying you, to look here to get a handle on the paperwork and answers to your questions.

More information about the rules for residence and work can be found here.

You can obtain more information about the certificate of registration at newtodenmark.dk.

LOOKING FOR 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

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.

 

INCOME AND TAXATION

People who work or have lived in Denmark for more than six months must pay tax in Denmark.

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.

All taxpayers in Denmark receive a personal deduction, which is a minimum amount of income from which tax is not drawn. Furthermore, as a salaried employee, you have the right to an ‘in-work’ tax deduction, on which tax is not to be paid. In 2019 it will comprise 10.10 per cent.  Applicable tariffs and rates can be viewed at skat.dk.

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 2018 will be 52.05 per cent of your personal income.

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

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

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

If you own your own home in Denmark, you will have to pay property tax (land tax) and property value tax. Property tax is a tax on the land itself and is paid to the municipality where your house is situated. The tax is calculated based on the property’s value. The individual municipality determines the actual rate and collects the tax. If you have any questions about property tax, you should contact Borgerservice (Citizen’s Services) in the municipality where your home is situated. Property valuation tax is a tax on the property’s value, determined by public property valuation. The property value tax equates to one per cent 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 key employees 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 per cent of their salary (salary, other cash payments received, value of company car, company telephone and health insurances) 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 320 040. After payment of tax, interest costs and maintenance obligations, the average Dane had a disposable income of DKK 229 875. (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.

COST OF LIVING

In Denmark, prices for a home, food, transport and entertainment are relatively high compared to other countries. In 2016, the total price level was approximately 41 per cent higher than the EU average. In particular, housing costs stand for a large portion of a family’s expenses. Particularly in larger cities, the price of housing can be quite high.

At the same time, wages are also relatively high and the Danish welfare system results in many services being free; for example, medical assistance and education.

A typical Danish family (two adults and two children) has expenses divided along the following lines:

Expense

Per cent

Food, food products and tobacco*

15.0

Clothing and footwear

5.1

Housing, electricity and heating**

27.7

   

Transport and communications

14.8

Leisure, culture and entertainment

13.7

Other consumption***

23,

* Including alcoholic beverages

** Including rent; consumption of water, electricity, heating and gas; furniture; general equipment for the home; and repairs..

*** Including expenses for education, child care, restaurants and hotels, provision of various services, insurances, etc.

Source: Statistics Denmark, Denmark in Figures 2017 (Danmark i tal 2017)

Last updated: May 2019

EDUCATION SYSTEM

Nearly all education in Denmark is free and paid for by the state.

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

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 ten-year basic schooling system.

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

Approximately 75 per cent 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 two 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. A professional bachelor’s education takes three to four years, including any internships.

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.
Bachelor's education takes three years. Master’s education is a structure on top of this, and typically takes two years.

RECOGNITION OF DIPLOMAS AND QUALIFICATIONS

 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

  1. a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  2. a language passport,
  3. certificate supplements,
  4. diploma supplements, and
  5. 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.

USEFUL LINKS

www.eures.dk - EURES Denmark

www.workindenmark.dk - Official Page of the Centres WORKINDENMARK and a Portal for International Admission of Staff

www.atp.dk - Portal for Pension Security

www.skat.dk - Social Security Service

www.boligportal.dk - Information about Rents in Denmark

http://ufm.dk/recognition - Recognition of Diplomas and Qualifications in Denmark

www.uvm.dk - Ministry of Education

www.nyidanmark.dk - Officila Website for Immigrants

 

 

 

 

 

 

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