New in Denmark

What's the best way to get established in Denmark? How can I build a social network? And where can I find help with the practical things, such as tax and health insurance? You can find the answers to frequently asked questions, with links to relevant sources able to help you make a good start to your new life in Denmark.

​Advice on your new pay and employment package, the change to take part in events that can provide a springboard to your new social life. Supplemented by a range of other organisations, we can help you through all phases of your stay in Denmark:


Advice & Relevant Sources

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Practical aspects

You can contact your local union representative (we call them Tillidsmand) at your work. He or she will be able to introduce you to what we do, and tell you when and how you can use us. Your union representative will also have complete insight into your employer, and know all the local sources of help available to international members, and how you can ask for help if you have any questions on practical aspects.

You can also meet us at International Citizen Day, held every autumn, your chance to meet, engage and network with public authorities, private organisations and local communities in the entire Greater Copenhagen region. This is where you will find answers to many of the questions that can arise during your early days in Denmark.

International Citizen Day


Help for the practical things

If you need more help with the practical things related to your stay in Denmark, there are external sources available.

International Citizen Services is a collective way in to information and applications for Tax Card, Civil Registration Number, Healthcare Services and Foreign Driving Licences. International Citizen Services can also advise you on working and studying in Denmark, find you somewhere to live, and enrol you on Danish courses.

Work in Denmark and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are also places where you can find more information on moving to, working and living in Denmark. And finally, you can use the 'How to live in Denmark' website for humorous and unusual views on life as a newcomer to Denmark.

International Citizen Services

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

Work in Denmark

How to live in Denmark

Rules and rights

We can help you to read through your contract before you sign it. We know your rights, and can advise you on what to look out for, and what you may be able to negotiate.

We can also advise you on wage levels, so that you at least know the general level to aim for when negotiating your starting pay. You can also use our online wage calculator to see what wage levels people with the same background as you are earning, based on parameters such as qualifications, sector, location and field of work.

You can also call us regularly for advice each time you are in doubt what rules may apply to you. That may include how many paid holidays you are entitled to, how to get the most out of your hour bank, and where you stand in relation to overtime and extra work.

You can also contact our local representative at your work. Your union representative has been trained by us, and will often be able to answer the most general questions on your rights and options. He or she will also know about any local agreements and rights that union representatives at your work have negotiated.

And finally, you ought to know about our unemployment fund (A-kasse), part of FTFa, to provide you with insurance against unemployment.

Get the employment contract right

The Financial Services Union Denmark's wage calculator

Rights & Rules

Our unemployment fund – part of FTFa

The Danish labour market in general

As a supplement to any specific advice we can give you, it may be relevant to get a better understanding of how the Danish labour market works, as it also represents the foundation of your rights.

To many foreigners it comes as a surprise that Denmark has no legislation that dictates minimum wage or working hours. Moreover, firing employees is relatively easy and cheap for businesses. Even though pay and working conditions are not regulated by law, this does not imply that employers can do what they want. Instead, this is where collective agreements between trade unions and employers' organisations come into play.

In short, the Danish model builds on three pillars:

  • Collective agreements between trade unions and employers' organisations
  • Tripartite cooperation
  • High degree of organisation

By European standards, the agreements on the Danish labour market are highly flexible, for instance with regard to hiring and firing of employees. This also means that mobility is high within the Danish labour market.

In return for their high level of flexibility, Danish employees are guaranteed a relatively comprehensive social security in times of unemployment, illness or occupational injury. Social security is guaranteed by law to all employees. The combination of high flexibility and comprehensive social security is why the Danish labour market is sometimes referred to as based on a "flexicurity model".

The flexibility and security also apply to foreign labour. The law ensures that foreign employees are given the same rights as Danes on the labour market when the relevant permits and contracts are present.

For more details on the Danish labour market and the flexicurity model, go to The Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment (STAR) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

The Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment

The Danish labour market

Social activities

We provide a professional network and events at which you can meet Danish- and English-speaking members from across the sector. The range of events includes biannual introduction evenings, to which we invite all international members for a social evening with different perspectives of Danish culture, combined with networking.

You can also contact your local union representative to hear what's on offer at your company, such as sports clubs, social and job-related events, where you can meet more of your colleagues.

What's more, you can meet other workers in the sector if you take part in a free course via the Finanskompetencepuljen (finance sector competence pool), the result of a partnership with Finanssektorens Arbejdsgiverforening (FA) (the finance sector's employers' association). The Finanskompetencepuljen runs over 250 different courses – including Danish courses, where you can meet other international newcomers, or more job-related courses that attract both Danish- and English-speaking workers within the financial sector.

And finally, we will send you a monthly newsletter with the latest member offers especially for international members. These can include events, networks and other activities you can take part in along with other international members of the Financial Services Union. If you don't receive the newsletter, subscribe as an English-speaker under Mit forbund. Remember that the English newsletter is a supplement to the Danish newsletter all members receive.




Non-union activities

In addition to the Financial Services Union's own activities, you can avail yourself of a wide range of others, from local culture and entertainment where you live, to events specially arranged for international newcomers.

Go to the Expat in Denmark Facebook page to keep informed of events and other cultural offerings arranged or suitable for expats.

Expat in Denmark


International House hosts a wide range of services and activities in Copenhagen. They include social events at Halloween and Christmas, and of course job-related events. You can also benefit from good advice on how to expand your network via voluntary work, a personal leisure guide that can introduce you to Copenhagen, and the wide range of leisure, entertainment and cultural facilities in the city.

International House Events

Voluntary work

Leisure Guides

Copenhagen Host Programme


Aarhus offers a wide range of free things to do and avail yourself of run by the International Community. They include social events such as Afternoon Coffee, or Drinks and Social Networking. You can also find events for families and even a network for spouses. And if you work within IT, you may like Destination AARhus, a professional business network with a large community of leading companies in Greater Aarhus. Destination Aarhus holds meetups, workshops and events for IT professionals.

International Community Events

Destination Aarhus Events

Did we forget anything?

We'd love to hear from you if you have experience or tips we can share with other international members. Send us a mail