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Advice from DI: Check how a labour dispute could affect you

If the public sector is affected by a labour dispute, it may also have consequences for the thousands of companies that supply products, services or consultancy to the public sector. The Confederation of Danish Industry advises companies to examine how they may be impacted.
Laundry is an area in which private companies perform services for the public sector that may be affected by a labour dispute. Photo: Hans Søndergaard

Publiceret: 21.03.2018
Af Felix Bekkersgaard Stark mail

Each year, private Danish companies supply products, services or consultancy to the public sector worth more than DKK 300 billion.

The looming labour dispute in the public sector may therefore also have repercussions for many areas of the private sector.

“It is difficult to give an accurate account of possible consequences. But a dispute is certain to impact cleaning at schools, hospitals and other public institutions where private companies perform services, for example. Here, a lockout may very well mean that the private suppliers are not able to carry out their jobs as usual,” says Director Jakob Scharff, the Confederation of Danish Industry.

But it may have consequences in other areas as well. One example is consultants hired for development seminars or workshops where the participants are kept away due to the lockout, while rented spaces and other expenses can rarely be cancelled in time.

“Our assessment is that a lockout generally cannot be considered force majeure, unless otherwise agreed in the contract. This means that contracts will typically continue. If the public party wishes to change the agreement, both parties must agree. What is most important is firstly for companies to assess whether they may be affected and secondly to examine what has been agreed in the contract,” says Jakob Scharff.

See also: Outsourcing halved - companies send significantly less jobs abroad

Is the workplace responsible for childcare?

A labour dispute in the public sector will also affect many public sector employees. Childcare, public transport, scheduled teaching and much more will be interrupted during a dispute.

In most cases, it is up to employees themselves to find a solution.

“In all cases, we recommend that you treat the situation as you to be treated yourself. A dispute can also occur at private workplaces, and the situation requires that you consider how the situation would be viewed from the other side of the negotiation table.”

According to Jakob Scharff, this is particularly the case when a dispute impacts deliveries to the public sector.

“A conflict in private contexts makes flexibility and dialogue highly necessary in order to keep day-to-day functions running and maintain the good relationship with clients and suppliers. We therefore encourage companies to enter into dialogue with public sector clients and find reasonable solutions when possible,” says Jakob Scharff.

If you have questions about the impact of the labour dispute, please contact DI’s legal services at 33773377 or juradi.dk

In most cases, it is up to employees themselves to find a solution.
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PUBLISHED: 3/21/2018 LAST MODIFIED: 3/21/2018