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Contract: What can you negotiate?

 
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When you and a prospective employer engage in contract negotiations, it is not only your salary that's on the line. Pension, working hours and more can also be brought to the bargaining table. Here is our guide on what to negotiate with your workplace.

If you are applying for your first graduate role or you have only recently been employed as a graduate be aware that most medium to large sized companies will have a standard graduate packages that they will not expect you to negotiate, particularly with regards to salary and working hours.

If you have specific ideas about the training and development you want to undertake, this will probably be your central and perhaps only negotiating point. If you are applying to a smaller company or a role in a company that did not previously exist or you have been employed for some time, here are some factors to consider when negotiating: 


Salary

 

Your first salary is more important than you might think. It is the basis upon which your employer, and possibly future employers, will assess your salary - salary increases are usually a percentage increase. If you are unsure about what the average wage is for your profession i towuld be a good idea to contact your union. The more information you have the better. If you are asked what salary you expect it is a good idea to avoid zeros (ie, 300,000kr). Instead give something more precise (like 305,500) which will give more of an impression that you have done your research and understand the going market value of your services.


Pension 

 

As a recent graduate it is unlikely that your retirement plan will be the near the top of your list of important things to negotiate. Still, it is useful to look at whether your pension is part of your salary. If it isn't, then you might want to consider this a negotiating point. 


Working Hours 

 

Working hours vary from workplace to workplace but a typical working week is 37 hours. Working hours may be appropriate to negotiate. Topics to consider might be your lunch break, flexitime, working from home and overtime. 


Holidays and personal days 

 

According to the Holidays Act you are entitled to five weeks of vacation with full pay, if you have been employed for a full calendar year. In addition to five weeks of vacation, many companies also provide holidays and personal days in their employment agreements. 


Pregnancy and childbirth

Men and women have the right to take time off because of pregnancy and childbirth. Whether you get paid your full salary, will depend upon your employment agreement. 


Further Training

 

Although, as a new graduate you should probably have pretty up to date knowledge of your field, further training is rarely a bad thing. You should be aware that many companies automatically offer development programs to their employees. If not, this is it something you can bring to the negotiating table. You are perhaps more likely to have success with this than negotiating salary as employers have something to gain from your development and training. As an expat in Denmark, Danish language classes could be high up on your list of desired training that your employer might pay for or give you time off to undertake. 


Extras

 

Finally, all the extras are worth thinking through before you negotiate wages with your employer. In fact, there may be many opportunities to save money via job perks such as a free mobile phone, paid internet, PC, home office, free newspaper, paid transportation or paid lunch. All of these things help to raise your salary. Therefore, you should include them when you assess the your offered salary. 


Ready for your negotiations? Get going with our 12 negotiation tips to keep you happy!


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