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Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure DK-2020-11/1625 Updated – measures in Denmark

Local businesses keep the wheels turning despite the corona

Lokale virksomheder holder hjulene i gang trods corona

Country Denmark , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 12 March 2020 – 10 September 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Changes in work organisation
Author Carsten Jørgensen (FAOS, University of Copenhagen), Anders Randrup (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 December 2020 (updated 11 November 2021)

Background information

All over Denmark, the trade and businesses have felt the effects of the spread of corona virus on the daily working life. All employees in the private as well as the public sector that have possibilities to work from home are furloughed, but in companies where the work has to be made on the spot, the organisation of the work and the daily routines have had to be reorganised. The following are examples on changes in the organisation of work with the aim to prevent the spread of corona virus. They are from the beginning of the crisis.

Content of measure

The local SMEs in the manufacturing industry sector have had to find a way to keep production going on and at the same time to find a way to keep the employees healthy and safe and prevent the corona virus to spread in the enterprise. This has resulted in changes of the organisation of work in SMEs all over the country. The following examples, published 12 March 2020 in Horsens Folkeblad, are from Region Mid-Jutland. However, companies all over the country took more or less the same initiatives regarding changing business practices in order to cope with the rapid spread of the corona virus.

The packaging producer, Envases Europa, in the small town of Hedensted, has 900 employees. Most of them works in production. Envases produces packaging for the food industry and is therefore an important supplier in the chain. As other manufacturing companies, they received general instructions from the authorities about how to secure the employees in the offices as well on shop floor. Envases has five factories with large areas. This made it possible to change the placement and organisation of the employees so that the stand with a safe distance between them. Containers with disinfection liquid are placed at strategical places. Employees do not eat at the same time. All clerical and administrative staff are working at home equipped with company ITC tools.

At Boligbeton in the Løsning, that produces concrete elements for the construction sector, the production has also gone in ‘corona mode’ with the aim to keep activities and save workplaces as far as possible. In the daily staff canteen, half of the tables and chairs have been moved and self-service cancelled. The employees keep distance at shop floor and they take part in planning the work in day/night shifts including weekend shift, if wanted. All office staff work from home, only employees in production meet on location. All meeting including meetings with customers are cancelled.

Before all hotels were closed completely in March 2020, many tried to adjust the business to the first restrictions from the health authorities. Hotel Vejlefjord was one of them. Basically, the challenge was to get the guests to respect and follow the new necessary rules and keep distance and use hand disinfectants. To this end, the hotel opened all three restaurants at one time but took more than half of the tables away in order to keep a good distance. At this moment, early in the epidemic in Denmark facemasks were not obligatory yet. The buffet in the restaurant was replaced by dishes served at the tables. The hotel furthermore contacted The State Serum Institute go secure if something special had to be done regarding the thermal waters.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

10 September 2021

From 10 September 2021, COVID-19 is no longer considered a socially critical disease. Thus, the measure is no longer relevant because all businesses are back to operating normally.

Use of measure

Changing company practices whether it was changing of production, changing work organisation or introducing digital solutions became widespread very fast after the introduction of significant restrictions on business activities. No exact numbers exist because no authority or business organisation have collected documentation.

Contents

  • Employment retention
  • Work organisation
  • Working time flexibility

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

The social partners were not involved in the initiatives, that is inventing and implementing the measures that the companies mentioned in this case here took.

Views and reactions

There is no doubt that the social partners welcomed all initiatives taken with the aim to keep businesses afloat and maintain workplaces.

Sources

  • 12 March 2020: Lokale virksomheder holder hjulene i gang trods corona

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Local businesses keep the wheels turning despite the corona, measure DK-2020-11/1625 (measures in Denmark), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/DK-2020-11_1625.html

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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.