Attractive working conditions

International staff at AU emphasize favourable working conditions as an important motivation for working at Aarhus University.

Collective agreements guarantee you a safe workplace, fair wages, pay during sickness, flexible work hours and much more. On top of this international academic staff members can, under certain conditions, benefit from a special tax scheme to further improve working conditions. 


Maternity/paternity leave

Denmark has a generous maternity/paternity leave policy. Both the mother and father of the child are entitled to maternity/paternity leave:

  • Mother: Six weeks before expected date of birth and 14 weeks after childbirth with full pay
  • Father: Two weeks after childbirth with full pay

After the 14th week after childbirth, the parents are entitled to an additional 19 weeks parental leave with full pay. Six of these are earmarked for the mother, seven are earmarked for the father, and the last six weeks can be divided between the mother and the father.

There are many options for using maternity/ paternity leave flexibly. 

Read more about maternity/paternity leave 

Pension schemes

International staff members have three different options when choosing a pension scheme. 

  • Ordinary pension contributions scheme – an option for all international staff members employed under the collective agreement for academics 
  • International pension scheme (taxed immediately when transferred to your pension fund). An option for some academic staff members employed under the collective agreement for academics
  • Pension exemption (pension contribution paid out as salary) for a maximum period of five years. An option for some international researchers employed by the university on a fixed-term contract 

You will be asked to choose a pension scheme when negotiating your employment contract. 

Read more about pensions 

Researcher taxation scheme

When you are employed at Aarhus University as a foreign researcher (minimum assistant professor/postdoc level) or a key employee, you may be eligible for the special tax scheme for foreign researchers or key employees under certain conditions.

The researcher taxation rule means that the salary is subject to a gross tax rate of approximately 32 per cent for up to 60 months including contributions to Danish social security (labour market contributions), instead of the normal income tax rate – typically between 37 and 42 per cent. 

Read more about the researcher taxation scheme 

Six weeks of paid holiday

All staff members are entitled to five weeks of paid holiday per year of employment plus five additional holiday days. 

Ordinary holiday consists of 2.08 days of holiday for each month of employment in a calendar year. Normally, employees in Denmark accumulate holiday entitlement in the calendar year prior to the holiday year. This means that you earn the right to holiday with pay in the year before you take holiday with pay. The holiday year runs from 1 May to 30 April. 

Employees earn the five extra holiday days per year at a rate of 0.42 special holiday days per month, which adds up to five days a year. 

However, international staff at Aarhus University also have the option of concurrent holiday, which means you take your holiday in the same year as you earn it. In other words, you can take holiday with pay from day one of your employment. 

Read more about the rules about earning and taking holiday

Working hours and absence from work

Under the collective agreements in force at AU, a full-time position is 37 hours a week. Normally, a 30-minute paid lunch break is included in the 37 weekly working hours. Employees such as PhD students and researchers who plan their work themselves or whose working hours cannot be monitored are not entitled to overtime pay.

Normally you are entitled to full pay during illness. You also have the right to paid leave for the first two days of your child’s illness. Furthermore, all parents are entitled to two childcare days with pay per child per calendar year until the child has reached the age of seven.

Read more about terms of employment, employee well-being and work environment  

Read the article Denmark - first class working conditions (PDF)