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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-2020-51/2461 Updated – measures in Denmark



Country Denmark , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 15 December 2020 – 31 March 2022
Context COVID-19, Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
Author Carsten Jørgensen (FAOS, University of Copenhagen), Anders Randrup (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Measure added 23 June 2022 (updated 23 November 2022)

Background information

A work sharing agreement is an arrangement whereby employers and employees agree on reducing working hours, within a limited, low-demand period, in order to avoid redundancies. The agreements do not involve terminating the workers' employment contracts. However, the workers are subject to a pay cut during the work sharing period. It is a prerequisite of the scheme that firms are part of a collective agreement.

A Tripartite agreement on wage compensation in the private sector was established in 2020 with the aim to make work sharing more flexible. Normally, the company must notify the local job center a week before the work sharing can start. This rule is abolished in the framework of the tripartite agreement, in a way that the company can start work sharing the same day the notification is sent.

It was replaced by a new temporary tripartite agreement on work sharing.

Content of measure

Work sharing is laid down in the Danish collective agreements, such as the trend-setting Industry Agreement, as an option during hard times. However, regulations concerning the payment during periods without work fall under the law on supplementary unemployment benefit financed by the state.

According to the agreements, work sharing can take place over a maximum of 13 weeks. During the days or weeks of unemployment, the temporarily unemployed workers are subject to the provisions of the law on supplementary unemployment benefit. They must be active jobseekers, prepare a CV and send out job applications. They are obliged to take part in meetings organised by the Public Employment Service (PES) and cannot refuse if they are offered another job. This means that the agreed period of work sharing falls under the responsibility of the parties of the collective agreement, while the payment of the weeks without work falls under the area of responsibility of the Minister of Employment.

According to the new tripartite agreement, it becomes possible for companies to switch between types of work sharing time schemes when a cycle of work sharing is completed. As it is, the working hours must be reduced.


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

01 April 2022

The original agreement on work sharing was replaced by a new temporary tripartite agreement as a response to COVID-19. As from 1st of April 2022, the temporarily work sharing agreement which was established for the private sector as a response to the Covid-19 crisis, has ended.

Use of measure

In February 2020 there were 19 companies/cases affecting 264 employees in work sharing. In March, after the introduction of the more flexible work sharing scheme, the number of companies increased to 639 cases affecting 5,536 employees. In April 2020 the numbers peaked at 890 cases affecting 8,004 employees. In 2019 there were 41 cases affecting 1,101 people. In 2018 there were 52 cases affecting 1,325 people. In 2017 there were 65 cases affecting 1,093 people. From 2013 to 2016, the number of work sharing arrangements fell to a minimum level as before the crisis in 2006 and 2007.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
Public employment service
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Unknown
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Not applicable

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

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


The policy is an agreement negotiated between the social partners, FH (Danish Trade Union Confederation) and DA (Confederation of Danish Employers) and the governement.

Views and reactions



  • 23 August 2009: Eurofound _ Tackling the recession (
  • 15 December 2020: Nødpakke skal hjælpe lønmodtagere og virksomheder godt igennem Corona-krise (
  • 15 December 2020: Finansministeriet_Trepartsaftale skal hjælpe lønmodtagere (
  • 15 December 2020: International Labour Organization _ Country Policy responses (
  • 15 December 2020: Den midlertidige arbejdsfordeling ophørte d. 31 marts 2022 (
  • 15 December 2020: Bekendtgørelse om adgang til iværksættelse af midlertidig arbejdsfordeling som led i håndteringen af covid-19 (


Eurofound (2022), Work-sharing, measure DK-2020-51/2461 (measures in Denmark), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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