The Government’s legislative programme for 2021/2022 includes a number of bills that are expected to have an impact on most employers in the coming parliamentary year.
Below we have described the bills in the legislative programme that are especially relevant to the area of labour and employment law. We will of course provide updates as the bills move through Parliament.
Earmarked parental leave
The Government will introduce a bill aimed at encouraging a more equal distribution of leave between men and women by earmarking parental leave with maternity benefits for each parent. The bill is presented as part of the implementation of an EU directive.
Right to care leave
The Government proposes to introduce a right to five days’ care leave per year per employee, while ensuring protection against dismissal in connection with the leave. The bill is presented as part of the implementation of an EU directive.
Amendment of the Working Environment Act
With this bill, the Government aims at ensuring better protection against dismissal for working environment representatives, so that the protection in all cases is aligned with the protection that applies to shop stewards. The intention is that the special protection will in future also apply in areas where there is no collective agreement for the relevant employee or a similar professional area. The draft bill also provides for the possibility of publishing the results of the Working Environment Authority’s inspections of the workplace.
New rules on statements of employment particulars
In 2019, the EU directive on working conditions was adopted. Against this background, the Government will introduce a bill aimed at ensuring more transparent and predictable working conditions for employees.
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 in the workplace, with a special focus on employees who have been exposed to violence from individuals they are employed to care for. The proposal is a follow-up to a parliamentary decision, in which possible solution models involved different insurance schemes through which the employer can be insured.
Amendment of the Financial Business Act
The purpose of the bill is to implement new initiatives on governance in financial institutions, including by strengthening the rules on management’s liability in relation to decisions involving an element of conflict of interest and by regulating severance payments to directors of financial institutions.
Requirement of focus on more equal gender ratio in the largest Danish companies and public institutions
This bill, together with a bill amending the Gender Equality Act, aims at strengthening existing legislation to better support a more balanced gender ratio in management and boards of private and public institutions and companies. As a novelty, this will also cover public authorities etc. without a board as well as the largest companies established under section 60 of the Local Government Management Act. The amendment introduces stricter requirements for target figures and policies for the underrepresented gender. The goal for the largest Danish companies is to work towards a minimum gender ratio of 40/60 of women and men in management.
Increased gender equality in voluntary military service
This bill means that women will be covered by the same rules and conditions (e.g. in relation to termination and right of withdrawal) as conscript men who voluntarily enter into an agreement on conscription service.
Legislation concerning vulnerable workers
The Government will table a bill to follow up on the work of the working group on vulnerable foreign workers, including what obligations may be imposed on employers in this regard.
Anonymity for public employees at particular risk
This bill will make it possible, to an even wider extent than today, to restrict access to the names of public employees at particular risk, such as employees in prisons, in documents for the sake of their safety.
Amendment of the Child Certificates Act
This bill opens up the possibility of new rules meaning that the Criminal Register must inform the main organisations of sports and other voluntary associations if a “positive” child certificate is obtained in connection with an employment or engagement process for a coach or volunteer.
Strengthened protection of LGBTI persons
The bill will include a strengthening of the prohibition on discrimination and harassment due to sexual orientation outside the labour market. Likewise, it is proposed to include an explicit prohibition of discrimination on grounds of gender identity, gender expression and gender characteristics in the Anti-Discrimination Act and the Gender Equality Act. Finally, it is proposed that the Criminal Code introduce clearer protection for transgender people and intersex people against hate crimes and hate speech.
Extension of repayment deadlines
The bill is aimed at deferring the deadline for repayment under VAT loan schemes established in connection with COVID-19, which fall due for payment between November 2021 and February 2022, until 1 April 2022. In addition, the Government proposes to temporarily extend the maximum duration of payment plans for tax accounts from 12 to 24 months.
Taxation of COVID-19 relief packages
For the many businesses that have received taxable support through COVID-19 relief packages in the last couple of years, this bill aims at creating clarity and certainty about the deadline for tax payment. The tax deadline also needs to be clarified for those who have received taxable damages and compensation as a result of the ban on keeping mink.
Amendment of the Children's Act, the Names Act, etc.
This bill is intended to simplify the registration of co-maternity, the right to adopt a name corresponding to a transgender person's gender identity and to determine transgender people's parenthood in relation to their legal gender.
Changes to pay and working conditions for drivers
The Government will present a bill that ensures the incorporation of the EU Road Package, which e.g. entails stricter requirements for companies wishing to carry out road transport, changes to the rules on pay and working conditions for drivers and regulatory control of the rules on working hours for mobile workers.
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.