Comparative Guides
Welcome to Mondaq Comparative Guides - your comparative global Q&A guide.
Our Comparative Guides provide an overview of some of the key points of law and practice and allow you to compare regulatory environments and laws across multiple jurisdictions.
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Results: 4 Answers
Labour and Employment
4.
Discrimination and harassment
4.1
What actions are classified as unlawfully discriminatory?
 
Denmark
Direct and indirect discrimination is prohibited according to the Differential Treatment Act and the Equal Treatment Act.

Direct discrimination occurs when a person is, has been or would be treated less favourably than someone else in a comparable situation. Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice, which may appear neutral, consequently puts people who share a protected characteristic at a disadvantage.

The Differential Treatment Act prohibits discrimination of employees due to disability, among other things. The employer is obliged to make reasonable and proportionate adjustments, and to adapt the workplace to accommodate the needs of the employee’s disability. Victimisation of employees who have acted to enforce their rights is prohibited.

From the outset, the employer is responsible for workplace harassment.

For more information about this answer please contact: Michael Møller Nielsen from Lund Elmer Sandager
4.2
Are there specified groups or classifications entitled to protection?
 
Denmark
Under EU law, atypical workers are protected against discrimination where they are:

  • part-time workers;
  • fixed-term workers; or
  • employed through a temporary agency.

The pro rata temporis principle applies for all part-time workers. This means that part-time workers must enjoy the same employment conditions as comparable full-time employees on a pro rata basis. Fixed-term employees may not be treated less favourably than permanent staff. In general, a fixed-term contract may, from the outset, be extended only once; although where there are objective grounds to do so, it may be successively extended.

Temporary agency workers are entitled to protection with regard to working time, overtime, breaks, resting periods, night shifts, holiday, bank holidays and pay, at least at the same level as those employed directly by the employer making use of the temporary agency workers. The employer shall inform the temporary agency worker of positions available at the company. Exceptions apply where collective bargaining agreements are applicable.

For more information about this answer please contact: Michael Møller Nielsen from Lund Elmer Sandager
4.3
What protections are employed against discrimination in the workforce?
 
Denmark
Equal treatment regulation in Denmark is largely based on EU directives prohibiting discrimination.

The Differential Treatment Act prohibits employers from direct or indirect differential treatment of employees or job applicants on the grounds of age, disability, race, skin colour, religious beliefs, political orientation and national, social or ethnic origin.

According to the Equal Treatment Act, an employer is prohibited from discriminating on the grounds of gender in relation to working conditions, including termination of employment. The act provides for the possibility of annulment of dismissals conducted on the grounds of pregnancy, maternity leave or adoption, or payment of compensation for acts of discrimination in contravention of any protected criterion.

Any employee associated with someone with protected characteristics is also protected.

For more information about this answer please contact: Michael Møller Nielsen from Lund Elmer Sandager
4.4
How is a discrimination claim processed?
 
Denmark
Employees may bring their claims before the ordinary courts, the industrial tribunals or the Equal Treatment Tribunal. If the Equal Treatment Tribunal decides in favour of the employee and the employer is not satisfied with the decision, the Equal Treatment Tribunal is legally obliged to pay the employee’s legal costs for bringing the appeal before the courts.

Claims must always be settled before or during legal proceedings. There are no exact formal requirements required to conclude, for example, a settlement agreement; but it is always recommended to agree the terms in writing and to ensure that the employee has received advice. If not drafted with diligence, a settlement agreement for full and final settlement may be set aside by the courts.

For more information about this answer please contact: Michael Møller Nielsen from Lund Elmer Sandager
4.5
What remedies are available?
 
Denmark
Compensation is the main remedy in Denmark. In some cases – particularly before the industrial tribunals – reinstatement is also possible, but this remedy is rarely used.

The level of compensation ranges from DKK 10,000 to DKK 25,000 (eg, for claims for unequal treatment in relation to wage negotiations) to a standard level of six to 12 months’ pay in case of discrimination, depending on seniority.

As from 1 January 2019, the level of compensation in so-called ‘#Metoo’ cases (sexual harassment) has been increased by one-third of the previous level of compensation, which was in the average of DKK 25,000.

For more information about this answer please contact: Michael Møller Nielsen from Lund Elmer Sandager
4.6
What protections and remedies are available against harassment, bullying and retaliation/victimisation?
 
Denmark
Please see question 4.5. Additionally, many Danish companies have implemented their own individual guidelines on how to prevent and handle harassment, bullying, victimisation and so on in the workplace.

For more information about this answer please contact: Michael Møller Nielsen from Lund Elmer Sandager