Podcasts

Danes and Work: My vacation flight was cancelled, because the pilot was on vacation

 

A few years ago, during the peak July vacation season, SAS had to cancel a large number of flights out of Denmark.

This is because too many SAS pilots had taken vacation…during the vacation season.

Now, SAS promised that would never happen again, and to my knowledge, it hasn’t.

But this is part of a wider culture in Denmark, that the needs of the employee are often seen as more important than the needs of the customer.

World’s most efficient workers
Danes are excellent workers. In fact, they’re some of the most efficient workers in the world. They work very short hours, but they work hard. You rarely meet someone incompetent in Denmark.

But Danes also demand a lot of their employers. A full-time employee gets more than 5 weeks of paid vacation a year, 6 if you count the Danish public holidays. Employers also contribute to a vacation fund, so you can enjoy your holiday.

If you get a job at a big company in Denmark, you’ll have a pension, and probably life insurance. Big companies will even pay for private health care, so you don’t have to wait in line for the public health service.

Membership in the fruit plan
Even smaller companies usually offer a lunch plan, so you can get tasty food at a low price without leaning the office, and a fruit plan, so every employee gets a couple of healthy snacks per day.

These are seen as rights, not benefits. There was a front-page piece in the newspaper Politiken last week about temporary employees, some of whom were not paid for days off on public holidays and not allowed to be part of the fruit plan. This was seen as really outrageous.

Although it’s not universal, you won’t have to go far in Denmark to find someone with the idea that a job is there to serve them, as opposed to them serving the job.
 

Hear all our How to Live in Denmark podcasts on Spotify and on Apple Podcasts (iTunes).

 

Get the How to Work in Denmark Book for more tips on finding a job in Denmark, succeeding at work, and understanding your Danish boss. It can be ordered via Amazon or Saxo.com or from any bookstore using the ISBN 978-743-000-80-8. Contact Kay to ask about bulk purchases, or visit our books site to find out how to get the eBook. You can also book a How to Work in Denmark event with Kay for your school, company, or professional organization.

 

 

 

 

 

Want to read more? Try the How to Live in Denmark book, available in paperback or eBook editions, and in English, Chinese, and Arabic. If you represent a company or organization, you can also book Kay Xander Mellish to stage a How to Live in Denmark event tailored for you, including the popular How to Live in Denmark Game Show. Kay stages occasional free public events too. Follow our How to Live in Denmark Facebook page to keep informed.

Image mashup copyright Kay Xander Mellish 2019

Working in Denmark or hoping to find a job in Denmark? Get the How to Work in Denmark Book for tips on finding a job, succeeding at work, and understanding your Danish boss. It can be ordered via Amazon or Saxo.com or from any bookstore using the ISBN 978-8-743-000-80-8. Contact Kay to ask about bulk purchases, including special orders with your company logo. You can also plan a How to Work in Denmark event with Kay for your school, company, or professional organization.

How to Live in Denmark is the updated version of our very first book based on the popular podcast and the essays you’ll see on this site. You can purchase it on Amazon and Saxo.com, or get the original book on Google Play in English, Chinese, and Arabic. You can also book Kay Xander Mellish to stage an event tailored for your company or organization, including the popular How to Live in Denmark Game Show, a great way for Danes and internationals to have fun together.

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