Lör 2 mar / År 42 / Nr 4 2023

Øresunddirekt provides guidance through the jungle of international work regulations

The aim of the advisory service center Øresunddirekt is to bridge the gap between citizens, businesses, and authorities on both sides of the Oresund strait. This is done by providing an accessible platform for information gathering, sharing and updating, and making the information available and accessible to people and companies with interest in working across the border.  

Ylva Hansson is Head of Office at Øresunddirekt in Copenhagen and Malin Dahl, Head of Office at Øresunddirekt in Malmö.

The geographical distance across the Oresund strait is minimal, but the operational distance may be perceived as great if the right information has not been provided. Needless to say, the work at Øresunddirekt has intensified over the past years, especially since the start of the pandemic. The interest in working across the border has, however, always been great.

What is Øresunddirekt?

Øresunddirekt is an information platform with physical offices on both sides of the strait. With a strong presence in the Medicon Valley region, Øresunddirekt can provide companies operating within the Life Science area with useful information related to for example moving and setting up business, accepting employment, paying taxes and choosing a suitable pension scheme on any side of the Oresund strait.

“Our role is not to create job opportunities, but we provide information of how being employed across borders works and which common pitfalls to look out for when accepting a job across the Oresund strait, whether it be in on the Danish or the Swedish side”, clarifies Malin Dahl, Head of Office at Øresunddirekt in Malmö.

Ylva Hansson is Head of Office at Øresunddirekt in Copenhagen. Malin and Ylva often meet up to discuss common challenges across the border, with the aim of building an even better information service to anyone who needs assistance when it comes to working and being employed in the Oresund region. The service is also available to companies with interest in recruiting people from both Sweden and Denmark.

Meeting the needs of the Life Science industry

Although Øresunddirekt is essentially an information platform for all types of businesses and industries, considering the large number of Life Science companies in the region, the service has many tailored aspects for these types of businesses.

“In the Life Science industry, transnational teams are often required, and they are more often than not found somewhere across the strait. To make their journey across as smooth as possible, we are here to provide the contacts and information they need to set up both home and business across the strait”, says Malin Dahl. 

It may be fairly straightforward if you originate from Sweden and decide to move to Denmark for work, or vice versa. But what if you come from a third country, you have lived in Sweden for some time and you have your work permit in order to work in Sweden, but you get an offer of work in Denmark and wish to take it?

“We have seen many cases where an employee, a consultant or a guest researcher originates from a third country. Moving freely between Sweden and Denmark is not a given, there are many regulations in place for that, and this is an example of information guidance that we can provide. If you have a Swedish work permit, that may be lost if you accept work in Denmark. As the geographical distance is so small, this aspect may well be overlooked, and we have seen cases of that as well”, says Ylva Hansson.

Can provide guidance for finding talents

As mentioned, Øresunddirekt is not just a resource for professionals, but for businesses as well. The key activities here include providing information in setting up a new business, information regarding employment and recruiting professionals across country boundaries, and marketing activities supporting local Oresund collaborations.

Other activities of great importance are events and meetings on the topic attracting and recruiting staff. The need to fill a competence shortage is becoming more and more evident throughout most Danish and Swedish industries, and the life science cluster of Medicon Valley is not excluded from this challenge. Here, the role of Øresunddirekt has become even more important lately.