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Termination and Severance Policies

Learn about the legal processes for employee termination and severance in Denmark

Notice period

In Denmark, the legal requirements for notice periods during employment termination vary based on whether the employer or the employee is initiating the termination. These regulations are based on the Danish Salaried Employees Act (funktionærloven).

Notice Periods for Employers

The notice period an employer must provide depends on the employee's length of service:

  • Less than 6 months: Employers must give one month's notice.
  • 6 months to 3 years: The notice period increases to three months.
  • 3 years to 6 years: Four months' notice is required.
  • 6 years to 9 years: The notice period extends to five months.
  • Over 9 years: For employees with more than nine years of service, the maximum notice period of six months applies.

Important Points

  • The notice period must end at the calendar month's conclusion. For instance, if an employer gives notice on November 1st, the employment terminates on December 31st.
  • Collective agreements may supersede the notice periods outlined in the Danish Salaried Employees Act.

Notice Periods for Employees

Employees in Denmark are generally required to provide one month's notice when resigning. This notice period must also end at the month's conclusion.


  • No notice period is required for employees on a probationary period of less than three months or temporary employment lasting a maximum of one month.

Severance pay

In Denmark, the entitlement to severance pay is influenced by several factors.

Statutory Severance Pay

The Danish Salaried Employees Act (funktionærloven) governs statutory severance pay. Employees become eligible for statutory severance pay under certain conditions:

  • Employment Duration: The employee must have been continuously employed with the same employer for at least 12 years.
  • Employer-Initiated Dismissal: The termination must be initiated by the employer.

The calculation of severance pay is as follows:

  • 12-17 years of service: One month's salary.
  • 17+ years of service: Three months' salary.

Severance Pay in Collective Agreements

Many collective agreements (overenskomster) in Denmark offer additional severance pay schemes that may be more generous than the statutory minimums.

  • Varying Entitlements: The terms of severance pay within collective agreements can vary significantly depending on the specific agreement and the employee's length of service.

Additional Information

Employers are required to pay severance along with the final paycheck. Severance pay is distinct from and provided in addition to salary owed.

Termination process

The termination of employees in Denmark is regulated by various legal guidelines designed to ensure fair and transparent procedures.

Types of Termination

There are three main types of termination:

  1. Employer-Initiated Termination (Dismissal): The employer terminates the employment relationship. This type of termination must be justified by objective grounds related to the employee's conduct, qualifications, or the company's operational needs.
  2. Employee-Initiated Termination (Resignation): The employee terminates the employment relationship by providing resignation notice.
  3. Mutually Agreed Termination: Both parties agree to end the employment relationship.

Employer-Initiated Termination (Dismissal)

The process for employer-initiated termination includes:

  1. Valid Grounds: Employers must have a valid reason for dismissal, such as insufficient qualifications or work performance, economic or organizational changes, or breach of employment contract.
  2. Written Notice: The termination must be communicated in writing and state the grounds for dismissal.
  3. Employee Rights: Employees have the right to request a written explanation for their dismissal and may challenge an unfair dismissal in court.

Employee-Initiated Termination (Resignation)

The process for employee-initiated termination includes:

  1. Written Notice: Employees must submit a written resignation letter.

Important Considerations

There are several important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Collective Agreements: Relevant collective agreements may stipulate additional procedures or requirements for termination.
  • Special Protections: Additional protections exist for certain categories of employees, such as those on parental leave or pregnant employees.
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