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Conditions of Employment

Agreements Between Theatres And Unions

We recommend that independent project-subsidized theatre companies refer to union agreements with TIO ("Teatrenes Interesseorganisation"). The organization has made agreements on behalf of the regional Danish theatres ("egnsteatre") and the "minor city theatres" ("små storbyteatre"). 

The Unions Connected To The Danish Theatre Industry Are As Follows:

Teknisk Landsforbund (The Danish Association of Professional Technicians): Organizes technical and administrative staff
Dansk Skuespillerforbund (Danish Actor's Association): Organizes actors, opera singers, dancers and choreographers
Danske Dramatikere (Danish Playwright's Guild - only in Danish): Organizes dramatists in theatre, radio, TV and film as well as librettists, translators and adaptors of dramatic texts
Foreningen af Danske Sceneinstruktører (Danish Stage Directors' Association): Organizes directors
Sammenslutningen af Danske Scenografer (Danish Set Designers' Association): Organizes set, production and lighting designers, as well as exhibition and costume designers

There are also a number of related professional bodies and associations as well the two Nordic associations, Nordiska Sceninstruktørers Råd og Nordic Writer’s Guild, both of which offer help to Scandinavian directors and dramatists, respectively, when working in other Nordic Countries.

Other organizations and associations that may be of interest:

Foreningen af Danske Dramatuger (Network of Danish Dramaturgs) - independent organization without agreements with other theatre related organizations. Dramaturges belong to the academic unions.
Dansk Komponistforening - Danish Composers' Association (only in Danish)
Dansk Artist Forbund (Danish Performers' Association - only in Danish) Note: DAF organizes musicians, circus artists, acrobats and entertainers, who to an ever increasing degree are employed in theatres, though they have no agreement with other theatre related organizations
Uafhængige Scenekunstnere (Independent Stage Artists)
Danske Designere (Danish Designers)

Copyright administration

CopyDan (only in Danish) - administers 6 copyright organisations within arts, writing and entertainment (The regulations stipulated by CopyDan’s form the basis for the administration of copyrights in the following unions: Danske Dramatikere, Foreningen af Danske Sceneinstruktørers og Scenografernes)
KODA - administers Danish and international copyrights for music creators and publishers
Gramex - administers the financial rights of performing artists and record companies
Lysfonden (only in Danish) - administers copyrights for lighting designers

Independent project-subsidized theatres and independent stage performers are not subject to the agreements with the unions, however, we recommend that you refer to already exiting rules and regulations when settling terms of employment (contract and pay).

Download union agreements at the bottom of this page.

Guide To Regulations And Agreements When Touring

All agreements are subject to the legislation on work environment and Danish legislation in general. Below we present a number of agreements and legislative regulations that you should be familiar with before hiring staff to go on tour:

Working Hours And Overtime

At the start of a tour, working hours will commence from the time the employee shows up at the designated workplace or the tour’s point of departure. If it is considered logistically more viable that the employee sets off from her/his home address, working hours will commence as soon as s/he leaves the address. This should be clarified (in the contract) between employer and employee.

During a tour, working hours at the temporary workplace will be subject to the same conditions as if it were a permanent workplace. In other words, working hours commence when the employee arrives at the given venue.

A touring workday is defined as no less than 7.4 hours regardless of whether the actual working hours are less. Overtime is subject to regular conditions and all work between the hours of 00:00 AM and 06:00 AM is considered overtime.

Please note that the so-called 48-hour rule, which states that in four months working hours must not exceed an average of 48 hours a week, including overtime. Thus, the workweek can be longer some weeks, provided it’s compensated for by other shorter workweeks. This rule was originally defined by the EU Working Time Directive.

This directive also states that if the daily workday exceeds six hours, breaks must be included. Breaks in between two work periods are defined as working hours, as long as they are less than three hours (according to the agreement with TIO) and less than two hours (according to the agreement with KBHT).

Download the EU Working Time Directive at the bottom of this page.

Rest Hours Regulations

All terms of employment are subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act §50 stating that working hours should be organized such that employees receive a period of rest of no less than eleven consecutive hours within every 24 hours. According to the agreement between TL and TIO (appendix 4: Tour Agreement), dispensation from the rule can be granted in which the hours of rest amount to only eight hours for up to three times a month. As an exception, further dispensation can be granted in connection with the tour moving from one province to another.

According to the Health and Safety at Work Act §51, employees must, as a minimum, be given 24 hours off within any seven-day period, immediately following a daily rest period. The weekly day’s leave can be postponed and substituted by equivalent time off at a later date when deemed necessary in order to maintain continued services and production (touring can be defined thus). And so, according to the agreements with TIO, all tours much be organized in a manner that allows all employees two days leave within any two-week period with no more than seven days in between, but there is the possibility of being granted a dispensation, in which case, there can be up to twelve days in between the two days leave.

You apply for dispensation at Teknisk Landsforbund. Within this twelve-day period, however, there can be no more than seven setups. The fist seven-day period commences immediately after the last day’s leave before the start of the tour.

There are no guidelines as to the geographic location of days off, not in the Health and Safety at Work Act, nor in any of the unions’ agreements. In other words, an employee is not eligible for transport back home on days off. The only exception is if you take time off in lieu during a tour, in which case the employer is duty-bound to pay for transportation to and from the employee’s home, and travel time will be included as working hours.

Per Diem Allowance And Provisions

To inform the basis of the per diem tariffs TIO and KBHT refer respectively to applicable rates set by the Assessment Council and Government rates for missions. In 2014 the highest tax per diem rate was DKK 464/ day. If the employer supplies catering, or parts of it, the per diem is reduced by a percentage rate. Deductions to the daily rate are calculated as follows:

Breakfast 15%, lunch 30%, dinner 30%.

In cases where the employer provides all available meals 25% of the per diem can be paid tax free to cover minor needs.

For each commenced hour on connecting travel days 1/24 of the rate is paid; i.e. DKK 19.33/ hour.

The Danish Actors Association agreements clearly state that meals and upkeep on one day tours can either be covered on a reimbursement for expenses basis or via a supplement added to the wage the equivalent of 1/24 of the per diem rate pr hour. In this case the supplement isn’t tax free, as the journey will not exceed 24 hours.

Tax Office may allow a raise of the reimbursement rate for food and minor supplies in regards to travels in countries where the cost of living is much higher than in Denmark.
Tax-free allowances are not payable to persons receiving B income fees. These individuals may instead deduct an amount from their taxable personal income when documenting the actual expenses.

If the employer doesn’t provide lodgings, or free lodgings are available, one can receive a tax-free accommodation reimbursement of DKK 199/ day.
Tax-free travel allowances are only payable in regards to trips with a duration of 24 hours or more.

If the actual cost exceeds the received tax-free allowance, the employee may deduct the documented excess amount from her/his taxable income.

In 2014 tax deductions for travel expenses were limited to DKK 25.500 a year.
Tax-free travel allowances can also be paid when working for a foreign employer. The foreign employer must observe the same control requirements in regards to payment of compensation as a Danish employer. 

Working Hours While Travelling

Travelling to or from different venues on the tour is considered working hours for all employees, regardless of job-description.

Travel And Rest Hour Regulations

There are a number of legislative regulations for driving heavy vehicles that you should be aware of. Danish legislation in this area is subject to relevant EU directives and thus applicable in all EU countries as well as in Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. In other words, when driving through Sweden, you can observe Danish travel and rest hour regulations. However, it is always recommendable that you check local legislation when travelling and working abroad. The general regulations for travel and rest hours are as follows:

  • The driver must not drive for more than 4,5 hours at a stretch.
  • After driving for 4,5 hours the driver must take a break of at least 45 consecutive minutes, unless s/he starts a rest period.
  • The break of 45 minutes can be exchanged for a break of no less than 15 minutes, followed by smaller breaks throughout the trip, making up the remaining 30 minutes. You cannot change the order of the breaks around.
  • During the breaks and hours of rest, the driver is not allowed to perform any other kind of duty or work.
  • The driver must not drive for more than nine hours a day.
  • Twice a week, driving time can be extended to ten hours.
  • Weekly driving must not exceed 56 hours.
  • In two consecutive weeks the total of driving hours must not exceed 90 hours.
  • A week constitutes Monday from 00:01 AM until Sunday 00:00 midnight.

Rest hours are defined as any continuous period when the driver is free to dispose of her/his own time.

Within every 24 hours the driver must rest for a minimum of eleven consecutive hours.

  • However, the daily hours of rest can be reduced to a minimum of nine consecutive hours three times a week – at most.
  • Daily hours of rest (both regular and reduced) that are observed outside of the driver’s home can be spent in the vehicle, as long as a bed is provided and as long as the vehicle is not moving.
  • Regular weekly rest hours should be no less than 45 hours.
  • Within two consecutive weeks a driver must at least observe two regular periods of rest consisting of no less than 45 hours each and 90 hours in all or one regular weekly period of rest consisting of no less than 45 hours and one reduced weekly period of rest consisting of no less than 24 hours. Compensation for the missing period(s) of rest must be made up at a later date, please see below.
  • A weekly period of rest must start no later than at the end of six consecutive 24-hour periods after the previous week’s period of rest
  • A reduced weekly period of rest, observed outside the driver’s home, must be observed in the vehicle, as long as a bed is provided and as long as the vehicle is not moving.

Furthermore, there should be a control apparatus in the vehicle.

Read more about the regulations here.


Wage Guideline

As a rule, touring employees are paid according to relevant agreements (for no less than 7.4 hours per day). On top of that, there is regular overtime. Wages can be based on the employee’s regular pay, however, touring theatres normally agree on a set basic rate for the different types of touring days, effectively distinguishing between travelling, setting up and performing days. Wages when on tour are usually higher than when working on a stationary production, as increased pay is an important incentive, especially for touring technicians.

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