The EU Directive on temporary agency work (2008/104/EC) implements a principle on equal treatment of temporary agency workers and permanent employees. This means that temporary agency workers employed by temporary-work agencies are entitled to equal treatment compared to the permanent employees of the user undertaking. However, the act implementing this Directive in Danish law has not yet been presented.

Equal treatment in relation to working and employment conditions

The primary aim of the Directive is to ensure protection of temporary agency workers and to improve their employment conditions by ensuring the principle of equal treatment. This principle means that, in the future, temporary agency workers must have the right to at least the same conditions applicable to the permanent employees of the user undertaking in respect of working hours, working at night, paid holiday, breaks, rest periods, salary, etc.

The Directive contains a number of additional provisions ensuring that temporary agency workers are not discriminated against compared to the permanent employees.

Furthermore, the Directive also includes an obligation for the user undertaking to inform the temporary agency worker of any vacant posts for the purpose of obtaining permanent employment.


The time limit in relation to the implementation of the Directive expired on 5 December 2011, but a bill has not yet been presented. According to the Danish Ministry of Employment, a bill is neither expected to be presented within the next month.

The change in legislation may have material importance to the use of temporary-work agencies in Denmark, and we will issue a newsletter as soon as the bill has been presented.

The content of this Newsletter is not, and should not replace, legal advice.


Erik Wendelboe Christiansen