Earlier this year, the Danish Minister for Employment introduced a Bill to amend the Danish Workers’ Compensation Act for the purpose of, among other things, relaxing the requirements for when an injury can be recognised as an industrial injury. The Danish Parliament has now passed the new Act without amendments.
According to the background legislative material, the reason for easing the concept of industrial accidents is the Danish Ministry of Employment’s assessment that the definition of an industrial injury had become too narrow in practice. Current practice is that injuries that do not require treatment to heal, resolve or abate cannot be recognised as industrial injuries.
The new Act therefore specifically states that ‘temporary’ injuries can also be recognised as industrial accidents.
The background legislative material states that a ‘temporary’ injury means an injury that does not necessarily require treatment to heal or resolve. Examples include a wound, strain or minor psychological reaction that heals or passes without intervention within a short period of time. The decisive factor in establishing whether an injury can be characterised as temporary is, pursuant to the legislative material, if the injury has psychological or physical consequences ‘which in any way affect the general condition or daily life of the injured person either on a temporary or permanent basis.’
The new Act comes into force on 1 January 2020. This means the relaxation of the concept of industrial accidents will not apply to cases concerning accidents occurring before this date.