#MeToo – Bill passed

The Danish Parliament has passed the Bill to amend the Danish Act on Equal Treatment of Men and Women which was introduced by the Danish Ministry of Employment in November 2018 on the basis of the #MeToo movement.

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The Danish Parliament has passed the Bill to amend the Danish Act on Equal Treatment of Men and Women which was introduced in November 2018 by the Danish Ministry of Employment in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

With the Bill, the Act now specifies that employers’ obligation to provide equal employment terms for men and women also covers a prohibition on sexual harassment. According to the explanatory notes to the Bill, the Ministry’s intention is to specify that in the assessment of whether sexual harassment in conflict with the Act has occurred weight should not be given to the issue of whether the tone of communication at the workplace is normally “casual”, “informal” or “bantering”. 

In addition, new wording has been added to the Act to specify that when fixing the compensation amount it may be taken into account that the violation constituted a breach of the prohibition on sexual harassment. The purpose is to increase the compensation level in sexual harassment cases by one-third compared to the current level estimated at DKK 23,700 in the Bill.

The amendment entered into force on 1 January 2019.

Norrbom Vinding notes

  • that the enactment of the Bill will without doubt call for increased employer focus on the general conduct and tone of communication at the workplace; and
  • that it should therefore also be considered if it may be a good idea to implement/change/update any relevant policies and/or in other ways articulate issues relating to the conduct/tone of communication at the workplace vis-à-vis both employees and managers.

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

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