Every country has its own labour laws and employment screening requirements and it is always helpful for authorities and business owners in other parts of the world to have a look at a different legislation. There’s always something to learn and improvements to be made to the local legislation. Often enough, it is employees organisations that look at the laws elsewhere to see how they can benefit from the rights their fellows around the world have gained and enshrined into laws. What can Australian business owners and employees learn from Denmark, a country which has one of the most comprehensive labour laws in Europe?
What does employment screening in Denmark involve?
Danish business owners can do a thorough background check on prospective employees, but they must have the consent of the job applicant for that and any inquiries have to be relevant for the position at stake.
Police background check
Business owners can ask for a background screening on potential employees. In Denmark, private criminal records can only be obtained by the concerned individual from the national police. In other words, it is the applicant that must obtain and submit their criminal record to the employer. A bit more complicated than in countries like Australia where the same thing can be done online going through an Australian national character check agency, also with the permission of the concerned individual.
If a person is going to work with minors, they must submit a criminal record to verify they don’t have any convictions stemming from offences against children, very similar to the Australian Working with Children permit where persons can get started via the website.
Disclosure of one’s medical history can only be required if it’s in any way relevant to the job description. There are certain jobs, like airline pilot or firefighter, for which a perfect medical condition is a must. Other than that employers are not allowed to enquire about a person’s medical situation. A female applicant is not required to disclose being pregnant, as this might lead to a discrimination lawsuit.
Drug screening falls under the same category and future employees cannot be ordered to submit to a drug test if it’s not relevant to their future job.
Once again, such verification can only be made if the financial situation of the employee is relevant to the position they will have in the organisation. In Danish practice, credit checks and full disclosure of their financial situation is only required for people who will have access and handle the company’s funds.
Social media checks
These are allowed by Danish law, in as much as it is considered the information is obtained from a public source. Social media accounts are a public source. Doing a search on Google is also allowed as all the information retrieved is public.
As part of the European Union, Denmark takes immigration status very seriously. Employers are required to verify if a foreign national has the right to work in the country. Failure to do so and hiring an illegal immigrant is punishable by heavy fines.