The Danish Parliament has adopted amendments to the Danish Aliens Act designed to make it easier for Danish enterprises to recruit foreign labour. With this amendment comes the adoption of a supplementary pay limit scheme as well as an expansion of the fast-track scheme, the positive list and the Startup Denmark scheme. The bill will already enter into force on 1 April 2023.

Our previous news item on the bill can be read here.

1. Supplementary pay limit scheme

Adoption of the supplementary pay limit scheme means that an employee may be granted work and residence permits if the person in question receives an annual salary of a minimum of DKK 375,000 (2023 level). Before the amendment, the employee was – according to the existing pay limit scheme – to receive an annual salary of a minimum of DKK 465,000 (2023 level).

In addition, the person in question must have agreed on or have received an offer of employment in an area in which the gross unemployment adjusted for seasonal variations at the time of the application for the preceding three months has not on average exceeded a level determined by the Minister for Immigration and Integration, see sub-section (32), and the position at the time of the application has been posted on Jobnet and the EURES portal for a minimum of two weeks.

Obtaining a residence permit is still subject to the terms of pay and employment being customary.

In the political agreement "Strengthened international recruitment", which the former government and a number of other parties entered into in 2022, it was suggested that the supplementary pay limit scheme was to be temporary only. With the current adoption, the pay limit scheme has, however, been made permanent. 

2. Expansion of the fast-track scheme

In the future, enterprises with at least ten full-time employees may apply for certification to use the fast-track scheme. In contrast, the enterprises were previously to have at least 20 full-time employees. The number of full-time employees when the enterprise applies for certification will determine whether an enterprise has ten full-time employees.

Following a proposed amendment, it has also been adopted that enterprises already certified at the time the Act enters into force will, on 1 April 2023, be covered by the less strict requirement of 10 full-time employees. An enterprise certified before 1 April 2023 but which on 1 April 2023 or subsequently no longer meets the requirement for 20 full-time employees will consequently not have its certification revoked if the requirement of at least ten full-time employees is met.

3. Expansion of the positive list

Adopting the statutory amendment also means that the positive list for persons with higher education is expanded. The professionally defined unemployment insurance funds will be given the possibility of adding supplementary job titles to the positive list applicable to the entire country within the professional area of the individual unemployment insurance fund, and the regional labour market councils will be given the possibility of adding supplementary job titles to the list of their various regional areas. Finally, positions on the positive list may in the future be excluded from the list after two years at the earliest.

4. Expansion of the Startup Denmark scheme

With the expansion of the Startup Denmark scheme, a non-Danish business owner wanting to open a branch of an existing enterprise in Denmark may now apply for a residence permit according to the Startup Denmark scheme. In addition, foreigners having already established a successful independent enterprise in Denmark may now, through Startup Denmark, apply for a residence permit to operate the enterprise.

For more information

If you are interested in learning more about foreign labour, please sign up for Bech-Bruun's employment law morning meeting on 9 May 2023. For additional information about this, please contact Sandro Ratkovic or Sara Maria Christensen. You may also get in touch with your usual Bech-Bruun contact.