Working in Denmark



The robust growth of the Danish economy continues as the rate of employment rises in Denmark. The high demand of the labour force resulted in a low unemployment rate of 4.30% in December 2016. 

In Denmark, both men and women work full time. Sexual discrimination is not accepted, and gender equality is highly enforced. Women are encouraged to be a part of the workforce, instead of staying at home doing domestic work. This equality of sexes enriches the labour market. This country also possesses a high-income economy that has an estimated total (nominal) GDP of USD 302.571 billion in 2016. Another major selling point of the Kingdom of Denmark is its impressive ranking in several metrics of national performance which includes human development, education, health care and prosperity; all of which are attractive to expats who want to work abroad. 

The Danish Job Market 

Compared to other EU countries, Denmark has a relatively low unemployment rate. Currently, the shortage of Danish labour is in the field of information technology, agriculture and health, jobs such as nurses, doctors and pharmacists. There is also a demand for engineers, mathematicians, statisticians, physicists, biophysicists, chemists and biologists. 

Denmark is home to multinational companies like Lego, Bang & Olufsen, Dell, Microsoft and Nokia. It also hosts the headquarters of companies like eBay and Skype. A majority of multinational companies use English as the primary business language. However, most Danish companies operate in their mother tongue - Danish. Having a decent knowledge of the Danish language can help you land a white-collar job. 

You can find work through job centres by logging onto You can also utilise contacts or networks, search through ads in newspapers and trade journals, or seek the help of a private employment agency. 

Average Salary and Work Hours 

In Denmark, there is no minimum wage law but there is an ‘average’ minimum wage of DKK 110 or USD 20 per hour which is the lowest minimum wage, exclusive of pension benefits, negotiated in both the public and private sectors. It simply means that some companies can offer a salary lower than the USD 20 average minimum wage. Salaries in this country are also significantly affected by two factors: the sector you work for (public or private) and your qualifications. Generally speaking, the current average monthly salary in Denmark is at DKK 37,850 or USD 5,430. 

Danes typically work 37 hours per week, divided over five days. A typical work week is from Mondays to Fridays between 6 am and 6 pm. Employees have the right to five weeks holiday per year. Maternity leave applies to both sexes. In Denmark, lunch breaks are 30 minutes long. Lunch breaks are paid in the public sector while employees in the private sector do not usually get paid, although this can vary depending on the company. Work is strictly prohibited for children under the age of 13. 

Work Culture in Denmark 

Danes are motivated and team oriented. Workplaces have modern facilities and high-quality equipment, with strict health and safety rules protecting employees at work. Companies believe in giving employees a chance to progress further in their chosen field with training and education. 

Danes' egalitarian nature is mirrored in their modesty about their work accomplishments, and employees are expected to share their ideas and opinions in any decision making. Expats can expect a positive attitude amongst the locals, and Danes respond to politeness. Most Danes are family centred and make time for leisure activities. Some workplaces have a tradition of going for a beer on Fridays after work. 

The Danish Income Tax 

The Danish income tax ranges from 0-59% percent. Denmark provides a special tax regime for expatriates, wherein foreign workers are subject to minimal taxation on any income, bonuses or allowances for a limited period. To be eligible for the special taxation rates, expats must officially reside in Denmark. Expats working in Denmark through the Job Card Scheme who are employed in certain professional groups are subject to a preferential tax rate (25%) for the first three years.

Denmark also has several income tax brackets whereas the state tax rate is from 5.48% - 15% and the municipal income tax which varies according to your municipality and is levied between 20.14% and 26.71%. For example, the municipal income tax rate in Copenhagen, the capital is 24%. Non-resident expats are taxed at both the state and municipal levels. 

Taxable Income in DKK

Tax Rate (%)

Up to 41,000






335,801 and over


Expats need to provide a passport or EU ID, work and residence permit, employment and salary details, bank account information and tax history from the last country of residence to be able to register as a taxpayer at the nearest tax office in the local municipality. A tax card will be provided and should be given to the employer. Taxes will be automatically deducted from the salary.


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