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Room for leisure and family life

The Danes like to work and value being punctual. We take pride in doing our job well, and the working culture in most Danish companies is also based on co-operation and personal responsibility. In many companies the employees are encouraged to contribute with ideas and suggestions for improvements in the working processes, and in many companies it is quite normal to address the manager by his or her first name and approach him or her with suggestions. Even though the atmosphere is casual the companies are, however, very professional, and it is always the boss who makes the vital decisions.

Denmark is renowned for having good, orderly and flexible working conditions leaving room for leisure and family life. This is ascribed to “the Danish model” which is a special collective agreement envied by many countries.

 

"The Danish model"

The main headlines of the model are collective agreements and a high degree of organization. It is first and foremost the employers (employers’ organizations) and the wage earners (trade unions) who themselves in co-operation ensures the regulation of wages and conditions of work. In the collective agreements wages and conditions of work in the individual industries are determined, and there is a reciprocal responsibility to comply with the agreements. At the same time various basic rules have been agreed upon which the parties must comply with in the case of disputes. It works because there is a high degree of organization on the Danish labour market.

Part of ”the Danish Model” is also tripartite negotiations. This means that the state collaborates with the parties on the labour market about any legislation that might be related to conditions on the labour market.

The Danish labour market model is also praised for its ”flexicurity”, which consists of this special mix of flexibility on the labour market combined with social security. This provides the employers with more flexible options when it comes to adapting the number of employees for the tasks, including short-notice layoffs. In return the employees are ensured an income in the case of unemployment, or - if possible - in the case of employment in another job in the same company.

 

Outing in the summer in Ringkøbing-Skjern Kommune - Foto: hvidesande.dk

 

Socializing at the place of work

In most work places there are fixed agreements about lunch breaks and coffee breaks where you get the opportunity to have a little chat with your colleagues. In many places you bring your own packed lunch, while in major companies there may be canteens where food can be bought. If you are a smoker you must take into account that smoking is only allowed outside, or that there is a total ban on smoking during working hours.

Most companies arrange various social events, like for instance a Christmas Lunch, perhaps an outing in the summer, Friday cake etc., where the employees can have a nice time together. Everybody is invited and almost everybody participates in these arrangements which facilitate the sense of community in the company.

Ioana and Sorin

 
Romanian Family:

We have been made very welcome

”We love our country, Romania, but we have also grown very fond of Denmark which has become our home,” says 37-year-old Sorin Ungureanu who - together with his wife Ioana and their two children - find themselves so much at home that in the autumn of 2017 they bought the house of their dreams in Borris. Borris is a town with approximately 800 inhabitants in Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality – geographically the biggest municipality in Denmark.

“We have been living here since 2011 and our children are fully integrated in the local community and gradually, so are we. We have been made to feel really welcome in this town. People gladly help us and we are very happy about living here,” Sorin says whilst simultaneously smiling at Erling Søndergaard - one of the passionate locals who likes to give a lending hand. Erling has helped the family with the purchase of their house, and as a friend of the family he joins our conversation as to why Sorin and Ioana came to Denmark and what it is like for a foreign family to move to Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality.

”We are also happy having you here. We can tell that you like being here, and you have also done a great deal to become a part of the community,” Erling points out referring to the fact that Sorin among others has been active in leading a father-child gymnastics team and a table tennis team in town.

Ioana und Sorin - Read the full story here

 

Johanna and Malte

 
German family:

Good working conditions leaving room for a family life close to the North Sea

The North Sea. Proper wages – on time – and working conditions leaving room for a good family life with children. Those are the really big advantages pointed out by the German couple Malte and Johanna Mayrberger when moving from the city of Berlin to the seaport of Hvide Sande. Well yes – into the bargain is also the possibility of buying your own house and the fact that people are friendly and polite.

”We would never have been able to buy a house in Germany. You need to provide a down payment of half the price to obtain a loan for the remaining, and yet it is very difficult and sometimes impossible to qualify for a mortgage,” Malte explains, and Johanna adds:

”At any rate we would not have been able to afford having a child, a car, going on holidays, which we do every year, and have time for leisure activities.”

Malte and Johanna moved to Hvide Sande on the 1st November nine years ago and have settled in fine. 

Johanne and Malte - Read the full story here