True to tradition, the Danish Government announced its legislative programme for the new parliamentary year on the first Tuesday of October. The programme includes, among other initiatives, the long awaited amendment of the Holiday Act and the new Data Protection Act.
The Danish Government's legislative programme is a list of the bills which the Government expects to introduce in the new parliamentary year. This year's programme includes new measures in the field of labour and employment law, primarily a thorough amendment of the Holiday Act and two entirely new measures – the much awaited Data Protection Bill and the Trade Secrets Bill. To this should be added a number of amendments to the Working Environment Act, the Unemployment Insurance Act, the Sickness Benefits Act and various other acts.
Below follows a quick overview of some of the measures within the field of labour and employment law. As always, Norrbom Vinding will be following the measures closely and report on any developments in our news service.
Bill to amend the Holiday Act
The Bill is intended to provide a simpler and more modern Holiday Act which is in compliance with Denmark's international obligations. With effect from 2020, a simultaneous accrual and holiday year will be introduced so that employees will accrue holiday in the period 1 September to 31 August of the following year and the holiday accrued must then be taken in the period from 1 September to 31 December of the following year. The purpose of the 16-month holiday year is to provide flexibility so that it will still be possible under the new regime to save accrued holiday for the autumn or for Christmas.
Data Protection Bill
The Bill is intended as a general instrument to replace the current Data Processing Act, which dates back to 2000. Supplementing the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation, which will enter into force on 25 May 2018, the Bill maintains and introduces supplementary national provisions on data processing within the scope allowed by the GDPR for national discretion.
Trade Secrets Bill
The Bill is intended to implement the Trade Secrets Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council from 2016. The new Act will define the meaning of trade secrets and specify the conduct that will be considered sanctionable and the sanctions that will be available in case of breach.
Bill to amend the Working Environment Act
The legislative programme includes a number of initiatives that will require the Working Environment Act to be amended. For one thing, the Danish Government is planning to amend the provisions on working environment certificates. The certification scheme is managed by the Danish Working Environment Authority and the purpose of the Bill is to strengthen the Authority's controls and powers in that connection.
Bill to amend the Sickness Benefits Act
The purpose of the Bill is to amend the provisions governing employers' access to public sickness benefits records and files, more specifically to prevent or restrict access to non-relevant information.
Bill to amend the Unemployment Insurance Act
In continuation of the new daily benefits scheme for employees, the Danish Government is planning to continue the principles of the system to ensure greater harmonisation of the rules that apply to employees and self-employed persons.
The above is only a brief summary of the initiatives – click here to see the full legislative programme for 2017/18 (in Danish).
The content of the above is not, and should not be a substitute for legal advice.