As a researcher employed at the University of Copenhagen, you automatically fall under the Collective Agreement for Academics in the State (Danish). Your basic salary, number of holidays, pension and much more is determined by this agreement. The Danish labour market is characterised by strong trade unions and collective agreements, termed the Danish Model. It means that the general terms of employment are not regulated by the Government but by collective agreements made by the trade unions and employer associations. In a folder from the Ministry of Finance, you can read more about employment in the Danish State Sector.
Please see the short video below for an introduction to the Danish Model, collective agreements and how the working conditions and terms of employment are negotiated.
Your salary consists of a basic pay rate based on your seniority.
When employed as a member of scientific staff (i.e. research assistant, PhD fellow, postdoc, associate professor, professor, professor with special responsibilities) you will receive a centrally agreed supplement (tillæg) attached to the specific job category.
If you hold a professorship your salary is not based on seniority, but placed in a separate and higher wage bracket.
You can read more about the job structure (including a description of the different job categories) in this memorandum from the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science:
In addition to the basic payment and supplements attached to the job category, the collective agreement and the university wage policy allow for further supplements by local agreement and negotiation. The most commonly supplements are:
- Qualification supplements (based on professional and personal qualifications, quality of performance), which are usually granted as a permanent supplement.
- Special-duty supplements, are usually granted in connection with special functions linked to particular tasks.
- One-off payments, as a matter of remuneration following a particular effort.
You are entitled to a wage negotiation, when taking up employment with the University. Furthermore, all employees are entitled to negotiate their salary once a year or when taking up a new position/function within the University.
The wage being settled as part of the collective agreement implicates that it is the trade union representative who negotiates the wage on behalf of the staff. This is also the case for the yearly negotiations on any supplement.
The outcome will, however, depend on local conditions, budgets and policies. Your trade union representative is mentioned in your employment offer by the University.
Working hours are generally fixed by collective agreement. Working hours are presently 37 hours a week at full-time employment.
It is possible to obtain an agreement on part-time employment, but this will depend on the local planning and organisation of work, and the decision lies with your head of department/executive head.
Employees who plan their own work, or whose working time cannot be checked are not entitled to overtime pay. However, the employer may grant overtime remuneration by specific assessment if the scope of the additional work has been considerable.