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Rikke Falk Dambo

Legislative programme for the 2020/2021 parliamentary year

After a first half of the year dominated by COVID-19, the Government has published the legislative programme for the 2020/2021 parliamentary year.

Amendment of the Maternity Leave Act and the Sickness Benefits Act
As a follow-up to the political agreement on extended rights to bereavement leave, the Government will present a bill aimed at improving the conditions for the right of absence for parents who lose their child. Under the bill, bereavement leave is extended to include all parents who lose a child before the age of 18 and the period of absence is extended from 14 to 26 weeks after the child’s death.

New rules for reporting occupational accidents
The bill aims to ensure simpler rules in the area of occupational injuries. The bill will do away with the fact that today there are different sets of rules for reporting the same accidents.

Amendment of the Posting of Workers Act
The Government will present a bill to implement the revised Posting of Workers Directive. The bill, which has been in consultation, aims to improve conditions for posted workers in Denmark, and it contains a number of amendments to the Posting of Workers Act, including a new provision on long-term posting. The provision implies that if the duration of a secondment exceeds 12 months, the employee must be covered by Danish employment law rules regardless of the contractual choice of law. However, there are certain exceptions to this, for instance related to non-competition restrictions and occupational supplementary pensions. The period can be extended to 18 months if the posting employer notifies the Register of Foreign Service Providers.

The Government proposes that the act enter into force on 1 January 2021. However, it is worth noting that, according to the bill that was sent for consultation, posting periods from 30 July 2020 will as a starting point be included in the calculation of the total period of secondment.

Ensuring recovery of penalties abroad
The purpose of this bill is to increase the options for the Labour Market Fund for Posted Workers to collect penalties abroad. The bill implements joint recommendations from FH – Danish Trade Union Confederation and the Confederation of Danish Employers and follows up on the outcome of the “OK20” collective bargaining negotiations in the private labour market in April 2020.

Increasing the state retirement age
Danes’ life expectancy is rising and, to ensure more active years in the labour market, the Government will present a bill to increase the state retirement age to 69 years with effect from 2035.

Right to early retirement for special groups
The purpose of this bill is to introduce a new right to early retirement/pension for certain individuals who have been active in the labour market for many years.

Protection for health and safety representatives
With this bill, the Government introduces rules to improve the protection of health and safety representatives against dismissal and downgrading of their status in the same manner as union representatives, even in situations where a collective agreement does not apply.

Full compensation in connection with violence in the workplace
The Government will present a bill aimed at facilitating access to full compensation for employees who have been exposed to violence and threats at work.

Whistleblower protection act
In 2019, the EU Directive on Whistleblowers was finally adopted. The Government will present a bill aimed at implementing the directive on the protection of individuals reporting violations of EU law.

Strengthened protection of LGBTI people against discrimination
The purpose of the bill is to strengthen the protection of LGBTI people against discrimination, hate crimes and hate speech. The bill entails, among other things, the introduction of an explicit ban on discrimination and harassment in the labour market on the basis of gender identity, gender expression and gender characteristics. It is proposed to establish access to bringing complaints to the Equal Treatment Board and to give the Institute for Human Rights authority to raise cases in this area.

Amendment of the Aliens Act
The Government will present a bill which aims to ensure that all foreign nationals have the same right to perform unpaid voluntary work. This applies to foreign nationals who already have the right to stay in Denmark.

Adjustment of the employee share tax scheme for new, small companies
The purpose of the bill is, among other things, to adjust the employee share tax scheme for new, small companies.

The entire legislative programme can be read here (in Danish).

The content of the above is not, and should not be a substitute for legal advice.