“It was crucial for us to reach an agreement that would create a basis that enables Danish companies to compete with businesses around the world. We can thereby continue the positive development for Denmark, whereby we create jobs and prosperity at home,” says CEO of the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), Karsten Dybvad.
“The negotiations have been tough. But I think we’ve managed to land a good deal for both parties. For example, we’ve agreed on a better framework for companies and employees to plan their working hours locally according to their particular needs,” says the CEO of DI.
Furthermore, the agreement means that the parties will test out a model in which employees can receive support for agreed training in several areas. These include teaching for dyslexics, selected vocational training programmes and selected modules at academy profession and diploma programmes.
“Skilled and competent employees are a decisive part of our companies’ ability to compete. I’m therefore pleased that the agreement enables us to give employees better opportunities, for example to upgrade their qualifications from unskilled to skilled in selected programmes where companies need more trained workers,” says CEO Karsten Dybvad, DI.
The new agreement also includes a senior scheme enabling employees to convert their optional pay account and pension contribution to additional senior holidays starting five years before the state pension age.
“Our companies need skilled employees, and this definitely also applies to older employees, who often have extensive and valuable experience. With this agreement, we’ve created an expanded senior scheme that provides even better opportunities to reconcile work life and senior life,” says DI's CEO Karsten Dybvad.
The collective industrial agreement covers approx. 230,000 employees at approx. 6,000 enterprises.
The main elements of the agreement between CO-industri and DI for a new three-year collective agreement effective from 1 March, 2017 to March 1, 2020:
· Financial support for agreed training: In view of the need to train more employees in selected areas, a model will be tested where agreed training within a number of programmes may be supported by the Competence Development Fund of Industry (IKUF). Examples include dyslexia education, selected vocational training and selected modules at academy profession and diploma courses.
· Enterprises with varying production needs may notify employees of systematic overtime if it is not possible to reach a local agreement on varying weekly working hours. Overtime shall not exceed five hours per week and one hour per day.
· For employees covered by the Collective Agreement for Salaried Employees in Industry, individual or collective agreements may be made for other or additional pay systems, e.g. bonus schemes.
· The rules for the child's first day of illness change so that employees have the right to the day off the rest of the day on which the parent receives notice of the child's illness as well as the following day.
· Employees are granted two childcare days per year and can in connection with these receive payment from their optional pay account.
· The rules for time off in connection with children's hospitalisation shall be expanded to also include hospitalisation at home.
· Employees who fall ill before scheduled time off in lieu may take off the compensatory lieu days later.
· An expanded senior scheme shall be introduced starting five years before the generally applicable state pension age, in which all or part of the employee’s free choice wage account and pension contributions can be converted to additional senior holidays.
· Full pay shall be given during parental leave for employees with at least nine months' seniority.
· Shop stewards who agree with the enterprise to carry out vocational training as an adult apprentice can continue to serve as shop stewards while in training.
· Shop stewards who have been shop stewards for at least three years shall have the right to vocational training to enhance their career when their stewardship comes to an end.
· Employees who cease to be shop stewards and continue to be salaried employees and employed according to the Danish Salaried Employees Act shall, like hourly employees, for up to one year after his/her resignation as a shop steward be entitled to a six-week extension of their notice period, provided that they have acted as such for at least one year.
· Temporaries at temporary employment agencies shall have better opportunities to retain their seniority.
· Salaried employees shall have access to a clarifying meeting at the user enterprise in cases where there may be doubt as to whether an enterprise performs temporary work or not.
· The annual remuneration for shop stewards shall be regulated so that, as of 1 April 2017, it amounts to:
· Shop stewards elected from among up to and including 49 persons: DKK 9,000 per year.
· Shop stewards elected from among 50 to 99 persons: DKK 16,500 per year.
· Shop stewards elected from among 100 persons: DKK 33,000 per year.
· The rules of the Industrial Collective Agreement on overtime, staggered hours and shiftwork have been revised.
· The contribution to optional pay account shall be increased to 2.7 per cent as of 1 March 2017, to 3.4 per cent as of 1 March 2018 and to 4.0 per cent as of 1 March 2019.
· Newly admitted member enterprises can choose to increase the contribution to the optional pay account so that it is fully introduced after latest three years.
· The minimum pay rate, which today amounts to DKK 113.65, shall be increased to DKK 115.65 as of 1 March 2017, to DKK 117.65 as of 1 March 2018 and to DKK 119.65 as of 1 March 2019.
· Inconvenience allowance shall be regulated with 1.6 per cent in every agreement year as of 1 March.
· Apprentice and student rates are regulated with 1.7 per cent in every agreement year as of 1 March.
· Apprentices and students who have turned 20 and have earned two months’ seniority shall be covered by the agreement’s pension regulations. The parties urge the Confederation of Danish Employers (DA) and the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) to advise the Danish Parliament to finance parts of the cost through the Labour Market’s Education Contribution (AUB).
· In connection with the renewal of the Collective Agreement, DI and CO-industri urge the government to restructure the framework allowing adults to undertake vocational training in connection with the forthcoming tripartite negotiations at the latest.
· The parties also urge that DA, LO and the government improve the bonus scheme for enterprises that already train a sufficient number of apprentices and students but still choose to accept more apprentices and students within the training programmes there will be a particular shortage of in the future.