Salaries, Wages and Pay Negotiations

What pay are you entitled to and what can you negotiate? We can provide you with an overview of the pay scale and salary brackets to give you an insight into the pay level in the sector. We can also help you with preparations for your next pay negotiations.

​'Sparring' is available at any time, should you wish to discuss your pay. We can advise you, among other things, on what pay you can get and provide you with insight into how your pay compares other employees' who have the same profile as you. You can use this knowledge to help you before you enter into an agreement about your starting salary and later on when you have a pay review.

You can contact our legal advisor by phoning 32 66 13 30 (within Denmark) or by using Finansforbundet's (Financial Services Union Denmark's) salary calculator, which can show you average pay in a wide range of areas and job categories in the Danish financial sector.

Finansforbundet's salary calculator

Salaries and wages in Denmark

Although workers in Denmark are generally paid more than in most other countries, this applies primarily to the level as an average, and less so to specialist functions. In addition, the Danish job market often offers special conditions that you do not find in other countries, such as good maternity leave and more holiday. If you are employed under Finansforbundet's collective agreement, you will be guaranteed the following:

  • at least six (6) weeks' holiday
  • 11 percent pension
  • 3.25 percent holiday bonus
  • 37-hour working week, with paid overtime
  • Medical and dental insurance

As a foreign national starting your first job in Denmark, there may be many extra factors determining your pay level. For example, you may get your flight costs reimbursed, you may receive an allowance for accommodation, or you may be given extra free time to visit your country of origin. You must bear these extras in mind when comparing the level with Denmark in general. You must be aware that Finansforbundet's pay statistics do not take those kinds of benefits into consideration – instead, the statistics show the general pay level in the Danish financial sector.

Individual pay grades and pay scales

We can help you get a general idea of the individual pay grades and pay scales agreed in the most recent standard agreement between Finansforbundet and the FA.

See what pay you are entitled to

If you are in doubt about your pay scale and pay grade, you are welcome to contact Legal Affairs and Negotiations by phoning +45 32 66 13 30.

Starting salary

It can be a good idea to consider what factors might contribute to the pay level,
e.g. by answering the following questions:

  • Which sector? What level of pay do you get in the sector?
  • Where in the country is the company situated? Companies in the capital region typically pay slightly more than companies elsewhere.
  • What relevant experience do you bring with you from previous jobs? Think in broad terms. It is very possible that you have acquired the skills you need by doing something relevant in a totally different sector.
  • How are the conditions otherwise? Does the company offer good conditions with regard to working hours, holiday etc.? Could this make the pay level go down?
  • Does the company find it difficult to recruit new employees with your profile? If 'yes', this may have a positive effect on pay.

Finansforbundet offers a range of advice, which you can benefit from if your job is within the financial sector, enabling you to discuss how much pay you can ask for, as well as gaining insight into how your pay compares to other employees with the same profile as you.

Pay negotiations

It's always good to be well prepared when you are going to negotiate your salary. You should therefore always think about the following before you go to your pay negotiations or review:

  • What amount are you going to ask for/what leeway is there with the amount?
  • Think about the information that you will need – such as facts/statistics and special conditions in the company/sector. How are your colleagues paid and are things going well in the company?
  • What would you like to highlight as your justification for a pay rise? What results have you achieved? How are you contributing to company targets etc.?

You should also prepare yourself mentally to be persistent and not give up immediately if you are told 'no' at first.

Finansforbundet's range of advice enables you to discuss how much pay you can ask for, as well as gaining insight into how your pay compares to other employees with the same profile as you.

Renegotiating your salary/wages

You have far more opportunities to give your boss a good impression of you and work, with a view to getting a pay rise, away from the negotiating room.  It is therefore a good idea to make your boss aware of the results you achieve day to day on an ongoing basis.

It is also a good idea to make your boss aware of your expectations in a good time before the pay talks. For example, you can give your boss the materials or statistics you would like to use as the basis for the negotiations.

Well ahead of the pay talks, you can also make your boss aware that you, as part of your preparations, have researched certain statistics and that you would also like to discuss certain tasks and/or results you have achieved. Doing so indicates that you expect real pay negotiations.

Think of alternatives

Bear in mind that pay negotiations will often start with a 'no'. It's important that you do not let this throw you off guard. Instead, you should ask many questions about what you can do to be paid more in the long term. If you know what is important to your manager, you will be more aware of any possible openings that crop up during the conversation.

You can also make agreements for other items if it is not possible to get a pay rise, such as:

  • Autonomy in your work
  • Company car
  • Company phone
  • A free newspaper
  • Various membership fees paid/subscriptions
  • Other employee benefits, IT equipment etc.

Salary/wages and parental leave

You will be in exactly the same position when you are on maternity/paternity leave as you were when you were not on maternity/paternity leave. This means, among other things, that you have the right to be informed of any pay reviews or negotiations in your company while you are on leave.

The maternity/paternity leave shall therefore not be the reason that you are given a lower pay development or cannot have access to a pay negotiation.

It can be beneficial to conclude an agreement with your manager regarding when and how you will negotiate your pay next time, even before you go on leave. Remember that you can always request a pay negotiation within this context, even if it is not written directly in your agreement.

Salary/wages and new tasks

If your current job is undergoing considerable change, you should always consider whether this should trigger a pay rise. Things to consider:

  • Will there be more responsibility involved?
  • Is the job more demanding than your current job?
  • Is the position in the company less safe – and should this be reflected in the pay level?
  • Do you have colleagues who you can compare your pay level with?
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Salary Calculations

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Check your salary/wages

You can use Finansforbundet's salary calculator to find out the average pay in many different areas and job categories in the financial sector. This will help you to establish what pay you can potentially get and provide you with insight into how your pay compares with other employees' who have the same profile as you.

Data in Finansforbundet’s salary calculator

What is included in the salary?

The pay level you will find in the salary calculator is defined as the fixed salary including flat-rate allowances, but excluding the employer's pension contribution and the additional 1/12 of the average annual amount that is received as a single allowance etc. (does not include payments for overtime). In other words, the pay does not include the pension contribution paid by the employer, nor does it include the holiday bonus.

Typically, the employer's pension contribution is 11 percent of the fixed salary, whereas the holiday bonus is 3.25 percent of the fixed salary. To determine the total gross salary, the rule of thumb is, therefore, to multiply the pay level in the salary calculator by 1.1425.

What do 'median' and 'quartile' mean?

The salary calculator shows four different pay levels. The four levels are called the 'lower quartile', 'median', 'upper quartile' and '90 quartile':

  • The median indicates the salary/wage that the person in the middle receives if you analyse all the people included in the statistics and rank them in order. If you wish to compare your pay with the typical pay earned by someone with your profile, you need to look at the median.
  • The lower quartile shows the threshold for the 25 percent with the lowest salary/pay.
  • The upper quartile shows the minimum salary you must be earning to be among the 25 percent highest-paid.
  • The 90 quartile shows the minimum salary you must be earning to be among the 10 percent highest-paid.

Perhaps you are wondering why we don't just make a comparison with the average? This is because the average can be heavily skewed, even if few people have an abnormally high or low salary. As such, you may get an incorrect idea of the pay level generally. That is why the median tends to be used when creating salary statistics.

Where do the figures come from?

The salary calculator is based on a questionnaire that we sent out to all employed members who are affiliated with one of Finansforbundet's local union. Around 37,000 questionnaires were sent out in total, with a response rate of 50 percent. Against the background of the data from the questionnaire, researchers from DTU put together a regression model that calculates the pay level that appears in the salary calculator.

Are you getting what you are entitled to?

Finansforbundet's salary calculator is a powerful tool that allows you to assess whether your pay matches the market price, giving you grounds for a potential pay rise during pay negotiations.

Have you got a new job?

You can ask a Finansforbundet advisor to review your employment contract before you sign it.

Phone us on 32 66 13 30 (within Denmark) or email raadgivning@finansforbundet.dk.