Answer ... Generally, Danish employment law distinguishes between three main groups of employees:
- white-collar employees;
- blue-collar workers; and
- managing directors responsible for the day-to-day management of a company and people who are self-employed.
The terms and conditions of white-collar employees, as well as their protection in each employment relationship, are typically regulated by the Danish Salaried Employees Act and are also reflected in the individual terms of employment contracts.
The terms and conditions of certain groups of typically non-academic white-collar employees (primarily office and administrative staff, as well as sales assistants) are – depending on the industry and in addition to the aforementioned regulation – typically regulated by collective bargaining agreements.
On the other hand, blue-collar workers are to a large extent covered by collective bargaining agreements only. The Danish labour market is characterised by a long tradition of employer and trade union negotiations regarding collective bargaining agreements for blue-collar workers. The agreements between the labour market organisations ensure protection in employment.
An increasing number of statutory laws apply to all kinds of workers, due to the influence of the European Union. EU law can be implemented through law (mandatory) and, typically, through collective bargaining agreements. Workers who are not subject to the Salaried Employees Act or a collective bargaining agreement are not protected against unfair dismissal.
If so, what types of contracts are used and how are they created? Must they be in writing must they include specific information?
An individual employment agreement can be contracted in writing, orally or tacitly. It is not a legal requirement for an employment relationship to be established in a written contract in order for it to be valid. However, within one month of the commencement of employment, the employer must provide the employee with a written statement of all material terms of employment and at least:
- the name and address of the employer and the employee;
- the place of work;
- the job title;
- the employment commencement date;
- in the case of fixed-term employment, the expected duration of employment;
- holiday entitlements;
- notice periods;
- the agreed salary;
- working hours; and
- any applicable collective bargaining agreements.
If the terms of employment are materially amended, written information reflecting the amendments must be issued within one month of the change coming into effect.
Are implied clauses allowed?
There are few implied terms, as typically all material terms are to be agreed in writing. However, some terms of unwritten law apply to all employment relationships, the most important being the duty of loyalty.
The duty of loyalty means that the employee may not undertake any activities deemed to be in competition with the employer. In addition, the employee is prohibited from performing any acts which could potentially be detrimental to the employer.