Home / National Industrial Relations / Countries / Denmark

Denmark  Denmark

Key Facts

Population5,573,894
Collective Bargaining Coverage 80%
Proportion of Employees in Unions 67%
Principal Level of Collective Bargaining

industry – but much left to company negotiations

Workplace Representation

union

Board-level Representation

yes: state-owned and private companies

Company Board Structure

dualistic

Sources: see individual country sections; where a range of figures has been quoted, the lower number has been taken

Trade Unions

Union density is high in Denmark, at around two-thirds of the workforce, although it has fallen in recent years. Most union members are in unions associated with the three main confederations – LO, FTF and Akademikerne (previously known as AC). These are organised on occupational and educational lines, although the boundaries between the three are not precise.

more ...

Collective Bargaining

note2

Bargaining at national level provides a framework for much of the Danish industrial relations system. Pay and conditions are negotiated between unions or “cartels” of unions and the employers at industry level, but complementary negotiations at company level are becoming increasingly important. Overall 80% of employees are covered by collective bargaining.

more ...

Workplace Representation

Unions are central to workplace representation in Denmark. Local union representatives take up employees’ concerns with management and are often also members of the main information and consultation body – the cooperation committee.

more ...

Board-level Representation

Employee representation at board level starts in companies with 35 employees and these representatives have one third of the seats.

more ...

European-level Representation

The cooperation committee chooses most employee representatives for European level bodies. The one exception relates to board level representatives in a European Company – they must be elected by the workforce.

more ...

Health and Safety Representation

All health and safety representation in Denmark is through joint employer/employee bodies. In larger companies, there is a two-tier structure, with the higher body dealing with strategic issues and the lower body with issues on a day-to-day basis. However, in companies with fewer than 35 employees a single body deals with both. The lower level body can interrupt work if it considers that there is an imminent and substantial threat to health and safety.

more ...

Financial Participation

The issue of employee financial participation has bee debated in Denmark since the 1960s. Participation schemes in Denmark are widespread in comparison with other European countries.

more ...