Foreign temporary agency workers who are posted to work in Denmark are covered by Danish regulations on temporary workers' rights.
In essence, the rights of temporary agency workers mean that they must not work under worse conditions than if they were employed in the enterprise where they carry out work as substitutes.
What is a temporary agency worker?
According to the Act covering the legal rights of temporary agency workers, a temporary agency worker is a person who has been employed by an agency to be posted to work temporarily at a contracting enterprise, a horticultural nursery, for example.
The Act does not apply to employees who are temporarily employed but not posted by an agency.
What are the rights of the temporary agency worker?
The Act on temporary agency workers contains a principle of equal treatment. This means that the posted temporary agency worker must at least work under the same conditions as they would be entitled to under the law, collective agreement or other binding general provisions if the temporary agency worker had been employed directly by the contracting enterprise for the same job. The principle of equal treatment applies to the following work conditions, among others:
- Length of working hours
- Rest periods
- Night work
- Holiday free time
A temporary agency worker is entitled to information on the working conditions that apply in the company where the temporary work is carried out. The temporary agency worker can request this information from the agency.
Work covered by collective agreement
If the temporary work is covered by a collective agreement entered into by the most representative parties in the Danish labour market (and which covers the entire Danish area) the principle of equal treatment in the Act does not apply. This means that even if the collective agreement places the temporary agency worker in a worse position than if they worked according to the principle of equal treatment, the conditions in the collective agreement are still legal.
Read more about collective agreements
What are the obligations of the contracting enterprise?
The contracting enterprise is the business where the temporary work is carried out. The contracting enterprise has the following obligations:
- The business must inform the temporary agency worker about available positions in the business. In this way it is ensured that the temporary agency worker has the same opportunity to fill an available position as other employees in the business.
- The enterprise must ensure that the temporary agency worker has access to shared facilities, a canteen for example, on an equal basis with the enterprise's own employees.
- The enterprise must give information on the use of temporary agency workers to the enterprise employee representative, if the contracting enterprise is covered by the Act on Information and Consultation of Employees, or if there exists an equivalent obligation in the collective agreement (cooperation agreement).
- The enterprise shall inform the temporary work agency of the conditions applying in the enterprise which are also to be provided for the posted temporary agency worker.
- The undertaking shall, within reasonable time, inform the temporary work agency if the undertaking decides to post the posted temporary agency worker to another EU or EEA country.
May a temp worker be employed by the contracting enterprise?
Contracting enterprises are permitted to employ temporary agency workers after the period of temporary employment is concluded. The temporary agency may not oppose this, but is entitled to request a reasonable payment from the contracting enterprise. This particularly applies to services provided to the contracting enterprise in connection with posting, hiring and training of temporary agency workers.
An agency may not demand payment from an employee in connection with such an appointment.
The Confederation of Danish Employers (DA)
The main organisation for 14 employers' organisations in the private sector within industry, trade, services and construction.
Telephone: +45 33 38 90 00
Danish Trade Union Confederation (FH)
The umbrella organisation for trade unions and cartels. Represents 1.4 million members across various sectors.
Telephone: +45 35 24 60 00