1. Brief Description of Anti-Discrimination Laws
A number of EU-based laws are incorporated in Danish legislation to prevent anti-discrimination. The most important laws are the Danish Act on Non-discrimination and the Danish Act on Equal Treatment.
2. Extent of Protection
Danish legislation prohibits discrimination on various grounds such as gender, race, skin colour, religion or faith, political beliefs, sexual orientation, age, disability or national, social or ethnic origin. Generally, breach of any of the statutory provisions prohibiting discrimination leads to civil claims, although, in certain circumstances there may also be concurrent criminal liability.
The Act on Equal Treatment prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination on grounds of sex and marital status and its provisions apply equally to both men and women. This means that employers are statutorily obliged to treat men and women equally in terms of their recruitment, employment, training and career progression.
3. Employer’s Obligation to Provide Reasonable Accommodations
The rules of the Act on Non-discrimination establish that an employer must provide all reasonable efforts in order to accommodate the work of a disabled person within the organisation. The definition of “reasonable efforts” is dependent on the work and the specific employer’s business.
Complaints under the Non-discrimination Act and the Act on Equal Treatment can be lodged by the complainant with the Danish Board of Equal Treatment. An alternative is to bring it before the Danish courts. Typically, a dispute in this area will involve a claim for compensation to the employee, a claim for severance pay or, under certain circumstances, a claim from the employee to be reinstalled in his/her position with the employer.