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How to Hire Employees in Denmark

Are you considering expanding your business operations to Denmark? With a strong labor market, robust employment laws, and a high standard of living, Denmark is an attractive destination for businesses. However, understanding local regulations is crucial to ensure compliance and a smooth hiring process. In this definitive guide, we will explore everything you need to know to hire employees in Denmark easily and quickly.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the Danish labor market and employment laws
  • Follow steps for compliant recruitment process when hiring in Denmark
  • Consider partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) to simplify hiring & ensure compliance.

Understanding Denmark’s Employment Landscape

A strong labor market and robust employment laws characterize Denmark’s employment landscape. Therefore, employers must familiarize themselves with local regulations. The Danish labour market is known for its flexicurity, a unique labor market model that combines flexibility and security, which has been successful in maintaining low unemployment rates and high job satisfaction.

In addition to the flexicurity model, Denmark has several key employment laws that protect workers’ rights and ensure equal opportunity employment standards. We will delve into a thorough overview of the labor market and the key employment laws in Denmark.

Labor Market Overview

The Danish labor market is renowned for its flexibility, high educational standards, and strong work-life balance. In Denmark, the typical workweek is around 37 hours, and the pay period gross salary is usually paid monthly. Overtime pay for regular hours is typically 150% of one’s usual rate. For subsequent hours, holiday work, or Sunday work, the overtime rate increases to 200%. It is also worth noting that the maximum number of hours an employee is allowed to work per week, including overtime, is 48 hours.

Denmark Emplyoment by Economic Sector, 2011 - 2021
Denmark Emplyoment by Economic Sector, 2011 - 2021

In terms of industry distribution, the labor market in Denmark is divided into various industries, with the service sector taking the lead at 80% of all jobs. Manufacturing makes up 11%, while agriculture accounts for 2% of the workforce. As of May 2023, the employment rate in Denmark was recorded at 67.8 percent, and employees are required to pay tax on their income.

Grasping the nuances of the Danish labor market is vital for employers intending to hire in Denmark and understanding the needs of an employee in Denmark.

Key Employment Laws

A solid understanding of Denmark’s key employment laws is vital for a successful hiring process and regulatory compliance. Some of the major employment laws applicable in Denmark include:

These laws regulate various aspects of employment and outline the rights and obligations of both employers and employees in Denmark. It is important for employers to familiarize themselves with these laws to ensure compliance and create a fair and safe working environment.

While Denmark is a member of the European Union, its employment laws may differ from those of other EU countries. Consequently, researching and understanding the specific employment laws of each nation is a prerequisite when contemplating hiring in Denmark or any other EU member state. This will ensure that your business remains compliant and upholds equal opportunity employment standards.

Steps to Hiring Employees in Denmark

Hiring employees in Denmark involves a thorough recruitment process, including job posting, interviewing, and drafting employment contracts. Understanding the various steps involved in hiring employees in Denmark is fundamental to ensuring a seamless and compliant process.

This section will outline the essential steps to hire employees in Denmark, covering topics such as job posting and recruitment, interviewing and selection, and employment contracts.

Job Posting and Recruitment

Job posting and recruitment in Denmark can be done through various channels, such as:

  • Job boards: JobindexJobNetOfirJobbank, and StepStone are some of the most widely-used job boards in Denmark.
  • Social media: In recent years, social media has also become a viable option for job recruitment in Denmark. Employers can interact with potential candidates, resulting in a more dynamic hiring process. Job seekers in Denmark are increasingly leveraging social media platforms to find job opportunities.
  • Recruitment agencies: Recruitment agencies are another option for job posting and recruitment in Denmark.

These channels provide different options for employers and job seekers to connect and find suitable opportunities.

Prominent recruitment agencies in Denmark include HartmannsDigitalCareer, JKSNH BemandingRex&LindeborghTrackKelly Services DenmarkMedicolinkUnique Human CapitalRandstad Denmark, and Compass Human Resources Group. The customary procedure for job postings in Denmark entails advertising job vacancies, reading through applications, conducting interviews, and submitting offers and contracts. Guaranteeing compliance with local employment laws when advertising job positions is of utmost importance.

Interviewing and Selection

The success of the hiring process in Denmark hinges on conducting effective interviews and selecting the most suitable candidate. Some best practices to observe when conducting job interviews in Denmark include:

  • Observing punctuality
  • Dressing appropriately
  • Being prepared
  • Establishing rapport
  • Being yourself
  • Maintaining a professional demeanor

By following these practices, employers can increase their chances of hiring employees who are a good fit for their organization.

In Denmark, there are legal restrictions on the types of questions that can be asked during a job interview. These questions should be relevant to the job and should not discriminate on the basis of:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Other protected characteristics

The typical job selection process in Denmark involves several steps, including advertising job openings, receiving applications, conducting interviews, and offering jobs and contracts.

Employment Contracts

Employment contracts in Denmark must comply with local labor laws and include essential terms and conditions. Some of the key elements of an employment contract include:

  • Job title and description
  • Start date
  • Duration of the contract
  • Place of work
  • Salary
  • Additional benefits

Significantly, Danish employees are entitled to a notice period that ranges from one to six months, contingent on their level of seniority.

In addition to the standard terms and conditions, employment contracts in Denmark may also include provisions for:

  • Overtime pay
  • Probationary periods
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Severance pay

By ensuring that employment contracts are compliant with local labor laws, employers can avoid potential legal issues, maintain a positive working relationship with their employees, and promote continuous employment.

Compensation and Benefits for Employees in Denmark

Compensation and benefits for employees in Denmark include competitive salaries, mandatory benefits, and additional perks. This section will explore the diverse components of compensation and benefits for employees in Denmark, encompassing gross salary and pay periods, mandatory benefits, and additional perks and benefits.

Gross Salary and Pay Periods

Gross salary in Denmark varies based on the job role and industry, with pay periods typically being monthly. The average salary for employees in Denmark is approximately 45,481 DKK per month, according to current market data. The range of gross salaries in Denmark by industry typically ranges from 24,117 DKK to 69,207 DKK, with certain industries offering higher salaries than others.

Denmark Average Wage, 2023
Denmark Average Wage, 2023

In Denmark, the customary pay periods are typically monthly. Most companies adhere to a monthly payroll system where payments are made to employees on the same date each month. However, employers may opt to make weekly or bi-weekly payments if specified in the employment letter for that particular employee. A payroll bureau paying attention to these specific requirements can ensure timely and accurate payments for all employees.

Mandatory Benefits

Mandatory benefits in Denmark include working hours pension contributions, insurance, and education funds. In Denmark, there are mandatory pension contributions for employees, with contribution rates typically ranging between 6% to 10% of the employee’s salary to private pension plans. Additionally, there is a mandatory occupation pension scheme called ATP, with employers paying 2/3 of the employee’s contributions and the remaining third being deducted from the employee’s salaries.

ATP role danish pension system

Insurance is another mandatory benefit in Denmark, with workers’ compensation insurance and holiday pay being required for employees. The Maternity Fund in Denmark provides financial assistance to new mothers during their maternity leave period.

Additional Perks and Benefits

Additional perks and benefits can help attract and retain top talent in Denmark. Some of the additional benefits commonly offered by employers in Denmark include:

  • Extra paid time off
  • Gym or health club memberships
  • Personal learning and development budget
  • Therapy or coaching allowance
  • Mentorship programs
  • Oral and vision coverage as additional health insurance benefits
  • Private pension funds
  • Career development allowances

Furthermore, many employers provide these additional benefits to their employees.

In addition to these benefits, flexible working hours and hardware benefits may also be available. By offering a competitive compensation package, employers can attract and retain the best talent in the Danish labor market.

Time Off and Leave Entitlements

Time off and leave entitlements in Denmark are generous, ensuring a healthy work-life balance for employees. This section will examine the range of time off and leave entitlements in Denmark, including annual leave, parental leave, and sick leave.

Annual Leave and Public Holidays

Employees in Denmark are entitled to 25 days of annual leave. Furthermore, Denmark observes 11 public holidays, which are recognized by the Church of Denmark and include New Year’s Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Great Prayer Day, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Constitution Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

In addition to these official holidays, some employers may also choose to offer their employees additional days off on the occasion of unofficial holidays such as Christmas Eve. By providing generous annual leave and public holiday entitlements, employers in Denmark can help promote a healthy work-life balance for their workforce.

Maternity, Paternity, and Parental Leave

Maternity, paternity, and parental leave in Denmark are comprehensive, with new rules coming into effect in 2022. In Denmark, employees are entitled to:

  • Four weeks of maternity leave prior to the birth
  • 14 weeks of maternity leave after the birth, with the first two weeks being mandatory
  • An additional 32 weeks of parental leave, which is shared between both parents and paid at a reduced monthly rate.

For parents with children born on or after August 2, 2022, the rules are revised, with the following maternity benefits:

  • 24 weeks paid per parent
  • 4 weeks prior to birth reserved for the mother
  • 2 weeks post-birth reserved for each parent
  • 9 weeks post-birth reserved for each parent
  • 13 weeks per parent that are transferable

These generous maternity, paternity, and parental leave policies help support families and promote work-life balance in Denmark.

Sick Leave and Other Special Leave

Sick leave and other special leave provisions are available for employees in Denmark, ensuring a healthy work-life balance. Here are the key provisions:

  • Employees employed under the Act on Salaried Employees are generally entitled to full pay during sick leave.
  • Salaried employees are eligible for 30 working days of paid sick leave.
  • Those not covered by the Salaried Employees Act may receive sickness benefits for a maximum of 22 weeks within a nine-month period.

In addition to sick leave, employees in Denmark are also eligible for other special leaves, such as unpaid leave for urgent family reasons or force majeure. By providing a comprehensive range of leave entitlements, employers in Denmark can ensure that their workforce remains healthy, motivated, and productive.

Taxation and Social Security Contributions

Taxation and social security contributions in Denmark are based on income levels and include various deductions and withholdings, with tax deducted at the source, also known as tax withheld.

This section will delve into the income tax rates, social security contributions, and other deductions and withholdings applicable to employees in Denmark.

Income Tax Rates

Paragraph 1: Income tax rates in Denmark range from 8% to 56.5%, depending on the income bracket. For individuals with limited tax liability, they can be subject to taxation of up to 52.07% (55.90% including AM tax) on their income. There are also graduated tax rates for income from shares, with rates of 27% or 42% depending on the income level.

Paragraph 2: Denmark has a progressive tax system, meaning that taxation increases with higher incomes. The top rate of income tax for fully tax residents is up to 52.07%, which is one of the highest rates in Europe. It’s important for employees in Denmark to be aware of the applicable income tax rates and plan their finances accordingly.

Social Security Contributions

Social security contributions in Denmark are shared between employers and employees, covering various benefits and insurance. Employers in Denmark are obligated to pay social security contributions for their employees. The exact amount of contributions can differ, however, it usually ranges between DKK 8,000 – 10,000 per annum. The contributions cover various aspects of social security, such as ATP (Arbejdsmarkedets Tillægspension) and maternity funds.

Denmark Social Security Contributions

Employees in Denmark do not contribute a specific percentage of their salary to social security. Instead, they contribute to a Labor Market Supplementary Pension scheme, which is a part of their overall labour market contribution. By paying into this scheme, employees in Denmark can ensure that they are covered for various benefits and insurance, such as:

  • Retirement
  • Disability
  • Survivors benefits
  • Unemployment
  • Sickness benefits

Other Deductions and Withholdings

Other deductions and withholdings may apply, such as union fees and pension contributions. Union fees in Denmark are essential for supporting trade unions and their operations, with fees typically being deducted from members’ salaries on a monthly basis. In addition to union fees, deductible contributions to a pension plan may also be eligible for reductions, and it’s important to know how to deduct a tax properly.

It’s important for employees in Denmark to be aware of any additional deductions and withholdings that may apply to their income. By understanding these deductions, employees can better plan their finances and ensure that they are meeting their financial obligations in Denmark. Here’s what you need to know.

Navigating Immigration and Work Permits

Navigating immigration and work permits in Denmark requires understanding the different types of visas and the application process.

This section will cover the different types of work visas available in Denmark and the process of applying for these visas.

Types of Work Visas

Denmark offers various work visa types, such as the Positive List Visa and Pay Limit Scheme, depending on the job role and qualifications. The Positive List Visa is a work and residence permit that allows foreign workers from outside the European Union and the European Economic Area to work in occupations that are currently facing a shortage of qualified professionals in Denmark. The Pay Limit Scheme requires that you have been offered a job with an annual salary that meets the minimum amount, which for 2023 is DKK 465,000. This scheme is designed to attract highly skilled workers to Denmark.

It’s important for employers to consider the different types of work visas available in Denmark when hiring foreign employees. By understanding the eligibility requirements and application processes for each visa type, employers can ensure a smooth and compliant hiring process.

Visa Application Process

The visa application process in Denmark involves gathering necessary documentation, submitting applications, and meeting eligibility requirements. The necessary documentation for a work visa application in Denmark typically includes a passport or national ID, a passport-size photograph, a completed application form, and supporting documentation for grounds of residence as a worker. Generally, the processing time for a work visa is 30 days, although Fast-Track visas can be processed in as little as ten days.

To apply for a work visa in Denmark, the application can be submitted online or in person at a local Denmark Embassy office. It’s important for employers and employees to be aware of the various steps involved in the visa application process to ensure a smooth transition to working in Denmark.

Partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)

Partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can simplify the hiring process and ensure compliance with local labor laws.

This section will spotlight the benefits of collaborating with a PEO in Denmark and offer guidance on selecting the right PEO for your business.

Advantages of Using a PEO

Advantages of using a PEO in Denmark include reduced complexity, cost savings, and streamlined HR and payroll management. A PEO can effectively manage HR matters and payroll, guaranteeing adherence to local regulations without the need to establish a foreign branch office or subsidiary. By partnering with a PEO, businesses can focus on their strategic activities while the PEO handles the administrative tasks.

PEOs in Denmark typically provide the following services:

  • Employer of Record services
  • Payroll management
  • HR functions
  • Recruitment and staffing support
  • Compliance assistance
  • Benefits administration

By outsourcing these tasks to a PEO, businesses can save time and resources that would have been spent on hiring and managing in-house staff.

How to Choose a PEO

Choosing the right PEO for your business in Denmark involves evaluating their services, expertise, and reputation in the market. To ensure the best decision for your business needs, it is important to research and compare multiple PEOs in Denmark with regard to their reputation and suitability. Seeking recommendations from other businesses or professionals who have experience working with PEOs in Denmark can provide valuable insights.

When selecting a PEO in Denmark, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Compliance with local labor laws
  • Familiarity with the local market
  • HR support and services
  • Cost-efficiency
  • Reputation and track record
  • Scalability and flexibility
  • Support for international employees
  • Additional services

By partnering with the right PEO, businesses can ensure a smooth and compliant hiring process in Denmark.


In conclusion, hiring employees in Denmark can be a seamless process when you have the right knowledge and resources. By understanding the local labor market, employment laws, compensation and benefits, time off and leave entitlements, taxation and social security contributions, and visa requirements, businesses can ensure a smooth and compliant hiring process. Partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can further streamline the process and ensure adherence to local regulations. By following the guidelines and information provided in this definitive guide, your business can successfully hire employees in Denmark easily and quickly.


Denmark is actively recruiting international talent by loosening its immigration rules and opening up more job opportunities to foreign workers.

EU citizens do not need a visa or work permit to work in Denmark, but for non-EU citizens, the process is slightly more complicated. You must apply for a visa and residence permit and receive an official employment letter from a Danish employer before you can start working.

Yes, US companies can hire international employees by applying for the necessary certification from the Department of Labor and petitioning the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services for a visa. Depending on the company's needs, hiring independent contractors instead of global employees may be an option as well.

In Denmark, the normal working hours are laid down in an agreement and are usually 37 hours per week from Monday to Friday, between 6 AM and 6 PM. Overtime provisions are measured over a seven-day work week over an average period of four months, and employers may extend the maximum working hours to 48 weekly. Lunch breaks are typically 30 minutes long.

The typical workweek in Denmark consists of 37 hours per week.

Travis is a global business development advisor. He has spent the last 14 years supporting business establishment and development in North America, Southeast Asia, and throughout the world. With multiple degrees from the University of Oregon, Travis currently splits his time between the US, and Bali, Indonesia. At RemotePad, Travis writes about remote work, hiring internationally and PEO/EOR business models.

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