Career and legal advice

Working from home: Here are your rights

Do you have the right to work from home? And what are the requirements for the layout of your home office? Get answers here.

Do I have the right to work from home?

You are only entitled to work from home to the extent agreed with your employer. If you do not normally work from home, you are only entitled to work from home if you have agreed to this with your employer.

Can I be required to work from home - either temporarily or permanently?

Even if your contract of employment states that you have a permanent place of work in the office, your employer may require you to work from home for shorter periods at a time. If you are required to work from home on a permanent basis for a few days a week or more, this could constitute a substantial change in your terms of employment, which your employer will have to notify to you. If this is the case, we encourage you to contact the IDA for advice.

Who should pay for my internet when my employer has made me work from home?

If your employer has asked you to work from home, your employer is also responsible for ensuring that you have access to the tools you need to do your job from home. The general rule is that your employer must provide you with an internet connection and cover the cost of this.

However, most people already have access to and pay for an internet connection at home, so dialogue with the employer is often advisable.

Do I have to provide my own office space for home work and pay for extra consumption of electricity, heating, water, etc.?

The basic principle is that your employer has a duty to provide the tools necessary for you to work from home.

However, the additional costs of electricity, heating, water, etc. will often be relatively modest and therefore dialogue with the employer may be the best approach.

My internet is down - am I entitled to a salary, even if I can't work?

As it is your employer's duty to provide work equipment, it is also your employer who bears the risk if the work equipment is not working. Your employer cannot therefore deduct your pay/ask you to take time off, and you are therefore entitled to pay if the internet stops working and you cannot work as a result.

Am I required to turn on my webcam when I work at home?

It is your employer's right to determine how you carry out your work, including whether you must have your webcam switched on when you take part in internal and external video meetings during working hours. You can choose to mute the background and turn off the sound when you're not talking, to avoid your manager/colleagues/customers suddenly getting a glimpse of your private life that you might not be interested in.

However, your employer cannot require you to keep your webcam switched on for the rest of the day when you are not taking part in video meetings. This would be a control measure that goes beyond what is necessary and you are entitled to turn off your webcam when you are not taking part in video meetings.

Do the rules on setting up home workplaces still apply?

The rules on home workplaces are being tested these days as a result of the Corona crisis. The Working Environment Act distinguishes between working at home and having a home workplace:

  • A homeworker (hjemmearbejder) is someone who works at home less than one day a week on average. The Working Environment Act does not apply here.
  • If you have a home office and work at home more than one day a week on average, health and safety legislation applies.

The Danish Working Environment Authority makes it clear that this distinction continues to apply under Corona. This means that your employer must comply with the Working Environment Act when you have been sent home.

In practice, however, the Danish Working Environment Authority cannot enforce the rules in private homes, and therefore they encourage managers and employees to find solutions together.

"The rules concerning home workplaces also apply in the present circumstances. The purpose of the rules is, among other things, to avoid injury and work-related nuisances, and the rules continue to apply. But the current situation, which is expected to last for a limited period, means that we are calling for employers, employees and health and safety organisations to all work together to find good temporary solutions. The Danish Working Environment Authority does not normally supervise employees' private homes, and in the current situation with COVID, we only supervise in relation to, for example, serious accidents and complaints."

IDA also encourages members, elected employee representatives and managers to find solutions together so that we can look after our work, our children, but also ourselves and each other.

You can read more about the rules for working at home on the Danish Working Environment Authority's website (In Danish).

Contact IDA

If you need assistance or advice, contact IDA's legal advisors. They are ready to answer your questions by phone (+45 44 18 48 48) or in writing via the contact form on MitIDA