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How to solve an employment conflict in Denmark

Employment disputes are resolved through the ordinary Courts on the one hand and the Labour Court and the arbitration boards on the other.

Written by Helle Groth Christensen and Nicholas Ørum Keller, lawyers at Ret&Råd Glostrup

Ordinary Courts have jurisdiction over the interpretation of legislation and individual contracts. Read more about the litigation process, processing time, costs etc. in our article "Litigation in Denmark".

Click here to read more about the Danish Labour Market

The Labour Court is a special tribunal, which in particular deals with cases of breach of collective agreements. If a company is accused of violating the collective agreement on wages or working conditions, the case will be seen before the Labour Court. The Labour Court may also address questions about the legality of collective action, such as for instance strikes. Cases concerning collective action, in order to require collective bargaining in areas where no collective bargaining agreement has been concluded, will also be seen before the Labour Court.

The purpose of having a special court in the field of labour law is to obtain quick, definitive solutions to a number of conflicts between employers and their possible organizations on the one hand and employees and their organizations on the other. 

Before a case is brought before the Labour Court, it will normally be dealt with at a workplace mediation meeting between the employer and the employee’s organization, in addition to a joint meeting involving the organizations.

The processing time before the Labour Court depends on the case type. Urgent matters as strikes and the like are processed within a few days. Other cases have an average processing time of 3-12 months.

The arbitration boards, also called industrial arbitration (Danish: “faglig voldgift”) are established ad hoc by the parties of a collective agreement, typically in cases of “unfair dismissal”. The processing time before the industrial arbitration is normally 6-12 months.

The rulings of the industrial arbitrations as well as of the Labour Court are very important sources of employment law.

No court fee is paid in cases before the Labour Court, but the court decides in its ruling a smaller amount, that the losing party will have to pay, in order to cover a part of the costs to the court.

Rulings within the Labour law system cannot be appealed to the regular court system. 

Are you involved in an employment conflict in Denmark? Let us solve it for you today! Contact our employment lawyers Helle Groth Christensen at hgc@ret-raad.dk or +45 46304677, or Nicholas Ørum Keller at nik@ret-raad.dk or +45 46304682.

If you wish to read more about Danish employment law see our other articles "Collective bargaining agreements in Denmark" and "Danish Employment law at a glance".

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