Accounting & Payroll

Accounting & Payroll

Payroll in Scandinavia

If your objective is to set up a business in Scandinavia, a comprehensive understanding of both payroll and labour market dynamics is crucial. This article offers valuable insights into payroll-related aspects in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, making it easier to succeed in the Nordic business environment.

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Why read this guide?

How to do payroll in Scandinavia

  • Acquire in-depth knowledge of various payroll structures
  • Gain a thorough understanding of both shared traits and distinctions, enabling you to navigate the diverse business landscape more effectively
  • Avoid pitfalls and maximise your success
  • Obtain valuable insights from industry-leading experts
  • Receive practical tips on establishing and expanding your business in Scandinavia

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This guide contains

Payroll structures
Tax regulations and processes
Social benefits
Employment and termination
Payroll software and technology
Challenges, tips and recommendations

Payroll structures

Even though there are some commonalities in terms of payroll processing and salary structures in the Scandinavian countries, one should still be aware of certain important distinctions. For example, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have different standard workweeks, consisting of 37, 37.5, and 40 hours respectively. However, it may be of greater practical significance that one country, in particular, stands out in how absenteeism is calculated. Within the guide, you will discover the identity of the country in question and the key factors essential for effective payroll processing.

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Tax regulations and processes

Regardless of where you are considering starting a business, it is crucial to familiarise yourself with local tax regulations and processes. Especially in Scandinavia, where the government is a strict regulatory authority, the consequences can be significant for errors or misinterpretations of the regulations. There are also different taxes to consider in the three countries. In Norway, for example, there is the wealth tax, which is a distinctive and debated tax on net wealth. In this section, you can read more about what it entails in practice and how to navigate the intricate tax landscape effectively.

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Social benefits

The Nordic countries are known as perhaps the world's most developed welfare states. But what does this mean in practice? What should employers be aware of?

In short, the systems in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway entail that all businesses are assigned a certain responsibility regarding the treatment of employees. However, there are clear differences, especially concerning the accrual of vacation and how it is compensated. In this section, our experts will explain both parallels and divergences in social benefits in the Scandinavian countries.

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Employment and termination

Employees in the three Scandinavian countries are generally well-protected against unfair treatment from employers. However, in this particular field, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway should not be considered as a uniform entity. There are some important disparities that one must be aware of when planning to start up in one or more of these markets. Essentially, it revolves around how extensive termination processes are in practice and what role, if any, labour unions may play. These topics are thoroughly discussed in this white paper.

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Payroll software and technology

In this section, the experts delve into payroll systems and the associated technology. Here, you can read about why Danish and Swedish experts don't entirely agree on the extent of development, especially concerning the degree to which the systems are digitised and automated in practice. Moreover, the discussion delves into potential efficiency gains, particularly in terms of time and cost savings, when utilising external assistance to handle systems and administration.

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Challenges, tips and recommendations

In this segment, we are presented with a summary of the experts' viewpoints and recommendations regarding wages and the labour market in Scandinavia. What do our experts highlight as the key challenges associated with current trends? What opportunities do they see in the current market, and what advice do they offer? Among other things, they emphasise how digitalisation can be used as an advantage in the future, but also caution about being attentive to certain aspects. Additionally, there is a focus on the importance of delivering accurate wages on time and the correct handling of sick leave. If you want to know what this means in practice, you can access the guide for more details.

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