The Government’s legislative programme for 2023/2024
On the first Tuesday of October, the parliamentary year kicked off and, as usual, the Government announced its legislative programme for the parliamentary year 2023/2024
Below we have listed the bills from the legislative programme that are of particular relevance to the area of labour and employment law. As always, we are following the legislative process in Parliament and will provide updates when there are new developments.
Improved right to compensation for workplace violence
The Government intends to propose a bill that will, among other things, make it easier for employees to obtain compensation when they have been exposed to violent incidents in the workplace, including by introducing an obligation for certain employers to take out violent injury insurance covering industrial injuries in the event of violent incidents in the workplace.
Joint payment of employer contributions and expanded authorisation to set rules on the right of set-off
The Government wishes to simplify the administration of ATP by combining the timing of employers’ payment of ATP contributions with payment of other employer contributions in a single payment model. In addition, it is proposed to expand the authorisation to lay down rules on the right of set-off in relation to various schemes administered by ATP.
Introduction of triviality thresholds etc.
With a view to reducing the total amount of outstanding holiday pay, the Government will – similar to the rules in the previous Holiday Act – introduce rules on triviality thresholds with regard to when outstanding holiday pay can be paid out. In addition, it is proposed that employers no longer have to indicate once a year that they wish to keep outstanding holiday funds in the company.
Implementation of the Working Time Directive
In 2019, the European Court of Justice gave its ruling in the so-called Deutsche Bank case where the Court decided that the Working Time Directive obligates Member States to require employers to set up a system for measuring the number of hours worked by each individual employee. Based on this ruling, it has been necessary to make changes to Danish legislation, and a working group under the Ministry of Employment has drafted a bill that has been sent out for consultation.
The bill has two main elements: first, it is proposed to introduce a requirement to register employees’ working hours at an individual level. At the same time, it is proposed to exempt certain groups of employees from the rules on maximum weekly working hours and, thus, the obligation to register. Second, it is proposed that deviations from the 48-hour rule can be agreed in collective agreements and local agreements for employees covered by on-call shifts. The draft bill proposes that the new act comes into force on 1 January 2024.
Implementation of parts of the agreement on forward-looking working environment initiatives etc.
The Government will table a bill that aims to simplify the Working Environment Authority’s response options and remedies in order to introduce a single, unambiguous response when a company must take immediate action.
26 weeks’ additional leave for parents of twins
The Government proposes to introduce 26 weeks of additional leave with parental benefits for parents of twins, so that each parent receives 13 weeks of additional leave. The leave is non-transferable and must be taken before the child turns one year of age. In addition, special rules are proposed for solo parents and social parents of twins.
Implementation of parts of the agreement on forward-looking working environ-ment initiatives and efforts against social dumping etc.
With this bill, the Government will expand the future scheme displaying the outcome of authority inspections, which replaces the “smiley scheme” in the working environment area, so that the scheme can also include information on inspections and decisions concerning foreign companies. In addition, the Government wishes to clarify the Working Environment Authority’s authority to display information on work accidents.
Right of continued stay for certain foreign nationals
The bill follows up on the government platform of December 2022 and aims to provide a right of continued stay for certain foreign nationals who are educating themselves within professional fields experiencing a shortage of labour.
Relaxation of occupational schemes for obtaining residence and work permits
The Government will introduce a bill that includes relaxations of the occupational schemes for obtaining residence and work permits, including by changing the requirement for a Danish bank account, expanding the job change rule and increasing the flexibility for stays via the short-term option under the Fast Track scheme. The relaxations will make it easier and more efficient for Danish companies to recruit foreign workers.
The Government’s full legislative programme can be read here (in Danish).
The content of the above is not, and should not be a substitute for legal advice.
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