A new employment contracts act adopted in Greenland

January 26, 2023
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Press release from Nuna Law

During the autumn session, the Parliament of Greenland adopted an Employment Contracts’ Act for Greenland.

The Employment Contracts Act

According to the Employment Contracts’ Act, the employer is obligated to provide various information to the employees about their employment and employment conditions.

The Employment Contracts’ Act applies to both public and private employers and covers all employment relationships when the following requirements are met:

  • The duration of the employment exceeds one month
  • The average weekly working hours exceed 15 hours.

Duty to provide information

The employer must as a minimum provide the following information:

  1. The employer’s and the employee’s name and address
  2. The location of the place of work
  3. A description of the work or specification of the employee’s title, rank, position or job category
  4. The date of commencement of the employment
  5. The expected duration of the employment if not of indefinite duration, also including the end date of the probationary period and special conditions during the probationary period
  6. The employee’s rights to paid holiday
  7. The employee’s and the employer’s notices of termination
  8. Salary conditions – salary, pension and other allowances
  9. The normal daily or weekly working hours
  10. Any existing agreements or collective agreements.

 

The content of the information may be set aside to the detriment of the employee. However, the employer is entitled to provide additional information.

Observance of the duty to provide information

The information must be provided in writing in plain language, and the employee may request the information to be in Greenlandic or Danish.

There are no requirements as to form, but the information may be provided in the following documents:

  1. Employment contract
  2. Letter of appointment
  3. One or more other documents; however, the information covered by items 1-4 and items 8 and 9 must be contained in one document.

In addition, a declaration may be issued on the information not contained in either of the above documents.

The employee must have received the information within one month after the commencement of the employment.

In case of changes in the employment relationship, a new duty to provide information will arise with regard to the changed conditions.

Failure to observe the duty to provide information

If the employer fails to observe the duty to provide information, the employer may be ordered to pay compensation to the employee.

The compensation is fixed by the courts based on the materiality of the employer’s failure and whether there is a risk of forfeiture of rights, or the employee has in reality forfeited rights due to the employer’s failure.

As a starting point, the compensation may not exceed 13 weeks’ salary. However, the compensation may be to up to 20 weeks’ salary in case of aggravating circumstances. If the employer’s failure is excusable, the compensation may amount to maximum DKK 1,000.

Entry into force

The Act has not yet come into force.

The specific date of the Act’s entry into force is not specified in the Act as it will be put into effect by promulgation. We are informed that the procedure as to the Act’s entry into force is due to a new public HR IT system having to be commissioned first. According to information provided by the office for legislation, the Act will presumably enter into force at the end of 2023 at the earliest.

However, the Act will be effective for all employment relationships covered by the Employment Contracts Act entered into after the entry into force of the Act or existing at the time when the Act entered into force. Therefore, the employer may with advantage start to incorporate the duty to provide information already now.

Would you like to know more?

If you would like to know more, or if you have any questions regarding the procedure in connection with the of the duty to provide information, you are welcome to contact

Charlotte Pedersen
Partner, Attorney
(+299) 58 61 40
[email protected]

or

Christian Fangel Vollstedt
Assistant attorney
(+299) 49 05 79
[email protected]


Originally published on 19 January.

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