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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.



From the mid-1960s into the 1970s there was a public debate in Denmark on investment funds as a company-wide form of employee financial participation. The discussion was originally sparked by the trade unions and taken up by the government. However, the proposed initiatives were not implemented. In 1979 there was an attempt to introduce binding h participation in company profits. However, this effort came to nothing. Instead, in the 1980s voluntary profit-sharing schemes gained in importance.


The first legislation in Denmark on employee share ownership and profit-sharing was adopted in 1958. Up to 1 January 2012 it was possible to issue bonds to employees free-of-charge and exempt of tax. In January 2012, many tax incentives for workers’ participation were abolished.1 Various transitional regulations were implemented, which expired on 1 January 2013. Although workers’ participation schemes are widespread in Denmark by European comparison, since 2010/2011 this has receded somewhat, according to a number of studies.2

Wilke, Maack and Partner (2014) Country reports on Financial Participation in Europe. Prepared for www.worker-participation.eu. Reports first published in 2007 and fully updated in 2014.