AuthorNatalie Videbaek Munkholm
1 Introduction
1.1 Basic structure of the national legal system
Denmark is a constitutional monarchy, consisti ng of Denma rk, Greenland and the Faroe
Islands. Greenland and the Faroe Islands are not members of the European Union.
The Danish judicial system is based on the traditions of civil law as in continent al Europe.
In general, rules and legal principles are organised in a number of statutory acts.
Approximately 80 % of the Danish labour market is covered b y coll ective ag reements.
Collective agreements cover areas such as minimum wages, working hours, occupational
pension schemes and parental leave rights. Thus, collective agreements play a significant
role in the legal landscape regarding work-related issues. Collective agreements are
concluded by the labour market parties thems elves, and th e state is not party or in any
other way involved in the negotiation of such agreem ents.1
A Public Conciliator, as well as th e Labour Court, has been set up by t he state in order to
assist in resolving conflicts in the l abour market. Only in exceptional cases, has it been
necessary to issue statutory legislation and only in instances where the aim was to protect
certain groups of workers whose organisation had insufficient power to protect their
members or were otherwise in need of special protection, and never on the topic of pay.
Statutory legislation concerning the employment relationship between employer and
employee has therefore primarily been limited to instances where it was required as part
of the process of implementing European Union directives.
The Danish welfare model is to a larg e extent funded by general taxes. R egulation and
interpretation of social security benefits are tied to the Parliament; courts, in their
interpretation of regu lations, often follow the intent of the legislators. This suggests that
judicial interpretations of the legislation are very closely linked to the preparatory works
of the legislative act.
In addition to the court system, there are several specialised administrative complaint
boards in Denmark. The Board of Equal Treatment (the Equality Board) was established in
2009. The board handles individual complaints on all grounds of discrimination. Decisions
of the Equality Board can be brought before the courts.
1.2 List of main legislation transposing and implementing the directives
All Danish legislation is published electronically in Lovtidende,2 the official Law Journal of
the Danish Government. Simultaneously, it is made available in the electronic database
The relevant Danish legislation on equality with regard to the subject of this report is listed
- Consolidation Act No. 156/2019 on Equal Pay (Ligelønsloven) ;4
- Consolidation No 645/2011 on Equal Treatment of Men and Women as regards
Access to Employment, etc. with later amendments (Ligebehandli ngsloven);5
- Consolidation Act No. 1678/2013 on Gender Equality with later amendment s
1 For more on the Danish labour market system see Kristiansen, J. (ed) (2015) Europe and the Nordic
Collective-Bargaining Model: The Complex Interaction between Nordic and European Labour Law, Nordic
Council of Ministers.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT