Legal advice and security

How to resign from your job

How do you quit your job in a Danish company? What should you write in a resignation letter? And what are the rules regarding notice of termination and holidays when you leave your job?

It can be an uncomfortable situation to quit your job, but it is important to leave your position in a good way.

On this page, you can find answers to frequently asked questions about resignation.

How do I quit my job?

It is not a requirement that you resign from your position in writing. However, in order for you to document that you have resigned, IDA recommends that you hand in your resignation in writing and get your employer to acknowledge that they have received your resignation.

Specifically, you should send your resignation as an e-mail or a letter to your immediate manager.

It is your responsibility that the notice of termination arrives in time, so if your manager is prevented from seeing and acknowledging your notice of resignation due to holiday absence, illness or other absence, you can send your notice of termination to a deputy. It can either be a superior manager or the HR department at your workplace. Alternatively, you can also send an SMS in which you ask for confirmation that the resignation has been received, or you can set your email so that you receive a confirmation of whether the email has been received and read.

On you can see how to add a request for read receipts

Before submitting your resignation in writing, you should consider telling your manager in person.

Even if you have felt unfairly treated or have been unhappy with your manager, it is a good idea to be diplomatic. You are welcome to tell your manager that you have been unhappy, but make sure you do it in a matter-of-fact and proper way. Remember to also say thank you for the good things in your job, and let your manager know which aspects of your new job have motivated you to apply for it. 

What should I write in my resignation?

You don't have to write a reason why you are resigning, but it is a good idea that your resignation contains these three things:

  • The date of your resignation
  • Your last date of employment
  • A wording in which you ask your employer to acknowledge the termination

If you are in doubt about what to write in your resignation, you can use this short and simple wording:

"I, (name), resign my position with company XX dd to resignation (date of last working day").

Even if it does not come naturally to you, it is a good idea to also write an explanation of why you are resigning. Here you can mention some of the things that you have enjoyed at your workplace, but also why you would like to move on: for example to try a new role or industry or simply to get a change of scenery. If you do not write a reason, it may appear to some as if you are slamming the door.

What is my notice of termination?

Your notice of termination is the period during which you must continue to perform your job after you have resigned. You have a duty to continue working during your notice period.

Your notice of termination is stated in your employment contract and will typically be the remainder of the month in which you resign and the following month. For example, if you resign on 15 November, your notice of termination will run until 31 December. If you would like to start a new job from January, you must quit your job by 30 November at the latest.

If you have agreed on a longer notice of termination in your employment contact, you must always respect it. Otherwise, you risk having to pay compensation to the employer.

If you are employed as a public servant (tjenestemand) and want to resign, we encourage you to contact us so that we can advise you individually on which rules apply to your particular employment. 

Contact IDA for legal advice

Do I have to work during my notice period?

The starting point for your notice period is that you must continue to carry out your work in the usual way. You are therefore not entitled to be released during your notice period.

If you are away from work during the notice period, your employer can demand compensation equal to your salary for the days you are not at work.

If you call in sick during your notice period, you must contact your doctor on the first day and make sure that you can get a medical certificate. Your employer may demand to see it at a later date.

What is my notice of termination when I am employed on a probationary period?

If you are employed on a trial period, you can basically resign with one day's notice.

However, it is often agreed in the employment contract that you and your employer both have a notice of termination of 14 days during a trial period.

Can I look for work during the notice period?

After you quit your job, you have the right to participate in certain job search activities during working hours and continue to be paid. This means that you can participate in employment interviews and other outreach activities during working hours, as long as you notify your employer of your absence as soon as possible.

On the other hand, you must not spend your working time writing job applications and CVs, correcting your LinkedIn profile or the like, unless your employer has agreed to this.

When can I get unemployment benefit if I resign?

You get a 3-week quarantine from the unemployment insurance fund if you quit your job, or if your unemployment insurance fund assesses that it is your fault that your employer has dismissed you. The Social Insurance Agency can assess this, for example, if you have been to blame for cooperation problems or have breached your employment in some other way.

During the 3-week quarantine from the unemployment insurance fund, you must still be registered with the Jobcentre, look for work and be available to the labour market in order to be entitled to daily allowance afterwards.

What happens to my holiday when I quit my job?

If, prior to your resignation, you have planned and been approved for a holiday that falls within the notice period, you are entitled to take the holiday as planned, even if you have resigned from your position.

If you have not planned and received approved holiday to be taken during the notice period, and you wish to take holiday during the notice period, you must enter into an agreement with your employer on this, as you cannot unilaterally decide to take holiday during the notice period.

If you have not planned and approved holiday to be taken during the notice period, and you wish to have the holiday settled upon your resignation, you must wait to resign your position until the end of the month, so that your employer cannot notify you that your holiday will be taken during the notice period.

Any holiday that you have earned and have to your credit at the time of resignation, your employer must settle to the Holiday Account.

Read more about holiday rules and resignation

What should I say at my resignation interview?

If you are called to a resignation interview, it is up to you how much you want to tell. If you are constructive and diplomatic, it will typically not be a problem to mention some things that you think could be better in the workplace.

However, if you have the feeling that your former employer is not really interested in your feedback, or if you just want to get out the door as easily as possible, you can simply answer in more general terms and stick to the fact that you resign because you want new challenges.