Working Conditions – University of Copenhagen

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International Staff Mobility > Working Conditions


Working Conditions

As a newly hired employee at the University of Copenhagen, you might seek answers to a variety of questions regarding employment at your new place of work.

We have listed some of the answers here however, do not hesitate to contact your department or the Personnel Department for further information.


When can I expect to receive my contract?
When the Personnel Department has been notified by the department/faculty and supplied with the information required to draw up a contract.

You can contribute to this process by handing in an 'Employment Form' to your department secretary stating the exact date (month/year) of graduation, the exact period of employment (month/year) including working hours per week.

The form should be substantiated by copies of graduation diplomas and previous employment contracts. If I'm on a temporary contract, can my period of employment be extended? This decision does not only lie with the university management, but is also subject to a number of complicated rules and regulations requiring specific assessment. Read more about the stipulated duration of specific job categories in the Job Structure.

Leave & Holidays

Majority of cases if you are employed according to the collective agreement at the University, you will be entitled to pay when your sick and also when your children are sick. Refer to Intranet Guide

Anyone employed at the University of Copenhagen is entitled to 5 weeks of leave and 1 week of special holiday leave. Leave will be earned in the calendar year 1st January to 31st December and can only be spent from the 1st of May to the 30th of April in the following year.

Some employees employed in positions covered by the job structure for Academic Staff at the Universitiy can be covered by concurrent holidays. A concurrent holiday is one that is held at the same time as it is being accrued. Refer to Intranet Guide

For all other leave types in connection with birth, sabbatical, unpaid leave of absence etc Refer to ISM Leave Guide


  • When do I receive my salary?

Your salary will be transferred to your bank account (Nemkonto) by the end of each month. 

  • Which factors decide the level of my salary?

Scientific staff is generally appointed in accordance with the collective agreement on academics in the state, with the special provisions laid down in the Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities. Read more

  • Salary components

Your total salary consists of a basic pay rate based on your seniority (nettoløn), covering four or five steps on the academic scale depending on whether you hold a master degree or a bachelor degree. One year’s seniority equals one year of full time academic employment (min. 15 hours per week).

When employed as a member of scientific staff in accordance with the provisions of the Job Structure (i.e. research assistant, PhD fellow, postdoc, associate professor, professor) 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. In addition to the basic payment and job category supplements , the collective agreement and the university wage policy allow for further supplements.

  • Increase - when and how to get an Increase?

To ensure that the pay of Danish state employees develops in parallel with the wages and salaries in the private sector, all salaries are subject to a general rise of a few percent once or twice a year.

  • Wage negotiations

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 applied categories are: Qualification supplements (based on professional and personal qualifications, quality of performance), which are usually granted as a permanent supplement.

Special-duty supplements (charge of 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. All employees are entitled to negotiate their salary once a year, or when taking up a new position/function within the University.

Trade union representatives will negotiate on behalf of the staff, who are not entitled to negotiate on their own behalf. The outcome will, however, depend on local conditions, budgets and policies. For a list of registered trade union representatives (in Danish). For more information click here

  • How do I get access to my salary statements and how do I read them?

Salary statements are delivered as digital salary slips. In order to get access to your salary slips, you need to open an E-boks. Pay slips are (so far) only issued in Danish. Copy of a salary slip with an explanatory text in English .

Working Hours

  • Working hours - what are the (maximum) working hours?

Working hours are generally fixed by collective agreement. Working hours are presently 37 hours a week at full-time employment.

  • Part-time - can I work part-time?

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.

  • Overtime - do I get paid for working overtime?

Scientific staff/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.

  • When are my daily working hours?

The individual heads of departments, sections, etc. organise the daily working hours. Flexible working hours have not been introduced in general, but local arrangements do exist. Working hours are agreed with the local management.

  • Lunch break - am I entitled to a lunch break?

Employees employed full time are entitled to a lunch break lasting up to half an hour conditioned, however, by the employee being available to the employer during the break.

  • Health care - can I go and see a doctor during working hours?

You are allowed to go and see a doctor or a dentist during working hours by agreement with the nearest executive. Consultation should, whenever possible, take place during off-duty hours, or early in the morning/late in the afternoon, so as to reduce the working hours as little as possible.