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Starting a business in Denmark

Background Checks in Denmark: A Complete Guide for Employers

Denmark is home to well-known global businesses across shipping, dairy products, pharmaceuticals, energy, and engineering industries. Interestingly, Denmark is now the world’s most competitive economy due to its preparedness to exploit digital transformation. 

The World Bank’s recent ease of doing business index has placed Denmark first in Europe and fourth globally. With a labor force population of around three million, Denmark is well-placed to facilitate the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises and attract foreign investment. 

Having said that, background checks in Denmark on potential business partners and recruits are becoming increasingly necessary to forge long-lasting relationships. Not only that, but employee screening in Denmark may safeguard the public perception of global companies investing in Denmark. 

This post is designed to help new companies and entrepreneurs looking to hire in Denmark and educate them on the local rules and regulations about gathering, storing, and processing personal data during background searches in Denmark. 

What is Employment Background Verification?

An employment background verification refers to collecting and processing potential candidates’ and employees’ personal and professional details that encompass:

  • Education degree verification
  • Employment verification 
  • Reference checks
  • Criminal records search
  • Credit or bankruptcy record check
  • Passport validation
  • Social media search

Verifying work and education history ensures that candidates have the desired qualifications and skills to handle the responsibilities of the job position. Criminal records, credit records, or social media searches ensure companies remain free from financial, legal, or other risks. 

Global companies and entrepreneurs who are expanding teams yet looking to hire trustworthy employees often go for background checks. 

Benefits of Background Checks in Denmark

Various employment background checks in Denmark help companies avoid legal risks involving hiring the wrong candidates or partnering with fraudulent companies. Here is a detailed analysis of the benefits of conducting background checks in Denmark: 

Weeding out fraudulent job applicants

  • Inflating educational accomplishments or falsifying employment experience are the most common occurrences found in job applications.  
  • A pre-employment background check in Denmark focuses on education degree verification and reference check to filter out applicants with discrepancies.  

Simplifying hiring decisions 

  • Employment background searches in Denmark may verify academic experience, work experience, credit history, and criminal records history. 
  • Therefore, employers are most likely to receive authentic applications upon declaring mandatory employee screening in the job advertisement.  
  • Additionally, company background checks in Denmark help determine the creditworthiness of potential business partners (independent contractors, suppliers, or vendors). 

Optimizing company resources 

  • Mandatory employment background checks in Denmark minimize employee turnover. 
  • Hiring the right candidate ensures a robust workforce instead of repeatedly filling the same vacancies, thereby saving the company time and resources. 

Ensuring a safe workplace for all

  • Criminal background checks in Denmark may avoid negligent hiring. 
  • Hiring the right candidate with no criminal history will ensure a safe workplace. 

Complying with Danish employment rules 

  • Employers must verify if a foreign national has the right to work in Denmark.
  • Background searches in Denmark for passport validation and immigration visa checks can help avoid fines for hiring illegal immigrants.

Employers may conduct background checks in Denmark per the Danish Data Protection Agency regulations and statutory laws as applicable, for instance, Act on the Use of Health Data on the Labour Market, 1996. 

Danish background check law also puts the onus on job applicants to voluntarily disclose any information that may significantly impact the applicant’s ability to perform the job. 

The most sought-after data for background searches in Denmark include criminal records and health information of the prospects. 

Employers who want to conduct an employment background check in Denmark may outsource it to trusted third parties. 

Things to Know When Performing a Background Check in Denmark

Here are the most significant aspects of pre-employment background checks and employee screening in Denmark. 

Employment history

  • Employers may verify claims on work experience as declared in the job applications. 
  • They may also collect physical copies of job experience certificates or professional licenses.  
  • Employers shall interview the prospect’s former or current colleagues as part of a background check in Denmark. 
  • However, employers must get written consent from the candidate before contacting the references from their previous or current workplace.

Education qualification history

  • Employers can directly contact educational institutions to verify academic degrees or training certifications claimed by the candidate. 
  • Employers may also verify dates of attendance, graduation date, and degree information to find the right fit per the job description. 
  • However, written consent from the candidate is a must for conducting education degree verification in Denmark. 

Criminal record

  • Employers may process criminal records upon willful submission by the employee. 
  • In addition to it, employers must have a substantial reason to ask for a criminal background check in Denmark.
  • The Danish Data Protection Authority guidelines recommend employers to process criminal records only for sensitive job positions. 
  • Criminal records usually include case type, conventions, and disposition information for the last seven years. 

Credit report

  • It is unlawful for employers to request credit checks and full disclosure of financial situation for employee background screening in Denmark unless the job description demands so. 
  • The Danish practice allows employers to seek the credit history of prospects being considered to handle the company finances. 

Medical check

  • Employers may seek past medical records or request new medical checks for pre-employment background checks in Denmark. 
  • However, the Danish background check law restricts the processing of medical check records for relevant job positions, say airplane pilots and firefighters. 
  • Employers cannot order drug screening on prospects or existing employees if it is irrelevant to the job description. 
  • Employers must not use medical check history to discriminate between pregnant female candidates.  

Social life

  • Employers may process public information about candidates across social media platforms upon their consent for an HR background check in Denmark.  
  • However, employers must not discriminate between candidates based on political views, or religious beliefs alone. 

Information Essential for a Background Check in Denmark

Employers are advised to verify information relevant to the job description only. They may require the following details to conduct background checks in Denmark:  

  • Candidate’s name, date of birth, and full address are common inputs to conduct various background checks in Denmark, including education degree, employment history, criminal history, credit history, and medical history verification. 
  • Additionally, employers may have to collect specific details related to: 
    1. school name, major subject, degree transcripts, dates of attendance, city of the school, degree copy
    2. contact details of previous and current employers, dates of employment, job position held 
    3. color copies of passport or driving license or any other government-issued identity card 
    4. social media handles owned by candidates
  • Furthermore, the company name and full address are required for business verification, bankruptcy check, and credit report check before partnering with independent contractors, suppliers, or vendors. 

Process Involved in Background Checks in Denmark

Employers may make use of the following steps to conduct background checks in Denmark in a systematic manner: 

  • Danish laws require employers to inform the candidate and seek written consent for accessing employee data. 
  • After notifying the employees, employers shall verify academic details, work history, and available information on social media.

Step 2: Determine the information to verify

  • Danish background check law mandates employers to process only relevant employee data within the scope of the job description. 
  • For this purpose, employers may enlist the required information before physically gathering and verifying employee details. 
  • Required information for background checks in Denmark can be the following:
    1. Employment history
    2. Educational qualifications
    3. Criminal records
    4. Credit history 
    5. Medical history
    6. Social media presence

Step 3: Gather the necessary documents

  • Gather and organize all the necessary documents, physically or electronically, to fasten the screening process. 
  • You may also ask the applicants to share relevant documents, for instance, only the respective candidate can obtain personal criminal records from the police.

Step 4: Perform a background check

  • Employers may red flag any data discrepancies or undisclosed information on the job application. 
  • Background checks in Denmark can be performed using documents and details available as follows:
    1. Academic qualification: Employers can verify the level of education and other certifications using transcripts and degree copies as disclosed in the resume.
    2. Social media: Contemporary practice is to collect employee information from social media in compliance with GDPR and compare it with the disclosed information on the resume/job applicant. 
    3. Work experience: Employers must verify whether candidates worked with the mentioned employer and held the mentioned job role and responsibility. 
    4. Other aspects: Criminal background checks or medical checks can be used to find the right fit for the job. 

Furthermore, employers may contract third parties and reduce their burden for conducting employment background checks in Denmark.  

Industries and Situations That are Most Suitable for Background Checks in Denmark

There are some relevant industries and situations where medical background checks and criminal background checks in Denmark are necessary. 

Employers hiring for positions such as security agents, taxi drivers, childcare specialists, or operators in hazardous industries must verify criminal record history. 

Job positions across food, transport, manufacturing, and construction may require employers to request medical checks periodically. 

Furthermore, employers hiring across industries are encouraged to conduct background checks in Denmark, verifying academic and work experience to maintain a quality workforce. 

How Does Multiplier Help With Background Checks?

The process for background checks in Denmark can be time-consuming for in-house teams. Contemporary companies prefer SaaS-based platforms like Multiplier for complaint global expansion and hiring abroad. 

Multiplier does not directly help with screening and background checks. However, we have trusted partners on the ground to help you perform background searches in Denmark. 

Employers can switch to Multiplier’s PEO or EOR platform to draft legally compliant contracts and manage payrolls, tax reporting, and social security obligations per local law. 

Multiplier protects companies and entrepreneurs from legal liabilities arising out of global employment and hiring abroad in more than 150+ countries, including Denmark.

Frequently Asked Questions

The new Data Protection Act 2018 implements GDPR in Denmark. Accordingly, employers or contracted third parties must follow the privacy and data protection regulations while conducting background checks in Denmark. For example, seek written consent before collecting and processing employee data, give adequate access to stored and processed employee data, and likewise.

No, only the concerned individuals to whom the criminal record is related may obtain it from the national police. Further, only on voluntary submission of personal criminal records can employers process it for criminal background checks in Denmark.

The actual time required for background checks in Denmark depends on the type of background search and available information. Usually, it takes up to a maximum of two weeks to complete the screening process.

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