Unpaid salary: What to do if your pay is missing

If you are not paid your salary, you have the right to terminate the notice period. Along the way, it is a good idea to contact IDA, who can help with the legal matters.

If your salary does not arrive

If you do not receive your salary on time, you must ask your employer in writing to pay the salary. It is called a claim. You must document that your claim has been received, and therefore it is a good idea to send it by e-mail or to ask your employer for a receipt if you send it as a letter. 

Deadline for payment 

When you discover that you have not received the salary you are owed, you must send the claim as soon as possible, and the employer subsequently has a deadline of 5 days to pay the missing salary. 

If you receive your salary before the deadline of 5 days, the case is over, but otherwise you have the right to terminate the employment relationship because your employer has breached the employment relationship by not paying salaries. 

Drafting a claim for missing salary

In your claim to the employer, you can write, for example: "I have not received my salary for xx month 20xx. The salary amounts to DKK xx. If the salary has not been paid into my salary account by the latest (time limit of five days), I will terminate my employment and hand over the matter to IDA, who will subsequently make a claim for compensation for salary, notice of termination, holiday allowance, etc. 

The employer's duty 

If you cancel your terms of employment because you do not receive your salary, your employer must pay your missing salary, your salary during the notice period, etc. Terminating one's terms of employment is therefore not the same as resigning. 

Submit the case to IDA 

If you choose to terminate your terms of employment, you can hand over the matter to IDA. We will then send a debt collection letter to your employer, in which your total claim is stated. It is important that the employment relationship is terminated correctly, and that the compensation claim is calculated and formulated correctly. That is why you should always involve IDA. 

When you submit the case to IDA, you must include:

  • Your employment contract
  • Pay slips for the past 6 months
  • The December pay slip from the previous year
  • Any letters from the trustee.
  • If you have already received a notice of termination from your employer, you must also send the notice of termination.
  • If you have made a claim, you must also include this.

Contact IDA

Contact the Unemployment Insurance Fund (A-kasse)

When you leave the workplace after terminating your employment, you must immediately contact the local job center and Akademikerne A-kasse to register as unemployed. 

If the employer has not paid your claim within 10 days, IDA will file a bankruptcy petition (if the employer has recognised the claim) or take legal action (if the employer does not recognise the claim). 

Your employer goes bankrupt

If your employer goes bankrupt, you must report your claim for salary, holiday allowance and other things to the insurance fund Lønmodtagernes Garantifond via Before submitting the report, it is a good idea to have IDA review it so that you are sure that everything is included. 

Learn more about making claims with LG

Deadline for notification  

Your claim must be sent no later than four months after your employer has gone bankrupt. If you do it later, the Lønmodtagernes Garantifond can refuse to pay your claim. The processing time can vary, but typically it will take around 8 weeks from the time they receive the claim until you receive your salary. 

Who can have their missing salary paid out? 

Almost all IDA members can be paid what they own in the event of bankruptcy, but there are exceptions for certain positions and roles. If you are, for example, a director of the company or have a close relationship with the owner, it is not certain that Lønmodtagernes Garantifond will cover it.

A close relationship may be that you are a child of or spouse of the owner, but you should still always register your claim just to be safe. 

Duties towards the trustee

If the trustee asks you to work for the estate, you are not obliged to do this until the trustee has provided security that he or she can pay the salary. The Lønmodtagernes Garantifond does not cover claims for salaries for work carried out at for the trustee. 

Terminated by the trustee

If you have not been terminated and released from your duties when the company goes bankrupt, you must wait for the trustee to terminate and release you before filing your claim. The trustee has 14 days to decide whether he/she wants to enter into your employment relationship. 

If you have previously terminated your employment because the employer breached it, you can immediately report your claim to Lønmodtagernes Garantifond. 

Learn more about making claims with LG

Obligation to search for a job  

You must look for work while you are released from your duties. This is because you must limit the loss for the bankruptcy estate/Lønmodtagernes Garantifond. 

If the trustee sells all or parts of the bankrupt company and you are offered employment in the new company, you should contact IDA, because it may be a business transfer, and then there may be doubts about the compensation from the Lønmodtagernes Garantifond. 

These claims are covered by Lønmodtagernes Garantifond: 

  • Salary (also during the notice period, but no more than 6 months) 
  • Holiday allowance 
  • Severance pay according to Section 2a of the Civil Service Act, i.e. by employment for at least 12 and 17 years 
  • Commission 
  • The value of a free car, free telephone and free accommodation 
  • Bonus 
  • Certain pension contributions 
  • Overtime if you can document a claim, e.g. by collective agreement or fixed scheme
  • You can receive a maximum of DKK 160,000 after tax excluding holiday allowance. 

These claims are NOT covered by Lønmodtagernes Garantifond: 

  • Plus on your flex account/time off in lieu
  • Pay for e.g. transport, accommodation, telephone bills and representation (That is why IDA recommends that you have a credit card where the employer is liable) 
  • Board fee for employee-elected board members 
  • Claims for salaries which should have been paid more than 6 months before bankruptcy 

Get help from IDA if your salary does not arrive

As an IDA member, you can get legal help if you are not paid your salary. Write to IDA's legal advisers via My IDA - and you will get support and advice.

Contact IDA