On 29 March 2023, a bill for a new law on employment certificates was tabled. The purpose is to implement the EU directive on transparent and predictable working conditions (working conditions directive) in Danish law. This should originally have been implemented d. 1 August 2022, but has subsequently been postponed several times.
The background to the bill
The recent development of new forms of employment has created uncertainty about applicable rights and social protection, and therefore there has been an increased need for workers to be informed about their most important working conditions.
Who is covered by the bill?
The proposed bill is to replace the current Employment Certificate Act, and with its entry into force more wage earners will be covered. The current Employment Certificate Act covers all employees whose employment lasts more than 1 month and whose average weekly working hours exceed 8 hours. However, with the new bill, far more people will be covered by the law. Here, as an employee, you will already be covered if, for a period of 4 consecutive weeks, you have an actual or predetermined working time that amounts to an average of more than 3 hours per week. week.
What significance will the bill have?
In addition to the fact that more employees will be covered by the new bill, and thus many more employees will be entitled to an employment certificate (employment contract), it also expands the employer’s duty to inform the employee of the terms of the employment relationship that will be most significant for the employee . In the current employment certificate act, a total of 10 conditions are mentioned, which the employer must inform the employee about, but in the new bill, however, a further five conditions have been added, which the employer must inform the employee about. These five conditions are:
- Temporary employees must be informed of the identity of the user company as soon as this is known
- The duration of and conditions for any probationary period
- The right to training, which the employer may offer
- The identity of the social security institutions that receive the social contributions linked to the employment relationship, as well as any protection in connection with social security from the employer.
- If the work pattern is completely or predominantly unpredictable, the employee must be informed; 1) That the work schedule and number of paid working hours may vary, 2) Which days and reference hours can be assigned to work and 3) The minimum notice period the employee is entitled to before starting a work assignment, as well as any deadline for canceling the work assignment
The new bill also contains a limit for the maximum length that a possible trial period in an employment relationship can last. In the current Employment Certificate Act there is no such limit, but according to the bill, such a probationary period must be set to last a maximum of 6 months. If it is a fixed-term position, the probationary period may not amount to more than a quarter of the employment period, however, the probationary period may not exceed 6 months here either.
Changed deadlines for submitting information
In future, the employer will have to be aware of a changed deadline for submitting the mandatory information on 7 calendar days or 1 month after the beginning of the employment relationship or the day on which a change takes effect. This information can still be provided by sending it on paper or in electronic form.
Prohibition against preventing concurrent employment
In future, an employer may not prevent an employee from taking up ongoing employment or, on that basis, treat him unfavorably if it is still possible to work in accordance with a schedule determined by the employer. However, this does not apply if the circumstances of the work in question make the employee’s secondary employment incompatible with the existing employment relationship.
Entry into force
The bill is being considered in the Danish Parliament, but it is proposed that the law enters into force on 1 July 2023.
Employees hired after 1 July 2023 must receive employment contracts in accordance with the new law. Employees employed before this date do not have to have new employment contracts, but they can request the disclosure of the new information that the law entails, which request must be complied with by the employer within 8 weeks after it is made.
Necessary considerations for the employer
The amendment to the employment certificate act thus gives the employer a good opportunity to review the company’s current employment contracts, so that one is ready for the new rules to come into force and with a view to avoiding having to fall into any payment of compensation for a violation of the law.
At DreistStorgaard Advokater, we are happy to help review and possibly update the company’s contracts so that these harmonize with the new legal provisions. You are welcome to contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 56 63 44 66.
Of Stud.jur. Katrine Abildskov Roel & Attorney Nicolai Runge Andersen