RUT fines refunded
Supreme Court ruling results in the repayment of RUT fines. The Danish Working Environment Authority will reopen cases pertaining to violations of the duty to register with RUT between the period 1 January 2011 up to and including 24 June 2019. Among other things, this means that you will be repaid any fines for violating the duty to register with RUT.
When foreign businesses supply services in Denmark, they must report their work to the Register of Foreign Service Providers (RUT) and provide an address for where the work will be done. Among other things, this is to ensure that the Danish Working Environment Authority can inspect the workplace and check compliance with the duty to register with RUT.
Between the period 1 January 2011 and 24 June 2019, the address details supplied were publicly available.
In its judgement of 30 November 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the public accessibility of such address details was in breach of Article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This is because such accessibility constituted a restriction on foreign service providers which went beyond that which was necessary in order to fulfil the purpose of the RUT Register.
That the restriction was in breach of Article 56 (EU Law), together with the fact that it was not possible for the foreign service providers to correctly register with RUT without entering such address information, led the Supreme Court to acquit the foreign service providers of criminal liability.
The Supreme Court’s ruling establishes a precedent, which means that the Work Environment Authority will now reopen all cases pertaining to violations of the obligation to register with RUT in the period from 1 January 2011 up to and including 24 June 2019 which were settled with the payment of an administrative fine.
Note that as of 25 June 2019, the rules on the obligation to register with RUT have been in compliance with EU law in that the public is no longer able to access information on the address where the work is being carried out. Foreign service providers which provide services in Denmark must therefore continue to register with RUT.
The Danish Working Environment Authority will contact you or your company
If you or your company has been issued with an administrative fine from the Danish Working Environment Authority regarding a failure to register with RUT in the period from 1 January 2011 up to and including 24 June 2019, you will receive notice of an updated decision to close your case or to repay the fine.
In certain cases, the Danish Working Environment Authority may also send an email to you or your company requesting that you send address details to the Authority. The Authority requires this information in order to send their new decision to you or your company in a secure manner.
Once you receive the new decision, you will then be asked to provide account details to the Danish Working Environment Authority in the event that you or your company is due money back. The Agency for Governmental Administration (Statens Administration) is the body responsible for the repayment of fines.
When will the money be repaid?
The Danish Working Environment Authority will work as quickly as possible but some processing time must be expected due to the number of cases, their age and given that the matter concerns foreign businesses. Among other things, it is necessary to investigate whether the parties still have the same contact details and if they still exist, including whether the company may have been dissolved, for example.
Nonetheless, it is expected that repayment will be made over the course of 2021 for most cases.
If you have received a ruling or been issued with a fine by the police, then it is the police who will reopen your case rather than the Work Environment Authority.