Guide for hiring foreign employees
Foreign employees are essential for many businesses when it comes to ensuring sufficient labour, but hiring foreign labour also involves a number of legal responsibilities for companies. DI offers advice about the most important points.
The legal services department at the Confederation of Danish Industry is busy helping companies that want to hire employees without a Danish passport.
“Particularly di.dk is a popular resource, because it gives members an overview of what is required in order to hire foreign employees and which rules they must be aware of,” explains Mette Engelbrecht Jensen, Senior Advisor in DI’s legal advising department.
Familiarising oneself with new rules can be overwhelming, and there are many things to take into account when you want to ensure that a new employee successfully becomes part of the labour market in a different country. Getting things in order can be more time-consuming than expected the first time around.
Work permits are a recurring topic. Work permits are necessary for citizens of third countries in order to legally work in Denmark. Citizens from the EU and EEA countries (Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein) and from Switzerland do not require work permits, but they must apply for a registration certificate latest three months after entering the country.
If a work permit is no longer valid or is revoked by immigration services, it is often the case that the employer is not informed. Mette Engelbrecht Jensen, Senior Advisor, DI
Companies must ensure that employees have a valid work permit that covers the particular job they are hired to do, but they must also carry out periodic checks of work permits. If these things are not in order, companies risk fines.
“If a work permit is no longer valid or is revoked by immigration services, it is often the case that the employer is not informed. Nor are companies necessarily warned if there are changes to an employee’s specific conditions, and that is why it is important that they acquaint themselves with the rights and duties associated with a work permit, so that the employer can follow up and act upon any changes to the employee’s conditions,” explains Mette E. Jensen.
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More foreigners in the future
The need for foreign labour has increased markedly in recent years and is expected to continue rising. In 2017 the number of foreigners with full-time employment passed 200,000, and according to forecasts from the Ministry of Finance, Danish businesses will require 52,000 more foreign workers by 2025.
The increasing need for employees is underlined by the fact that overall private sector employment in Denmark has been on the rise since 2013. This growth is expected to continue, and according to DI’s forecast from May, a further 27,000 jobs will be needed in 2018.
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Five keys points when hiring foreign employees
Employees from other countries are an attractive opportunity for Danish companies – a fact that is clearly illustrated by the many inquiries to DI’s legal services. Here are five key things to consider:
Familiarise yourself: The most important thing is to familiarise yourself with the rules that the company must comply with before you can legally hire international workers.
Citizenship: Citizenship determines which rules the company must comply with and which duties the company and employee must fulfil under an employment contract. Different rules apply to citizens from the EU/EEA and Switzerland and citizens from outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland.
Work permit: Ensure that employees who are citizens of third countries – that is, countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland – have the correct work permit and necessary registrations and that EU citizens are correctly registered.
Checks: Work permits must be checked in the course of an employment contract. The company is responsible for ensuring that foreign employees are working legally in the country. If a work permit does not cover the work that an employee carries out for an employer, the employer may receive fines of up to DKK 20,000 per employee per month.
Family: Consider how you can retain the employee. Here, the employee’s family is a decisive factor, and questions such as whether the spouse is able to get a job, the children have access to good schools and the family is able to build social relations are important.
Contact DI’s legal services at 3377 3377 or email@example.com for more advice regarding employment of foreign employees.