Business Round-up: IKEA and ISS up in arms on government's 'paradigm shift' on foreign policy - The Post

Business Round-up: IKEA and ISS up in arms on government’s ‘paradigm shift’ on foreign policy

In other stories, Airbnb will now deal directly with the tax authorities, and Denmark has been asked to reconsider its 500 euro ban

Companies are concerned the new government policy will be an obstacle when it comes to foreign labour (photo: Copyright ISS World Services A/S)
April 5th, 2019 3:32 pm| by Stephen Gadd

The new measures unveiled in February this year affecting foreign workers in Denmark – the so-called ‘paradigm shift’ in policy – have drawn sharp criticism from IKEA and ISS. These are the two companies currently employing the largest number of refugees in Denmark.

“We are worried that this new reality will have a negative influence on a person’s motivation and engagement,” Anne Anker, the head of communications at ISS, told Berlingske.

Less emphasis on integration
IKEA explained that the idea of having refugees in apprenticeships was, among other things, to teach them Danish work ethics and values and improve language skills to assist them in becoming well integrated. “

It’s going to be a much bigger challenge if there’s a risk hanging over them the whole time that they will be sent home,” said Judith Passer, a talent development manager at IKEA.

Wrong focus, say critics
Among other things, the new policy is aimed at persuading refugees to return to their homelands rather than integration and employment in Denmark.

From now on, the authorities are to put “least possible” weight on a refugee’s job, education, Danish language abilities and active integration when it comes to deciding whether to extend their temporary residence permit.

Airbnb to report to SKAT
The online property rental service Airbnb has announced that from July 1 the company will start automatically reporting information on rentals to the Danish tax authorities. This is part of a package of measures agreed in May last year by the government, together with Socialdemokratiet and Radikale, covering the shared economy. The system should be up and running from 2021 and Denmark will be the first country in which an automatic agreement of this sort has been made for services from a shared economy provider. Last summer, 443,000 people checked in through the system from June 1 to August 31, and in 2017 there were 31,000 people renting property in Denmark, reports DR Nyheder.

Denmark urged to think again on 500 euro note ban
The European Central Bank has asked Denmark to reconsider its proposed ban on the 500 euro note – part of a package of anti-money laundering measures put forward in September last year. The ECB argues that despite no longer being produced, the note is still used as currency in other EU countries, reports Børsen. It is further argued that it is customary for the central bank that issued the note to decide whether it is legal tender or not. The ECB also points out that Denmark allows other high-value notes such as one for 1,000 Swiss francs.

State set to save millions on facility management
A new contract with a private supplier is expected to achieve net savings of around 300 million kroner for 22 state bodies in terms of expenses for cleaning, canteen services and building maintenance. This is the first of three planned contracts that form part of the reform process under facility management. Last year Bygningsstyrelsen tendered management tasks to a value of almost 2 million kroner. Today, it was revealed that for the next seven years the job would be done by one supplier, thus saving the state around 45 million kroner per year.

Roskilde Festival donates millions to charity
Foreningen Roskilde Festival, the fund running the Roskilde Festival, has announced the financial result of last year’s festival. A profit of 19.2 million kroner will be distributed amongst charities, especially focused on those for children and young people. Last year, the business and service side of the festival realised a record profit of 32.6 million kroner.