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Bill on new initiatives in the area of industrial injuries

The Ministry of Employment has tabled a bill that will, among other things, make it easier for employees to obtain compensation when they have been exposed to violence in the workplace

Written by

Elisabeth Krusegård Nielsen

Karoline Stisen

The bill introduces parts of the political agreement on industrial injuries that was reached in September 2022. The purpose is to strengthen and improve the industrial injury system through a number of specific initiatives that will, among other things, help injured employees return to work, shorten case processing times and improve employees’ right to compensation. Below we have highlighted the most important new developments for employers.

Promoting connection to the labour market
In connection with industrial accidents, the state, regions and municipalities, which are self-insured employers, do not currently have the authority to pay expenses for initiatives that support employees’ connection to the labour market, including contributions to pain treatment, psychological treatment, treatment with private providers, etc. It is therefore proposed that an authority be added to the Workers’ Compensation Act to enable self-insured employers to pay such expenses.

Fines for failure to provide information about a case
In connection with the processing of an industrial injury case, a range of information about the industrial injury must be obtained from several professional stakeholders, including employers, hospitals, doctors, public authorities, etc. To reduce the processing time, it is proposed that the professional stakeholders must respond to a request for information from the Labour Market Insurance (AES) or the National Social Appeals Board no later than 14 days after receiving the request or, alternatively, indicate that the stakeholder in question does not have the requested information.

The Labour Market Insurance and the National Social Appeals Board can send a reminder after the 14-day deadline, and it is proposed that the professional stakeholders can be fined if they do not contribute to providing information about the case within 14 days of receiving this reminder.

It is proposed that the fine be set at DKK 5,000 for the first offence and twice that amount for the second offence, after which the fine can be increased by DKK 5,000 per offence.

Exception to police reporting
If a person has been the victim of a criminal offence such as violence, compensation can be awarded under the Victim Compensation Act if the incident is reported to the police within 72 hours and if the claim is included in the criminal proceedings.

The requirement to report to the police may be inexpedient if care workers or the like have been the victim of a criminal offence at their workplace by a person they are caring for. It is therefore proposed that, in accordance with the practice of the Compensation Board, it be clarified that the requirement to report to the police is derogated from where nursing and care staff, etc. have been injured at work, and pedagogical or treatment considerations at the facility in question speak against police reporting.

Obligation to take out violent injury insurance
It is proposed to introduce an obligation for certain private and public employers in the areas of social services, elderly care, health care and education to take out (or be self-insured in relation to) a violent injury insurance that covers industrial injuries occurring in the workplace as a result of violence against employees from the citizens they care for. The scope will include both criminal offences and other violent incidents, e.g. in connection with situations involving the use of force.

It will also be possible for other employers to take out voluntary violent injury insurance.

The violent injury insurance will enable employees who are exposed to an incident covered by the scope of the violent injury insurance to obtain compensation and damages under the Act on Liability for Damages without having to bring a claim before the courts.

The bill suggests that the proposed amendments to the Victim Compensation Act regarding violent injury insurance and the exception to police reporting take effect on 1 January 2025 with regards to industrial accidents occurring after this date. As for the other amendments, the proposed effective date is 1 July 2024.

Norrbom Vinding will follow the legislative process and provide updates when there is new information.

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