Henrik Søndergaard has been project manager for third stream activities at Lund University since 2020. It takes him an hour and a quarter to commute to work from his apartment in central Copenhagen.
Project manager, Lund University
Just fifteen minutes longer than to his previous job, at the Technical University of Denmark. He works from home one day a week.
At first, he was worried about what it would be like to commute across the border. “That stress has subsided and it’s not a problem. The communications are good and the trains are comfortable, so I can work on the journey.”
What is worrying, however, is that he estimates his income has fallen by around ten per cent since he started working in Lund in 2020. “My salary is still good, but obviously having ten per cent less disposable income makes a big difference. If I’d had a low-income job from the beginning, it would have been a disaster.”
“Obviously having ten per cent less disposable income makes a big difference. If I’d had a low-income job from the beginning, it would have been a disaster.”Henrik Søndergaard
He understands the employer’s dilemma, that they can’t just give a salary supplement to cross-border commuters. “As an employer, it’s difficult to explain why some employees should have a different salary and different conditions just because they are Danish.”
While the SINK tax eases the burden a little and was a positive incentive to work in Sweden, he wonders why the Öresund Agreement on taxation does not apply to public sector employees. “I can’t really understand the political reasons for differentiating between public and private sector employees when it comes to the Öresund Agreement. It’s strange.”
Moving from Copenhagen to Sweden is not an option for him right now. However, he has considered working in Denmark again. “There’s more to it than money. Here in Lund, I like my colleagues, my boss and my work. So far, that’s more important. But if my income falls by another ten per cent, I doubt that I will stay.”