Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon


The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
Click here for more details

Sweden > Legal Developments > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Was the contract terminated or not renewed?

Discrimination - Equal Treatment Act
A fixed-term contract was held in the circumstances to be an open-ended contract. The employer’s ‎decision not to renew was therefore held to constitute termination of employment which, due to the ‎employee’s pregnancy, was in conflict with the Danish Act on Equal Treatment of Men and Women.‎
In November 2011, the Danish Supreme Court ruled that an employer’s decision not to offer permanent ‎employment when a fixed-term contract expires is generally not the same as termination of ‎employment. In this case, this nevertheless meant in the circumstances that a pregnant employee on a ‎fixed-term contract which was not renewed was held to have been dismissed by her employer.‎
The case concerned a personal assistant working for the Danish division of a major international ‎company. After 3 years’ employment, she resigned because she found it difficult to cooperate with her ‎manager. The day after her notice period expired, however, she was informed that the manager had ‎been dismissed and released from the duty to work. A few days later, she then signed a 3-month ‎contract of re-employment with a new manager.‎
But before the 3 months ended, the new manager was replaced by another new manager, and 3 days ‎after the employee had informed the HR department that she was pregnant, she was informed by her ‎newest manager that the contract would not be renewed.‎
Employment was in effect resumed
The employee turned to the Danish Board of Equal Treatment, claiming compensation for dismissal due ‎to pregnancy. She believed she had been dismissed because her re-employment was in effect a ‎withdrawal of her own resignation. She further believed that, in connection with her re-employment, ‎her then manager had said that the job was not really a fixed-term job.‎
The company argued that the decision not to renew her fixed-term contract could not be equated with ‎termination of employment and the decision had nothing to do with her pregnancy, as they had only ‎needed the employee for a relatively short period of time.‎
The Board decided in favour of the employee, holding that her re-employment was in effect a ‎resumption of the fixed-term contract and that her employment had therefore in fact been terminated ‎while she was pregnant. One of the factors which the Board took into account in its decision was that ‎some of the employee’s duties and responsibilities were more long-term in nature than 3 months.‎
The Board also held that the company had not discharged the burden of proving that the decision not to ‎renew the contract was not entirely or partly due to the employee’s pregnancy, among other things ‎because of the close proximity in time between the date when the employee informed the company of ‎her pregnancy and the date when her contract was terminated, and because the tasks carried out by the ‎employee still needed to be carried out. Accordingly, the employee was awarded 9 months’ pay in ‎compensation.‎
Norrbom Vinding notes:
  • that the decision illustrates it cannot be ruled out entirely that a decision not to renew a fixed-‎term contract in special circumstances, including if the fixed term cannot be regarded as being ‎genuine, may be held to constitute termination of employment; and‎

  • that the clear-cut point of departure – as established by the Danish Supreme Court – remains ‎that a decision not to offer an employee an open-ended contract after the expiry of a fixed-term ‎contract cannot be regarded as termination of employment, and that any compensation ‎awarded under the Danish Act on Equal Treatment of Men and Women in such a situation will ‎amount to about EUR 3,400.‎

The above does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such

For more information please visit

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

International Law Firm Networks

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Powerlist -

International Law Firm Networks