European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Denmark

3 March 2017

Denmark: agreement ends crisis in industry

On 12 February 2017, an important agreement was presented by the employers’ organisation Dansk Industri (DI) and by the industrial union CO-industri, which brings together nine trade unions in industrial sectors (with almost 229 000 members).

Concluded for three years, this agreement, described as ‘historic’ by Claus Jensen, President of CO-industri, applies to almost 6 000 businesses and 230 000 workers. It provides for funding of DKK 200 million (approx. EUR 26.9 million) for training for: 1. unskilled employees, to enable them to apply for skilled posts; 2. civil servants, to enable them to retrain if their post is abolished; 3. workers who have difficulty reading and writing, especially those with dyslexia. The training will mainly consist of diploma courses. The agreement also stipulates that trade union representatives will receive training that will make it easier for them to find a job at the end of their mandate.

The agreement, which will enter into force once it has been approved by the trade unions, also marks the end of the crisis as it includes a number of salary increases, including a general 1.6 % increase on 1 March of each year for its duration. Added to this are a boost for the minimum hourly wage and higher allowances for employee representatives and apprentices. Specific measures improve conditions for older employees, parents of young children and temporary workers.

Businesses will have greater flexibility in the use of overtime: companies whose level of production fluctuates may, in the absence of a local agreement, require staff to work overtime of no more than 1 hour per day and 5 hours per week. The agreement also gives each business more flexibility: individual or collective agreements could amend or replace pay systems (e.g. bonus schemes) provided for by sectoral collective agreements.

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