DENMARK - CROSS-SECTORAL / EDUCATION / CENTRAL GOVERNMENT / LOCAL GOVERNMENT / GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AND HARASSMENT (GBVH) / OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH (OSH) / PSYCHOSOCIAL RISKS / SECURITY / REMEDIES AND COMPENSATION
Sector - CROSS-SECTORAL
Theme - GBVH / RISK ASSESSMENT / PROTECTION
On 4 March 2022, the Danish Trade Union Confederation (FH), the Confederation of Danish Employers and the Minister for Gender Equality concluded a ground-breaking national Tripartite Agreement on Initiatives to End Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, addressing both internal and external forms of sexual harassment, with measures that will be implemented in the law. The agreement marks an important step forward in terms of better protection, prevention and a culture change in the workplace. There are a comprehensive range of binding measures and strengthened obligations on employers and employees, including higher penalties for employers. Along with the Danish Working Environment Authority's APV (risk assessment) checklists, the five industry committees on the Working Environment (BFAs) are encouraged to increase their focus on sexual harassment and include in risk assessment process. In addition, the Danish Working Environment Authority must prepare annual statements about the number of decisions and Guidelines on sexual harassment and bullying from internal and external sexual harassment.
Sector - LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Theme - OSH / PSYCHOSOCIAL RISKS
In 2015, the social partners in the municipal and regional sector (KTO & KL, 2015) concluded an agreement on the working environment, which puts a strong emphasis on the psychological working environment, one aspect of which is the prevention of TPVH. The agreement has been renewed twice since 2015. Under the agreement, in the municipal sector, the organisation representing employers in Danish municipalities (KL) and the Association of Local Government Employees’ Organizations (KTO) union, established a support system named the “SPARK” (Samarbejde om Psykisk ARbearbesmiljø i Kommunerne, Cooperation on Psychological Working Environment in Municipalities) project, which is a collaboration to provide help and support to municipal workplaces to achieve a better psychological working environment, covering in amongst other areas, TPVH and working alone and in isolation. The focus is on the strengthening the capacity of local actors in municipal workplace (managers, union and work environment representatives) through joint actions and cooperation between management and locally elected union representatives. Trained consultants provide free services to municipalities and help them to identify, manage and prevent the psychological work environment problems in the workplace. Resources and guidance are made available to municipalities in six main areas: change and transition; improved cooperation between employees/managers; risk of violence and threats; content, scope and performance of work; working in shifts, and harassment, including bullying and sexual harassment. In the regional sector, the social partners established the “Ekspertrådgivning” (expert advice) programme, to provide help and support to the workplaces regarding organisational and professional change, third-party violence, and workplace culture and bullying. Under the project practical expert advice, along with tools, meetings and workshops, are provided by the National Research Centre for the Working Environment, NIRAS Joblife and RUC, Roskilde University. Furthermore, prevention materials and tools about TPVH has been drawn up jointly by the unions with the employers in local and regional government.
Sector - CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
Theme - OSH
In the State sector, in an Agreement on Cooperation and Joint Consultation Committees in State Sector Enterprises and Institutions, agreed in 2008 and still in force in 2022, the parties (State Employer’s Authority and the Confederation of Danish State Employees Organizations) added a new clause on harassment and violence: ‘The Cooperation Committee shall lay down Guidelines that ensure a working environment where employees are not exposed to mobbing, (sexual) harassment or violence from colleagues, management or a third-party. The Cooperation Committee must continuously oversee that the Guidelines fulfil their purpose.’ (Article 5, 10). Under the agreement the majority of workplace co-determination committees had, by 2022, prepared plans to prevent violence and harassment, including TPVH. Guidance and tools are also provided by the Danish Working Environment Authority on ending TPVH.
Sector - CROSS-SECTORIAL
Theme - OSH / GBVH
In 2019, the Danish social partners and the Labour Inspectorate drew up a 10-point plan for “A Good Psychological Working Environment: Ending Sexual Harassment”. The Danish Working Environment Authority also collaborated with unions and employers’ organisations in the launch of the awareness raising campaign “Hvor går grænsen?” (“Where do we draw the line?”). The second part of the campaign, ”Din grænse” ("Your Limit"), was launched in 2022, with the aim to motivate managers and health and safety committees to engage in dialogue on how to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, including from third-parties, to promote a joint approach to creating a safe working environment.
Sector - EDUCATION
Theme - OSH / SECURITY
The Danish Teachers Association (DLK) published a pamphlet for members on violence, threats and use of force to encourage better prevention of and reporting on the problem, on the basis of the 2015 agreement on well-being and health in the workplace where the social partners agreed on guidelines for the prevention of violence. DLK’s guidelines are the “foundation of good prevention because it initiates dialogue about possible risks and the measures that can be taken to avoid violence and threats in the school.” The pamphlet was prepared for schools’ health and safety group, employees in the districts and union representatives in the Danish Teachers' Association. It covers three themes: identification, prevention and management. An important part of this is for every school to have a policy addressing the three themes mentioned. A policy makes it visible that the workplace does not tolerate violence and threats and sends a signal that it is a shared challenge to address risk prevention and create a sense of security because everyone is clear about their role and responsibilities before, during and after an episode of violence.
Sector - CROSS-SECTORAL
Theme - REMEDIES AND COMPENSATION
The Tripartite agreement on sexual harassment agreed by the Danish social partners in 2022, has amongst measures related to ending internal and external harassment and sexual harassment, higher levels of compensation for victims of sexual harassment, including compensation from offenders who are third parties committing acts of sexual harassment. Along with tougher obligations on employers to prevent sexual harassment, the new measures on compensation send a clear message about the seriousness attached to ending sexual harassment. Amendments will be made to the Equal Treatment Act and the Work Environment Act to provide for the increase in the level of compensation for sexual harassment