Menu close


Outsourcing is a condition for several companies. As a consequence, Finansforbundet has developed different outsourcing tools, which we have gathered below.

  • Dilemmas on outsourcing

  • Inequality dilemma

    Inequality dilemma

    Advantage: Outsourcing reduces global inequalities​. Disadvantage: The gains achieved from outsourcing may be unequally distributed. The gains might go to higher dividend payments instead of reinvestments in jobs and growth.​ Risk that the business might support citizens who are financially better off rather than eliminate economic disparities.​ Recommendations​: - Acknowledge that your business contributes to creating good jobs and reducing global inequalities​. - Ask about and require that attention is being paid to good terms of employment and organisation in the outsourcing countries. - Refer to the international conventions, guidelines and principles to which the businesses have committed themselves (e.g. ILO conventions, UN- and OECD guidelines, UN principles for responsible banking)​.

  • Democracy dilemma

    Democracy dilemma

    Advantage: The business could help pull in the direction of stronger democratic values in the outsourcing countries​. Disadvantage: The business could risk coming into conflict with the democratic values of its home market in outsourcing countries​ (e.g. LGBT+ rights). Recommendations​: - Acknowledge that the business must strike the right balance between respecting the local culture, the values of the business and fundamental democratic values​. - Demand that democratic values in the outsourcing countries be taken into consideration as part of the risk analysis. - Ask about what the fundamental values mean. Where is the limit, and where can we make compromises? - Make the fundamental values of democracy a natural part of the dialogue with the management locally and transnationally. - Ask the management if the tasks to be handled in the outsourcing country are/will be placed in a country with a democratic deficit.

  • Home market dilemma

    Home market dilemma

    Advantage: Outsourcing can reduce costs and provide cheaper products and services. Disadvantage: Outsourcing could reduce consumer demand on the home market because fewer jobs will decrease the purchasing power.​ Recommendations​: - Ask if outsourcing is reflected in consumer prices/better services for customers on the home market. Ask for concrete examples. - Ask if the business feels responsible for placing the jobs where its home market(s) is/are. -Ask who their competitors are and in what markets they compete – and the parameters on which they compete. - Are values and outsourcing compatible? - Ask what the business would like to stand for. Would it like to contribute actively to the labour market and communities in the countries where the home markets are? - Ask the management to collect experience from dissatisfied customers in directly client-facing functions handled by outsourced functions, for example in private banking – the experience is not “customer centricity”.

  • Labour market dilemma

    Labour market dilemma

    Advantage: Outsourcing can open access to labour which is in short supply​. Disadvantage: Outsourcing can put pressure on the Danish labour market model if the country of destination has no collective agreements. The labour market and thereby also the businesses do not focus on reusing employees if tasks are outsourced​. Recommendations​: - Ask how the business ensures a sustainable employee development and retention policy in the home country​. - Ask how the management ensures employee representation in the countries to which the tasks are outsourced to support a sustainable labour market model​. - Ask which areas/skills may be susceptible to outsourcing in the short and long term – and work out a plan together for how to prepare employees for another job​.

  • Skills dilemma

    Skills dilemma

    Advantage: Outsourcing can provide access to needed skills​. Disadvantage: Outsourcing could lead to a loss of knowledge and skills on the home market.​ Recommendations/considerations​: - Acknowledge that the lack of skills may be solved through outsourcing, but that there are risks. - Consider if the outsourcing of further activities would lead to the relocation of high-skilled tasks, thus with the risk of draining skills/knowledge completely.​ - Map out the areas involving the risk of losing (silent) knowledge if outsourced, for instance by involving union representatives/employees. ​ - Speak to the management about the skills situation in the long term. Make the management aware that the loss of silent knowledge is usually discovered when it is too late. - Ask the management what is done to compensate for the loss of knowledge. - Consider the risk of placing critical skills and knowledge in places where the employee turnover rate is high and loyalty towards the company might be weaker than in home markets​.

  • Supply/dependency dilemmas

    Supply/dependency dilemmas

    Advantage: Outsourcing may provide flexibility and savings​. Disadvantage: Outsourcing is often irreversible and creates dependency on countries in which the political situation could quickly change. Recommendations​: - Encourage the management to prepare an exit plan for taking back the outsourced tasks as it can prove difficult to re-establish outsourced skills. One way could be to keep the skills in the home market longer than planned. - Make the management aware that employee commitment and motivation often depend on a sense of purpose and belonging that is often lost when the value chain is split/tasks are outsourced across boundaries. - Ask how the management addresses the risk of placing critical skills and knowledge in places where the employee turnover rate is high and loyalty towards the company might be weaker than in home markets. - Ask the management to relate to the security of supply and political uncertainty in the country as it may influence how tasks are solved in the country to which they are outsourced. - Ask the management if the dilemma has been discussed by the business’ board of directors. - Ask the management if the business’ board of directors has assessed the risk of re-outsourcing.


Finansforbundet strives to minimize the negative consequences for members in relation to outsourcing within the framework of what we can influence.

Simultaneously, Finansforbundet works for the best conditions for financial companies to do well internationally so that they can generate growth and jobs in Denmark

Definition on outsourcing

We use the term 'outsourcing' as a generic term when tasks are moved inside or outside the country – and inside or outside the group/business.

The outsourcing toolbox

Finansforbundet has developed several outsourcing tools, that covers different angles and targets different audiences, inter alia:

  • a dilemma memo for employee representatives with questions that should be considered in management before, during and after a decision on outsourcing
  • a Danish version of the dilemma memo for employee representatives with colleagues and managers who don't speak English
  • a Danish pixi version of the dilemmas
  • Position paper on outsourcing - Finansforbundet believes that ...
  • an FAQ for members


If you want to study the tools more in depth, you can also download a pdf version:

Dilemmas on outsourcing [pdf]

Outsourcingdilemmaer (pdf dansk)

Outsourcingdilemmaer - pixiudgave (pdf dansk)

Holdningspapir om outsouring - Finansforbundet  mener [pdf]

Position paper on outsourcing - Finansforbundet believes that ... [pdf English]



FAQ on outsourcing

We have prepared this FAQ for employees affected by outsourcing. We try to answer some of the most frequent questions that members ask us, acknowledging that every outsourcing situation is different.

Please be aware that national outsourcing in many cases is considered a corporate transfer covered by the Danish Act on Transfer of Undertakings. If so, the business will in most cases be under an obligation to transfer the employee to the business to which the tasks are being outsourced. If you are not sure about this, you can always ask your local union representative, a local branch of Finansforbundet or the head office.

1. Why doesn’t Finansforbundet do something to reduce or stop the outsourcing of tasks?

Finansforbundet and the local professional system always try to influence the outsourcing decisions to ensure the perspectives of the employees are included, but we cannot change the business models of undertakings, including their use of outsourcing. Finansforbundet endeavours to ensure that the employees affected by outsourcing move on well in their professional lives. Generally, Finansforbundet aims to ensure a balanced globalisation that will enable businesses to generate more jobs in Denmark through enhanced competitiveness.

Denmark is a small and open economy, and the financial sector is highly digitalised and transnational, which makes it easier to place tasks where it is the cheapest. Outsourcing is complex and filled with dilemmas. For example, businesses might gain a competitive edge through outsourcing, however, the disadvantages of outsourcing could become so big that some companies decide to take back the tasks to Denmark.

We have developed a dialogue tool (dilemma memo) on outsourcing that our union representatives and managements can use to discuss outsourcing on a nuanced and sustainable basis when assessing the outsourcing potential and subsequent execution. In this context, it is crucial to shed light on the employee perspective.

2. Is it within the rules that I lose my job shortly after having trained employees in the outsourcing unit to take over my tasks?

Under the management prerogative, your employer has the right to hire and terminate employees. If, at the time of termination, you have worked at the business for more than one year continuously, the termination must be based on a fair reason, and the circumstances ruling at the time of termination decide whether there is a fair reason.

The outsourcing of your tasks to a foreign country is considered an organisational change and is therefore a fair reason, regardless of whether you will be required to train new employees in another country during your period of notice.

National outsourcing is in many cases considered a corporate transfer covered by the Danish Act on Transfer of Undertakings. If so, the business will in most cases be under an obligation to transfer the employee to the business to which the tasks are being outsourced.

Your employer must give notice of your termination by a fixed period of time depending on how long you have been employed. Read more about the termination rules here.

3. Is it ethically responsible that I lose my job shortly after having trained employees in the outsourcing unit to take over my tasks?

Being terminated and asked to train others in the outsourcing unit to do what used to be your tasks may seem unfair and can take a personal toll on you. Remember that Finansforbundet stands ready to help you move on if you are terminated. We offer help and advice in the following areas and more:

  • Individual job-hunting, courses and training opportunities
  • Financial support for further training and continuing education
  • Possibility of letting Finansforbundet serve as your “lawyer” in connection with decisions made by the job centre or the unemployment insurance fund
  • Career coaching

Finansforbundet generally endeavours to ensure that businesses live up to their responsibilities with respect to employees affected by outsourcing. First and foremost to those who are terminated, but also those who remain in the business and are required to ensure the continued quality of the outsourced tasks and will be responsible for the training of employees who will be performing the outsourced tasks.

The business must handle outsourcing in a fair and responsible way, and in early and ongoing dialogue with union representatives to ensure that the employees who lose their jobs are either retrained or upgraded to other jobs in or outside the business.

4. I find that outsourcing deteriorates the performance of tasks and customer service because we no longer have the critical knowledge needed to solve the tasks. What will Finansforbundet do about that?

Finansforbundet is engaging in dialogue with legislators and authorities on how to ensure that outsourcing takes place in a balanced and sustainable manner, implying, among other things, that the sector will maintain the critical skills and safeguard both customer and employee data in the outsourcing processes.

The local professional system regularly highlights insufficiencies to managements based on making the outsourcing business case realistic and adapted to specific experience gained. The perspective of the employees must be included as they know the specific challenges of the value chain presented by outsourcing.

Finally, it is important that you share your knowledge of the disadvantages arising from outsourcing because it may be detrimental to the performance of tasks and consequently impact the business and employee motivation negatively.

5. How can I make the management aware that it is overestimating the savings achievable from outsourcing?

If you are experiencing insufficiencies of outsourcing, you should first of all tell your immediate manager, in fact, it is expected of you. You may always discuss the problem with your union representative before and after you go to your manager. Also talk to your colleagues to hear what their experience is.

It is important that you and your colleagues highlight any backflow of tasks and other insufficiencies of outsourcing that will have consequences for the quality of the performance of tasks, including your ability to achieve your targets/KPIs.

If you believe the problem involves a greater business risk or a risk to you, you have the option of using the channels made available by either the business or the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (whistleblower mechanisms).

Position paper on outsourcing

Outsourcing is a condition in several financial services companies, and for good reasons. For example, it may help enhance the business' competitiveness and, as a consequence, its overall growth and job conditions. However, outsourcing poses a dilemma, and, therefore, Finansforbundet has prepared an outsourcing dilemma memo, which employee representatives and managers should include in their risk analysis. While every outsourcing situation is different, outsourcing nearly always affects employees, company culture and the quality of the tasks performed.

Finansforbundet's position on outsourcing is supplemented by the outsourcing dilemmas and should be read coherently.

Finansforbundet believes that outsourcing should be carried out on the following premises:


1. Proper terms and a sense of responsibility towards employees in receiving and transferring locations

  • Early information and consultation of employees and the industrial system to promote better decisions, an understanding of the consequences as well as build trust and commitment among employees
  • Timely upskilling/requalification of affected employees for job opportunities inside or outside the organisation
2. Involving employees for the best long-term outcome
  • Early involvement of the area's employees in risk analysis and qualification of the business case for the purpose of minimising operational and image-related risks
  • Ongoing involvement of the area's employees in the evaluation of the quality provided, reperformance of tasks and transitions in the value chain
3. Corporate social responsibility
  • The sector has a co-responsibility for creating jobs in Denmark, and for retaining and developing critical financial and IT competences, which our country will need in future
  • Businesses and regulators have a responsibility for safeguarding both employee and customer data when such data are transferred between locations, across borders and especially out of the EU.
4. Same values at all locations and throughout the value chain
  • The sector's businesses must retain and promote the values of the Danish agreement model, including trade union rights as well as values related to diversity and inclusion throughout the business’ value chain and at all the business’ locations.
5. Contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • To ensure that outsourcing contributes positively to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, it is important that it is carried out responsibly, both in terms of social and environmental factors. This requires close cooperation between the industrial system and the businesses outsourcing the tasks.

How Finansforbundet helps you move on