If you are a salaried employee in Denmark, have the right to take leave when you have a child. For part of your maternity or paternity leave you will receive full or partial salary payments from your employer. How much you receive and how long you are entitled to receive salary payments depends on your employment contract or the collective agreement under which you are covered.
Parents who are not entitled to paid maternity/paternity leave from their workplace can receive maternity/paternity benefits from their municipal office in their place of residence. In order to claim this payment, contact the local municipality no later than eight weeks after the birth.
On 2 August 2022, a new Act on maternity/paternity leave comes into force. However, if you are a salaried employee and the mother or father of a child born before 2 August 2022, the old rules apply to you. If your child is born before 2 August 2022, you are entitled to the following leave when your child is born:
Here you can read about your options for taking leave for pregnancy and childbirth if you give birth before 2 August 2022 and you are a salaried employee in the private sector or public employee in a municipality, region or state.
As a mother, you are entitled to pregnancy leave up until the birth.
The length of pregnancy leave depends on your employment situation:
Privately employed: As a mother, you are entitled to 4 weeks' absence before the expected date of birth.
Employed in municipality/region: As a mother, you are entitled to leave from 8 weeks before the expected date of birth
State employee: As a mother, you are entitled to leave from 6 weeks before the expected date of birth.
The expected date of birth (due date) is included in the weeks of absence.
If you give birth before your due date, you lose the part of your pregnancy leave you did not take before the birth.
However, if you give birth after your due date, your leave will be extended by the number of days you miss, so you get the same number of days regardless of when your child is born.
As a mother, you are entitled to maternity leave for 14 weeks after the birth of your child. Most take the full 14 weeks of maternity leave.
Maternity leave starts the day after the birth, and you cannot postpone maternity leave and take it later.
Privately employed: You are entitled to 14 weeks' maternity leave. You are obliged to take the first 2 weeks of maternity leave, but from the 3rd week onwards, as a private employee, you can resume work in part, by agreement with your employer. In this way, you can extend your maternity leave by the hours you have resumed work.
Employed by a municipality, region or state: You are entitled to 14 weeks' maternity leave. You are obliged to take the first 2 weeks of maternity leave, but from the 3rd week onwards, as a public sector employee, you can resume work in part, by agreement with your employer. In this way, you can extend your maternity leave by the hours you have resumed work.
As a father or co-mother, you are entitled to take leave immediately after the birth of the child for a continuous period of 2 weeks.
The conditions of your leave depend on where you (the father/co-mother) are employed.
Privately employed: As a father or co-mother, you are entitled to 14 days' leave. You can extend this period by partial return to work and/or by taking the leave in several stages during the first 14 weeks after the birth, by agreement with your employer.
Employed by a municipality, region or state: As a father/co-mother, you are entitled to leave with full pay for 2 consecutive weeks immediately after the birth. By agreement with your employer, you can place the 2 weeks at another time within the first 14 weeks after the birth.
Parental leave starts immediately after the mother's 14 weeks of maternity leave.
Parental leave is 32 weeks for both private sector employees and employees in the municipality, region or state. You are not entitled to additional leave if you have twins, triplets or more children at once.
You can take parental leave at any time during the first 46 weeks after the birth of your child. However, if you are an employee in the public sector, you must take paid leave before taking unpaid leave.
During the 32 weeks of parental leave, you are free to decide whether the mother, father or co-mother takes leave. You can also choose to take parental leave consecutively or at the same time.
If you do not want to or cannot take parental leave as an extension of maternity leave, you have the following options for a more flexible planning of your parental leave:
As both a mother and a father, you can partially resume work during the period of parental leave and thus extend the period of leave.
You can either return to work on reduced hours or you can work full days and have fixed days off. Working hours are calculated on a weekly basis, so you will have to work less in a week than before the leave.
If you return to work part-time, you can get maternity/paternity benefits for the time you are on leave.
You must make an agreement about the resumption of your work with your employer. You must agree both to resume work on reduced hours and to extend the period of leave. If you can only reach an agreement with your employer to resume work on reduced hours, but your employer will not agree to extend your leave, you can postpone the part of your parental leave that you do not take.
If you postpone parental leave, you can take leave later, before the child turns 9. If you change jobs, you must agree to take the deferred leave with your new employer.
You can postpone parental leave and take it later - either because you have partially resumed work or because you want to take the leave at a different time.
Postponed parental leave must be taken before the child reaches the age of 9.
As a private sector employee or an employee in a municipality, region or state, you can postpone leave in one of two ways: By exercising your right to postponement of the right to absence (retsbaseret udskydelse), or through an agreement made with your place of employment, for instance in your employment contract (aftalebaseret udskydelse):
In accordance with Danish law, you have the right to postpone your leave. The following conditions apply:
The postponed period of absence:
The right to postponing a period of absence:
You must give your employer 16 weeks' notice of your intention to take leave.
You can change rights-based postponed leave to agreement-based postponed leave by agreement with your employer. If you change your leave to agreement-based postposed leave, you can agree with your employer that the remaining leave is taken non-consecutively or that the leave is taken in connection with a partial return to work.
You may also postpone your leave under agreement with your employer. In this case, how the postponed leave is taken depends on your contract or agreements made in your workplace.
Agreement-based postponed leave:
Together with your employer, you should draw up a plan for how you want to deal with agreement-based postponed leave.
If you are employed by a municipality, region or state, you have the option of postponing paid leave until a later date. However, you must be employed by the same employer at the time you take the postponed leave as you were at the time you postponed the leave.
As a mother, father or co-mother, you can extend your parental leave by 8 or 14 weeks if you are working. If you are unemployed, you can only extend your parental leave by 8 weeks.
You must take the extended leave immediately after parental leave and you cannot combine it with other flexible options such as partial or postponed leave. So there are consequences to extending your leave.
You are not entitled to daily benefits (dagpenge) during the extension, so you can choose either to get full daily benefits during the 32 weeks of parental leave, or you can stretch the daily benefits and get reduced daily benefits during parental leave and the extension of parental leave. However, you may not extend your daily benefits until you have completed the weeks on full pay.
If you are entitled to a salary during the extension, it may also be reduced, as the employer will only be reimbursed the reduced amount.
As a mother, you must notify your employer at least 3 months before the expected date of birth if you want to take pregnancy leave.
As a father/co-mother, you must notify your employer at least 4 weeks before the expected date of absence that you are taking leave and for how long.
No later than 8 weeks after the birth, you (the mother, father or co-mother) must have notified your employer of how you intend to take leave, including whether leave will be postponed to a later date.
If you have any questions concerning your terms of employment when you are or are going to become a parent, IDA can help you to get an overview of your maternity/paternity leave entitlements.
You can also get advice about your additional rights - for example, the possibilities of postponing periods of leave or extension of leave periods, opportunities for partial resumption of work, the allocation of leave between parents and caring for sick children.