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Tripartite discussions in 2016 and 2017

Agreement in 2016's and 2017's tripartite discussions between the government and social partners

Tripartite discussions are part of the Danish model in which the social partners through bargaining have reached balanced and responsible solutions on the labour market for more than 100 years. The "Danish model" has its roots in "Septemberforliget" of 1899 where it was stated that employers have the right to distribute and lead the labour, while labour unions have the right to bargain over wages and working conditions.

Tripartite discussions are negotiations between government, labour unions and employers. The negotiations can take place on many levels and be both formal and informal in character. These tripartite discussions are divided into several phases focusing on a range of specific themes, each of which is agreed upon prior to the commencement of a new round of negotiations on another topic.
In this instance, the first theme dealt with the current historically large influx of refugees to Denmark and the related a high number of expected family reunifications. This presents a major challenge for the Danish society.

Tripartite agreement on labour market integration, March 2016

In March 2016 the government and the social partners reached an agreement which proposes a significant strengthening of efforts to ensure better integration into the labour market of refugees and reunified family members. This agreement proposes among other things that:

  • The vocational competences of refugees are clarified as early as the asylum and transitional phase in order to ensure that the best possible use is made of these competences.
  • Refugees are deemed fit for work upon arrival.
  • In future, the public sector integration programme will focus on job-related measures.
  • Danish language teaching and training should be more labour-market oriented.
  • Job centres will improve the services they offer to businesses. The agreement provides new and better possibilities for companies to employ refugees without qualifications and with a level of low productivity, which are not subject to the minimum wage agreed by collective bargaining. This involves e.g. that:
  • A basic integration training module is introduced, such that refugees work and become better qualified for integration into the Danish labour market.
  • A cash bonus scheme is introduced for private companies that employ refugees in ordinary non-subsidized employment.

Tripartite agreement on a sufficient and qualified work force in Denmark and enough training places, August 2016

In August 2016, a tripartite agreement was made between the government and the social partners. This agreement tries to ensure sufficient and qualified workforce in all of Denmark and also that the individuals in vocational training have security that the can finish their training period in a business.

The agreement focuses on preventing challenges concerning recruitment. It tries secure that more youths will begin vocational training. This will increase the number of skilled workers and improve the workers’ possibilities for an adult education and continuing training education.

Tripartite agreement on a strengthened and more flexible adult education and continual training, October 2017

In October 2017, the government and the social partners agreed to build a strengthened and more flexible adult education and continuing education and training.

Employees and businesses will, through this agreement, get access to a strong, focused and more flexible educational system. The agreement wants to provide, among other things, a fund targeting unskilled and skilled workers.  The fund will ensure that these workers can receive education concerning skills’ upgrading. This will secure that skills demanded by businesses are supplied as the labour market develops. The tripartite agreement will stretch over four years.

The initiatives have a budget of 2.5 billion and a status will be made by the end of the four year period where the parties will meet to discuss the rest of the saved funds regarding adult and continual education. 

Last updated: 21-06-2022