Danish government employees keep quiet to keep jobs

suspicion-littleOnly a fraction of Danish public sector workers are willing to openly criticise their employers due to fear of repercussions.

A new study has revealed that speaking up about work-related issues is taboo for employees in the Danish public sector; with more than half saying they are scared of the consequences.

The Danish Labour union FTF, which consists of 450,000 government workers, recently polled 2,500 of its members and discovered that 51 percent were afraid to utilise their right to free speech when it came to voicing concerns against their bosses.

Among those who were brave enough to blab, 14 percent were subjected to a ‘friendly’ meeting with their superiors, while a further eight percent were banned from making any further statements, reports the Copenhagen Post.

The survey also found that 48 percent of employees claimed that they had faced an untenable situation while at work that should have been made public, but that only 10 percent of these cases were in fact reported.

“People are afraid of reprisals – and in the worst case being fired – if they speak about their workplace and the situation develops badly,” said FTF president Bente Sorgenfrey. “The widespread fear for employees expressing themselves is a serious democratic problem, not least because the vulnerable residents need to know if society is letting them down. The knowledge of (public sector) employees must come out – especially when the government’s new billion kroner savings plan risks leading to more critical situations,” he added.

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