About CBS

The Danish Model

In Denmark, there is no comprehensive governmental interference in the Danish labour market or any legislation regarding wages or working conditions. This makes the Danish labour market very unique. There are five basic dynamics, which defines the Danish labour market: Security, stability, trust, efficiency, and flexibility.

You will find a clear division of responsibility between the Danish government and the social partners, regarding the labour market policies. The government intervenes as little as possible in labour market issues. When handling concrete challenges on the labour market, the Danish government invites the social partners to triparte discussions to find an agreement.

The labour market id a hybrid combination of on the one hand a well-developed and extensive social protection system and on the other hand an active labour-market policy with flexible regulations. There is a general open and inclusive focus on employment security, which makes companies less hesitant to recruit new employees and let them adjust, as it is relatively easy to dismiss employees. However, this also makes workers more open to mobility and job changes. This is what is known as the flexicurity model, which consists of three core elements: 
     1. Employers are able to hire and fire, without excessive costs for dismissing employees.
     2. Employees who join an unemployment insurance fund receive up to two years unemployment benefit after losing their job.
     3. In order to get unemployed Danes back to work quickly, the government has education and retraining programs, while also providing counseling services.

Further, the Danish state provides subsistence payments for Danes who loses their livelyhood due to illness, divorce, or unemployment, and who do not qualify under other social welfare schemes.

Trade Union (Fagforening) and Unemployment Insurance (A-kasse) 

Trade Union (Fagforening) 
In Denmark, legislation covers specific topics such as health and safety, holiday entitlemants, sickness benefits, equal treatment, equal pay, or maternity / paternity leave. A Trade Union knows these legislations very well and will help you on these matters. A Trade Union will stand by you and your interests, if you are faced with e.g. settling on agreements, contracts, or salary negotiation. The main focus of a trade union is your legal rights as an employee. Therefore, Trade Unions have many lawyers and specialists who can help you in regard to legal matters. In order to become a member of a Trade Union, a monthly fee is charged.

Your choice of Trade Union depends on your education, as the different unions are each specialised in a specific field of work. For exampel, the Trade Union IDA represents engineers in Denmark and DJØF represents a broad range of academics in Denmark. 
Unemployment Insurance (A-kasse)
The unemployment insurance provides security in case of unemployment. This insurance entitles you to a monthly benefit for a period of time in case you should find yourself without work and thus income. As with other insurances, this unemployment insurance costs a monthly or annual fee in order to be a member, regardless of your job situation (usually the unemployment insurance is free for students).

Trade Union Representative (Tillidsrepræsentant) 

What is a Trade Union representative? 
The elected trade union representative will take up concerns from the employees with management and usually has a mandate to negotiate locally on pay or other work related arrangements. There can be several trade union representatives at the same workplace, since a union representative typically only represents one professional group. Your Trade Union representative is mentioned in your letter of employment from CBS. 

The Trade Union representative's primary task is to represent the interests of the group of colleagues who have chosen him or her to represent them. It is, however, not a legal requirement to have a Trade Union representative at a workplace, but up to the employer to decide.

The Trade Union representative is elected democratically for a period of two years. In case the colleagues are dissatisfied, they can convene a meeting where they decide whether he or she should continue as their representative. However, it is rare for Union representatives to be "overthrown", but the possibility makes it important for the Trade Union representative to make sure that there is collective support for the agreements and compromises he or she enters into.
What does a Trade Union representative do? 
It is often in relation to collective bargaining that the role of the Trade Union representative becomes visible. However, there are several other tasks that are handled by the Trade Union representative, regarding the individual employees. Overall, the Trade Union representative has to ensure that the employer complies with laws and agreements in relations to the employees. For example, the Trade Union representitive may need to assist an employee in a sick leave interview with the employer, to ensure that the employee is aware of his or her rights, opportunities, and obligations under the law or a collective agreement. Furthermore, it can be possible to have the Trade Union representative present at your wage negotiations. As a new employee you are also contacted by the representitive, before you start your job.

Further, the Trade Union representative has a duty of confidentiality. This means that you can come forward to the representative about problems at the workplace, like inappropriate behaviour, as he or she is subject to confidentiality. Hereby, the Trade Union representative can be a safe person to go to in the need of help.

Wages in Denmark 

Wage Negotiation (Lønforhandling) 
The wages in Denmark are defined exclusively in collective agreements. The wage-setting process is dynamic, since it is dependent on the market demands and other changeable elements in society. This helps ensure flexibility for companies, as the wages are determined by the economic situation at each company.

The general framework of the wage-setting is negotiated between employers and employees within collective aggreements. Even though there is no minimum wage in Denmark, the general wage level is high.

At workplaces, salaries are negotiated once a year. You are also entitled to a wage negotiation, when taking up employment with CBS. Usually, the Trade Union representative handles the negotiations, but sometimes it is handled by the individual employee. Before the negotiations, the Trade Union representative will inform the staff when it is time to submit any requests for salary changes. It can also be possible to request allowances for special duties, qualification allowances, and one-off remunerations.


The page was last edited by: HR // 05/30/2023

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