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Work environment representatives receive longer notice periods

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Legal news
calendar 1 February 2024
globus Denmark

From 1 February 2024, some work environment representatives will be entitled to an extended notice period of 6 weeks. Companies must provide information about the extended notice period. In addition, the rules on workplace assessments will be clarified, and the Danish Working Environment Authority's response options will be simplified. This is stated in a new act.

The Danish Parliament has recently passed an act to amend the Danish Working Environment Act. The new rules include a duty of action for companies.

We review the most significant changes to the Danish Working Environment Act.

Extended notice period for work environment representatives

In the future, work environment representatives will be entitled to an extended notice period of six weeks.

The rule does not apply to work environment representatives covered by a collective bargaining agreement and protected against termination and other detriment of their conditions in the same way as union representatives.

Gender-neutral shop stewards

With the new rules, the word "shop stewards" will be changed to "union representatives". The change ensures that a gender-neutral term is used for union representatives.

Clear requirements for workplace assessments

The new rules clarify the requirements for companies' workplace assessments (WPAs). For example, it is clearer that companies must conduct a workplace assessment when changes that may impact the working environment are made to work, working methods or processes, etc. If companies do not do this, they do not comply with the requirements for the work with WPA.

In addition, the language is changed to clarify that a WPA must be "carried out" and not "produced" by the company. This is to explain that the WPA is a process carried out and not a piece of paper produced.

The Danish Working Environment Authority’s response options are simplified

In the future, the Danish Working Environment Authority will focus its inspections on companies that violate the rules. Therefore, the response options of the Danish Working Environment Authority will be simplified.

IUNO’s opinion

The new rules focus primarily on clarifying existing obligations for companies. However, the new requirement for an extended notice period for work environment representatives means that companies must provide information about the extended notice period.

IUNO recommends that companies update their standard employment contracts for work environment representatives and draft an addendum for existing work environment representatives if they are entitled to an extended notice period. Suppose companies do not provide information about the extended notice period. In that case, employees will be entitled to compensation under the Danish Act on employment contracts and certain working conditions.

 [L 67 amending the Danish Working Environment Act, the Danish Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Danish Aliens Act of 17 December 2023]

The Danish Parliament has recently passed an act to amend the Danish Working Environment Act. The new rules include a duty of action for companies.

We review the most significant changes to the Danish Working Environment Act.

Extended notice period for work environment representatives

In the future, work environment representatives will be entitled to an extended notice period of six weeks.

The rule does not apply to work environment representatives covered by a collective bargaining agreement and protected against termination and other detriment of their conditions in the same way as union representatives.

Gender-neutral shop stewards

With the new rules, the word "shop stewards" will be changed to "union representatives". The change ensures that a gender-neutral term is used for union representatives.

Clear requirements for workplace assessments

The new rules clarify the requirements for companies' workplace assessments (WPAs). For example, it is clearer that companies must conduct a workplace assessment when changes that may impact the working environment are made to work, working methods or processes, etc. If companies do not do this, they do not comply with the requirements for the work with WPA.

In addition, the language is changed to clarify that a WPA must be "carried out" and not "produced" by the company. This is to explain that the WPA is a process carried out and not a piece of paper produced.

The Danish Working Environment Authority’s response options are simplified

In the future, the Danish Working Environment Authority will focus its inspections on companies that violate the rules. Therefore, the response options of the Danish Working Environment Authority will be simplified.

IUNO’s opinion

The new rules focus primarily on clarifying existing obligations for companies. However, the new requirement for an extended notice period for work environment representatives means that companies must provide information about the extended notice period.

IUNO recommends that companies update their standard employment contracts for work environment representatives and draft an addendum for existing work environment representatives if they are entitled to an extended notice period. Suppose companies do not provide information about the extended notice period. In that case, employees will be entitled to compensation under the Danish Act on employment contracts and certain working conditions.

 [L 67 amending the Danish Working Environment Act, the Danish Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Danish Aliens Act of 17 December 2023]

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Anders

Etgen Reitz

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Søren

Hessellund Klausen

Partner

Kirsten

Astrup

Managing associate (on leave)

Cecillie

Groth Henriksen

Senior associate

Johan

Gustav Dein

Associate

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Alexandra

Jensen

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Anaïs

Kjærgaard Crouzet

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Anders

Etgen Reitz

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Caroline

Thorsen

Junior legal assistant

Cecillie

Groth Henriksen

Senior associate

Johan

Gustav Dein

Associate

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Meyer

Senior legal assistant

Kirsten

Astrup

Managing associate (on leave)

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Kjærsgaard Juhl

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Aurora Braut Bache

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Søren

Hessellund Klausen

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