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The first steps towards a balanced work environment

The Danish Act on Working hours has undergone significant changes in response to an EU ruling from May 2019. This ruling requires European companies to accurately record the working hours of all employees. Behind this change lies a goal to promote a fairer and more transparent work practice, as well as to ensure the rights of workers with a focus on rest and working hours. These measures are designed to create a more balanced work environment and strengthen the protection of workers' welfare and labor rights.

What do the new requirements entail?

From July 1, 2024, all Danish employers must have a reliable and accessible time registration system in place. This system must be able to record and document all employees' working hours.

Companies must ensure that time registration is accurate and comprehensive, as it will be used to ensure compliance with legal requirements regarding maximum working hours, rest periods, and breaks. It is also expected that time registration will help minimize the risk of disputes between employers and employees by creating clear documented records of working hours.

According to the new requirements, employees are entitled to at least 11 consecutive hours of rest within a 24-hour period and a weekly rest day. A limit of 48 hours of work per week has also been set.

What are the requirements for storage and accessibility?

It is expected that companies implement secure and easily accessible systems for storing time registrations, allowing employees easy access to their own information. This not only contributes to legal compliance but also creates transparency and trust in the work environment. These records should be kept for at least five years, as required by the Data Protection Act. This not only ensures that companies comply with the law, but also allows for tracking and analyzing the development of working hours over time, which can be valuable for both the company and its employees.

Are all employees covered?

Although the new requirements for time registration apply to all employees, there are certain exceptions to consider. These exceptions typically include directors, managers, and employees whose working hours are difficult to predict due to the nature of the work. It is crucial to understand that these exceptions must be well-founded and in accordance with applicable law to avoid misunderstandings or disputes. It is important for companies to handle exceptions carefully and transparently to ensure a fair and legal work practice for all employees.

Changes to the employment contract:

It is crucial that the employment contract or an addendum to the contract contains a clear and precise definition of the employee's role as a “self-organizer”, and therefore exempt from the time registration rules and the provisions of the Working hours act regarding breaks, maximum weekly working hours, and night work. Without such a definition, the employee is automatically subject to the general rules just like other employees. To avoid any legal or operational discrepancies in the future, it is essential to ensure that this definition is clear and precise in the contract or addendum to the contract.


If the maximum weekly working hours of 48 hours are not complied with, employees may be entitled to individual compensation. If the rest period rules in the Act of Working Hours are not complied with, the labor inspectorate can impose fines on employers and issue injunctions.

With the new rules on recording daily working hours, it can be expected that the burden of proof for violations of maximum weekly working hours, breaks, and rest period rules will become easier for employees, trade unions, the labor inspectorate, and other authorities. If employers do not record daily working hours in accordance with the rules, this could have serious consequences according to the bill, which is expected to significantly impact employers.

Employer - Get ready!

Based on the above, the employer faces a major task if they have not already started implementing the new requirements. We at Summ are ready to assist you through the complexity these changes might have for your company.

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