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The Danish Equal Pay Act amended

January 2009 - Employment. Legal Developments by Norrbom Vinding Law Firm, member of ius laboris.

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20-06-2008 - The Danish Parliament recently amended the Danish Equal Pay Act with effect from 15 August 2008. The amendment implements the recast Equal Treatment Directive (Directive 2006/54/EC of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (recast)).

The amendment mainly clarifies the wording and incorporates definitions such as direct and indirect discrimination, pay, harassment and sexual harassment, etc. It also clarifies that any less favourable treatment of women in connection with pregnancy and 14 weeks of leave after childbirth constitutes direct discrimination.

In addition, the protection against discrimination of employees who have claimed equal pay is extended to include not only protection against dismissal, but also any other adverse treatment by employers. 

Further, a general compensation scheme is introduced which entitles employees to compensation for breach of the principle of equal pay based on length of service and the facts of each individual case.

Under the present rules, the compensation awarded for dismissal as a result of an equal pay claim or complaint cannot exceed 78 weeks' pay. This cap is lifted with the amendment.

Finally, a duty is imposed on public authorities to take into account the objective of equality between men and women when formulating and implementing laws and administrative provisions, policies and activities in the areas covered by the Danish Equal Pay Act.

Yvonne Frederiksen

This information does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such

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