The provisions relating to parental leave, maternity leave and paternity leave are defined in collective agreements and in legislation applicable to persons who are not covered by a collective agreement. In principle, workers on birth leave receive the full salary for the agreed period of leave. The number of paternity leave has increased over the past decade. A collective agreement is an agreement between two parties on the working conditions applicable to workers in a particular company or sector. In Denmark, neither Danish nor foreign companies are legally required to respect or enter into a collective agreement. European working time is implemented within the framework of the industrial agreement (organisational agreement on the implementation of the European Working Time Directive). The definition of night work is seven hours and covers the period between midnight and 5 a.m. If no local agreement is reached, the time of night is 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. (industrial agreement). It is a decision to challenge the foreign company in the Danish Labour Court to decide whether the claims of a collective agreement are legal and whether a strike or blockade is legal. The Danish Labour Court will rule immediately on these issues. In Denmark, all important labour relations issues, such as wages, working conditions, training and pensions, are resolved by social partners through recurrent collective bargaining.

The main levels are sectors and businesses that interact according to a centralized system of decentralization. Collective agreements are mandatory. The most important level of collective bargaining in Denmark is the sector level. In general, negotiations in the industrial sector are on the agenda for other negotiations at this level. For example, the Confederation of Trade Unions, the Central Organization of Industry Employees (central organisation of the industry, CO-industry) and the largest employers` organisation, IDE, play an important role in the Danish industrial relations system. In accordance with Section 6 bis of the Worker Detachment Act, a number of conditions must be met to enable Danish trade unions to fight against foreign companies. The section also describes the maximum wage elements that may be required in the collective agreement. The Sickness Benefits Act (Consolidated Law 871 of June 28, 2013 – Sygedagpengeloven) applies to those who are not covered by the collective agreement, including the self-employed. The employer pays the first 30 days off, and then the municipality assumes responsibility for the sick pay for the act. In Denmark, there are many examples of trade unions taking union action to reach a collective agreement. This includes Danish and foreign employers. Compared to foreign employers, the right to trade union action in the construction industry has been particularly important.

Legislation regulating the Danish labour market is minimal. Key labour market issues – such as wages, working hours, working conditions or the right to strike – are governed by agreements between employers and workers. After more than a month of negotiations, including non-stop negotiations from Thursday afternoon to Friday evening, 3F Transport and IDE have reached an agreement to extend the collective agreements of the transport sector.

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