Core Facts

  • Population:  5.7M
  • GDP:  USD 301 billion
  • GDP per head:  USD 60,000
  • Workforce:  2.7M
  • Unemployment (2017):  4.3%
  • Average monthly wages (2017):  USD 5,816


The Danish labour market is unusual by EU standards, relying little on statutory regulation in favour of extensive case law and collective agreements between labour market participants. It has followed a tri-partite “flexicurity” model involving low employment protection, generous unemployment benefits and active State management of the labour market. As a result it has one of the most flexible labour markets in Europe.

The Danish workforce is highly unionised and as a result there are many collective bargaining agreements for employers to navigate, varying from sector to sector. While these may not be compulsory to enter into, it is advisable to consider this carefully as refusal could result in industrial action. Proper relationships with trade unions are an essential aspect for commercial success.

Ensuring correct legal relationships with individual employees will depend on determining where they fit in Denmark’s three employment categories; executive officers, salaried employees and workers. Each raises its own statutory rules and procedures for employers to abide by.