Non-discrimination and equal treatment

Non-discrimination and equal treatment

Direct and indirect discrimination are prohibited in the Danish labour market.

Prohibition against discrimination

In Denmark, the Act on the Prohibition of Differences of Treatment in the Labour Market etc. prohibits discrimination and harassment on the grounds of race, colour of skin, religion or belief, political affiliation, sexual orientation, age, disability or national, social or ethnic origin. An employer may not subject workers or applicants for vacant jobs to differences of treatment in their appointment, dismissal, transfer, promotion or in respect of pay and working conditions.

Equality treatment and equal pay

The Act on Equal Treatment between Men and Women with regards to Employment prohibits discriminatory treatment based on gender, and has the purpose of promoting equality between men and women on the labour market. In Denmark, women have a high labour market participation and there is a general focus on gender equality in the workplace.

Additionally, the Consolidation Act on Equal Pay to Men and Women ensures that men and women receive equal pay for equal work. This means that men and women must receive the same pay if they perform the same work or if their work has the same value.

Direct and indirect discrimination

The three Acts prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination.

Direct discrimination is, for example, if an employer fails to hire someone or dismisses an employee on the grounds that he or she has a particular ethnicity, colour, religion or disability.

Indirect discrimination is, for example, if an employer makes demands that are not relevant in relation to the job to be filled, and the demands negatively affect a particular group. For example, if certain language requirements affect a particular group, people with a different ethnic origin than Danish, for instance, it must be assessed whether the requirement is reasonable in relation to the work tasks or if it is a question of discrimination.

The Board on Equal Treatment

Persons who on the job market have been subjected to discriminatory treatment due to, e.g. disability, may submit a complaint to The Board on Equal Treatment or seek recourse through their union or the court system.

Read more about how to complain about discrimination before the Board on Equal Treatment here.

Written by: The Ministry of Employment Updated 07.05.2024