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Rules on Parental Leave

How early do you need to put in notice for maternity leave? How long do I receive pay during my parental leave? What should I do if I fall ill during my parental leave? Learn more about how you are insured during pregnancy and parental leave.

Plan your parental leave

Use Finansforbundet’s parental leave calculator to create an overall plan for your parental leave, and to obtain a full picture of your right to benefit, pay and leave, along with all the important dates related to taking leave.

Parents have a total entitlement of 52 weeks maternity/paternity benefit. The Maternity Leave Act guarantees this, regardless of whether you are in work or not. Some of the parental leave is reserved for the mother and some for the father/co-mother. The rest may be divided as you wish.

The 52 weeks of maternity/paternity benefits are divided between the mother and father/co-mother as follows:

Leave

 

Pregnancy leave - 4 weeks prior to the mother’s due date

Starts 28 days before expected birth date, including the due date itself. This does not affect the length of leave after the birth if the birth takes place before or after the due date.

Maternity leave - 14 weeks after birth for the mother

Starts on the day after birth. The mother is obliged to take leave in the first two weeks after childbirth.

Paternity leave - 2 weeks after birth for the father/co-mother

Taken in connection with the birth but the father may arrange with his employer for the weeks to be placed at another time before the child is 14 weeks old. In specific cases, the father may assume the mother’s entitlement to leave during the first 14 weeks. This applies, e.g., if the mother passes away or cannot take care of the child due to illness. The co-mother has the same rights as the father according to the Materntil Leave Act.

Parental leave - 32 weeks after birth and can be shared by the parents

Can be taken by both of you at the same time, one at a time or in extension

If you receive pay during any of your parental leave, remember that the weeks with pay are deducted from the 52 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits. This is because the government benefits are paid to your employer as reimbursement for the pay you receive.

Go to Lifeindenmark.dk to see if you meet the requirements for receiving government benefits and the payment you are entitled to. How much you will receive depends on whether you are employed, self-employed, unemployed or a student.

Pay and pension during parental leave

How long do I receive pay during my parental leave? – the Standard Collective Agreement

If you are employed under one of Finansforbundet's collective agreements, you are entitled to full pay during parts of your leave. For example, if you are employed under the Standard Collective Agreement between Finansforbundet and FA, the mother can take up to 30 weeks leave on full pay, and the father/co-mother can take up to 16 weeks leave on full pay.

 

 

Pregnancy leave (mother)

4 four weeks with full pay prior to the birth

Maternity leave (mother)

14 four weeks with full pay after the birth Starts on the day after birth. The mother is obliged to take leave in the first two weeks after childbirth.

Parental leave (father)

4 four weeks with full pay after the birth Can be taken in one go or split into two periods of two weeks each. Two of the weeks must be taken within the first 14 weeks after the birth unless agreed otherwise. The two remaining weeks may be taken any time during weeks 15–60 after the birth.

Parental leave (mother)

12 four weeks with full pay after the birth Can be taken in weeks 15-60 after the birth in a consecutive period, or split into 2 x 6 weeks.

Parental leave (father)

12 four weeks with full pay after the birth Can be taken in weeks 15-60 after the birth in a consecutive period, or split into 2 x 6 weeks.

You are both entitled to 12 weeks parental leave if you are both covered by one of Finansforbundet's collective agreements.

You can also use our parental leave calculator containing all Finansforbundet’s collective agreements, some public and a number of other private collective agreements.

Try the calculator

Weeks with pay are deducted from your maternity/paternity benefits

Remember that weeks with pay are deducted from the 52 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits. This is because the government benefits are paid to your employer as reimbursement for the pay you receive. If you take parental leave at the same time as you receive pay, it will count as double in your government benefits account.

According to the collective agreements between Finansforbundet and the FA, full pay is subject to whether your employer is able to receive a government benefit refund, which corresponds to at least 32/46 of the maximum government benefit amount.

The 32/46 fraction results from the fact that you can extend your parental leave by 8 or 14 weeks so that your parental leave is increased to 40 or 46 weeks, as well as still having the right to maternity/paternity benefits for 32 weeks of parental leave. In this situation, you have the opportunity to spread the government benefits for the 32 weeks over 40 or 46 weeks, which corresponds to 32/40 or 32/46 of the highest amount of government benefits. If you are in doubt about the rules, please contact Finansforbundet’s social advisers, Bente Knudsbøl on 32 66 14 56 or Birgit Larsen on 32 66 14 38 for advice on the best solution.

How long do I receive pay during my parental leave? – without a collective agreement

If you are a salaried employee and employed by a company without a collective agreement or paternity/maternity leave rules, you are covered by the paternity/maternity terms in the Salaried Employees Act.

The Act gives the mother the right to half pay for up to 18 weeks (4 weeks pregnancy leave and 14 weeks maternity leave) and parental leave with maternity/paternity benefits. The father has the right to 2 weeks of paternal leave in connection with the birth, and parental leave with maternity/paternity benefits.

How long do I receive pay during my parental leave? – underwriters

If you are employed under one of Finansforbundet's local collective agreements, the rules of the Framework Agreement between Finansforbundet and FA will apply.

The mother is entitled to up to 28 weeks leave with full pay and the father/co-mother is entitled to up to 14 weeks leave with full pay.

 

 

Pregnancy leave (mother)

4 four weeks with full pay prior to the birth

Maternity leave (mother)

14 four weeks with full pay after the birth Starts on the day after birth. The mother is obliged to take leave in the first two weeks after childbirth.

Parental leave (father)

4 four weeks with full pay after the birth The 4 weeks of parental leave must be taken in unbroken periods of two weeks each. Two of the weeks must be taken within the first 14 weeks after the birth unless agreed otherwise. The two remaining weeks may be taken during weeks 15–60 after the birth.

Parental leave (mother)

10 four weeks with full pay after the birth If you cannot agree on when the leave should be taken, you can take it during weeks 15-60 after the birth as 2 consecutive periods of 5 weeks.

Parental leave (father)

10 four weeks with full pay after the birth If you cannot agree on when the leave should be taken, you can take it during weeks 15-60 after the birth as 2 consecutive periods of 5 weeks.

You are both entitled to 10 weeks parental leave if you are both covered by one of Finansforbundet's collective agreements for insurance agents.

Please remember that pay during maternity/paternity leave for underwriters is calculated in the same way as pay during illness. You can read more about how pay is calculated during illness (and parental leave) in your local collective agreement or under Rules on long-term illness.

Weeks with pay are deducted from your maternity/paternity benefits

Remember that weeks with pay are deducted from the 52 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits. This is because the government benefits are paid to your employer as reimbursement for the pay you receive. If you take parental leave at the same time as you receive pay, it will count as double in your government benefits account.

According to the collective agreements between Finansforbundet and the FA, full pay is subject to whether your employer is able to receive a government benefit refund, which corresponds to at least 32/46 of the maximum government benefit amount.

The 32/46 fraction results from the fact that you can extend your parental leave by 8 or 14 weeks so that your parental leave is increased to 40 or 46 weeks, as well as still having the right to maternity/paternity benefits for 32 weeks of parental leave. In this situation, you have the opportunity to spread the government benefits for the 32 weeks over 40 or 46 weeks, which corresponds to 32/40 or 32/46 of the highest amount of government benefits. If you are in doubt about the rules, please contact Finansforbundet so we can advise you on the best solution.

How will parental leave affect my pay negotiations?

You will be in exactly the same position when you are on parental leave as if you had not taken parental leave. This means that you have the right to be informed of any pay reviews or negotiations in your company while you are on leave. Parental leave cannot therefore be the reason you are given a lower pay rise, or access to pay negotiation.

It can be beneficial to conclude an agreement with your manager regarding when and how you will negotiate your pay next time, even before you go on leave. Remember that you can always request a pay negotiation within this context, even if it is not written directly in your agreement.

Use Finansforbundet’s salary calculator to negotiate higher pay

Are my pension contributions paid during parental leave?

If you are covered by Finansforbundet’s Standard Collective Agreement or have similar terms, then the company pays both your and the company's pension contributions during your entire maternity/paternity, but not beyond 60 weeks after the birth.

This means that you will not only receive full pension contributions during your parental leave in the periods when you receive full pay, but also during the periods when you are on leave without pay, up to week 60 after the birth.

However, as from 2020, pension contributions will be paid when taking deferred leave later than 60 weeks after the birth, in accordance with Section 11 of the Maternity Leave Act.

The fact that your pension contributions are paid during your parental leave means that you also earn the right to holiday with pay pursuant to the rules of the Holiday Act (i.e. 1-5 holiday weeks) in the periods where your employer pays pension contributions during your leave.

If your employer does not have a collective agreement with Finansforbundet

If you are not covered by one of Finansforbundet’s collective agreements, whether you have the right to pension contributions during all or part of your leave depends on your collective agreement or employment contract. Contact your union representative if you are in any doubt about which collective agreement applies to your workplace.

Notice, postponement and extension

When should I give my employer notice that I want to take parental leave?

There are fixed rules in the law, and in Finansforbundet’s collective agreements governing when you have to give your employer notice of different parts of paternal leave. We recommend that you give written notice.

Deadlines for notice prior to due date

  • No later than 3 months prior to due date: The mother must inform her employer of when she expects to give birth (due date) and state whether she wishes to exercise her right to pregnancy leave prior to the birth. However, it may be a good idea to disclose your pregnancy or fertility treatment earlier, in order to safeguard against dismissal.
  • No later than 4 weeks prior to the start of leave: The father must inform his employer of when he expects to take paternity leave.

Deadlines for notice after due date

  • No later than 8 weeks after the birth: Both mother and father must inform their employers of whether they wish to take parental leave with full pay, as well as when they wish to take their leave.
  • No later than 8 weeks after the birth: Both mother and father must inform their employers of how much leave they wish to take, how they will take it and whether they wish to extend or postpone a part of their leave. The parents must also inform their employers if they wish to make use of the Standard Collective Agreement right to a part-time agreement up to and including week 60 after the birth.

Leave can be amended by giving your employer new notice within 8 weeks after the birth. Leave cannot be amended after those 8 weeks, unless your employer agrees.

In the event that a child is hospitalised, the employer must be informed as soon as possible if it means that the leave will be postponed or extended.

You can also use our parental leave calculator that includes details of all notice periods. You could even send it to your employer.

Try the calculator

How long can I be on parental leave?

Parents have a combined right to 52 weeks’ parental leave with maternity/paternity benefits but you also have the right to be absent from work for up to a total of 112 weeks. You are therefore entitled to be on leave for a longer period than you are entitled to receive government benefits.

Below you can see how long it is possible to extend your parental leave:

  • Pregnancy leave for mother - 4 weeks prior to the birth
  • Maternity leave for mother - 14 weeks after the birth
  • Paternity leave for father - 2 weeks after the birth
  • Parental leave for mother - 32 weeks after the birth
  • Parental leave for father - 32 weeks after the birth
  • Both parents may also choose to extend the parental leave by 8 or 14 weeks

It is therefore possible to extend your leave to a total of 84 weeks, and up to 112 weeks if both parents choose to extend their parental leave by 14 weeks.

Can I postpone any of my parental leave?

If you are in work, you can postpone part of your parental leave. You simply have to take the postponed leave before your child reaches the age of 9. You must be in work, and fulfil the requirements for maternity/paternity benefits at the time leave is taken.

There are two ways to postpone leave: by right and by agreement. The leave may be postponed by combining both methods.

Rights-based postponement

One parent is entitled to postpone between 8 and 13 weeks of the 32-week period of parental leave. You do not need your employer’s confirmation, but we do recommend that you ask for written confirmation of the agreement. Please note that only one parent is entitled to postpone the leave using the rights-based method.

You must notify your employer of the postponed leave within 8 weeks after the birth and 16 weeks before the leave is taken. The leave must be taken as one consecutive period.

You retain the right to the postponed leave, even if you change jobs. This means that you have the guarantee of taking the leave at a later date, as long as your employer is given a minimum of 16 weeks’ notice before the start of the leave.

Agreement-based postponement

Both parents may postpone up to 32 weeks of parental leave and take it at a later date, as long as this can be agreed with their employers. This agreement option applies to both parents, but there will still be only 32 weeks of parental leave with government benefits to be shared between both parents.

You are not required to take the leave all at once. You can agree to take it in weekly, daily or hourly segments, as long as your employer is prepared to go along with it. There are no notification rules in connection with agreement-based postponement.

Your new employer is not required to comply with the agreement in the event that you change jobs.

Can you extend leave?

If you are employed, you may extend the parental leave of 32 weeks by 8 or 14 weeks. It may be extended by 8 weeks if you are unemployed.

If you opt to extend parental leave, you must take it immediately after the normal period without any interruption. Your employer does not have to approve the extension providing you have given notice within 8 weeks after the birth.

Remember that you cannot combine an extension with postponing leave or partially resuming work.

Extension of reduced government benefits

You will not get any more maternity/paternity benefits when parental leave is extended. However, you can choose to reduce your maternity/paternity benefits so they are paid during the entire period. This means that the 32 weeks of maternity/paternity benefits paid during parental leave will be paid for 40 or 46 weeks instead. It is your own responsibility to inform Udbetaling Danmark that you would like your government benefits for 32 weeks of parental leave to be distributed over 40 or 46 weeks. Please note that incorrect instructions are sometimes given to the effect that the government benefits should not be reduced until after the parental leave with full pay has ended. This is incorrect and you can lose money as a consequence of this.

If you extend your leave by 8 or 14 weeks, and have opted for reduced benefits, you are still entitled to full pay. This applies if you are covered by one of Finansforbundet’s collective agreements, and if benefit refund to your employer accounts for at least 32/46 of the maximum benefit amount. The 32/46 fraction results from the fact that you can extend your parental leave by 8 or 14 weeks so that your parental leave is increased to 40 or 46 weeks, as well as still having the right to maternity/paternity benefits for 32 weeks of parental leave. In this situation, you have the opportunity to spread the government benefits for the 32 weeks over 40 or 46 weeks, which corresponds to 32/40 or 32/46 of the highest amount of government benefits. If you are in doubt about the rules, please contact Finansforbundet’s social advisers, Bente Knudsbøl on 32 66 14 56 or Birgit Larsen on 32 66 14 38 for advice on the best solution.

It is your own responsibility to contact Udbetaling Danmark and reduce your maternity/paternity benefits. It is also important that you reduce your government benefits from week 15 after the birth. This is because there are economic benefits associated with reducing your government benefits from week 15.

The extension applies to both parents

The extension of maternity/paternity benefits has an effect on both parents. It allows you to share the extended leave, take some of the leave at the same time or for one parent to take the whole leave alone.

If you receive pay during the leave, however, you must both ensure that your employers accept the extension, as reduced maternity/paternity benefits mean reduced reimbursement for both employers. The extension may therefore have a consequence for payment during the leave if your employer requires full reimbursement of government benefits before you are entitled to full pay.

If you are in doubt about the rules, please contact Finansforbundet so we can advise you on the best solution.

Illness and doctor’s appointments

Am I entitled to go to the doctor and midwife during working hours?

As a mother, you are entitled to absence with full pay when you need to attend preventive examinations in connection with pregnancy.

What rights do I have if I become ill during pregnancy and maternity leave?

Mothers are entitled to absence with full pay if discomfort during pregnancy is documented by the doctor. You are also entitled to absence with full pay earlier than four weeks prior to the expected delivery date in cases where, according to an assessment by the doctor, pregnancy complications have arisen.

The length of leave after the birth is not affected by whether you start your leave earlier than four weeks before the birth. Giving birth before or after the expected delivery date does not affect the length of leave after the birth.

Go to Lifeindenmark.dk to read more about which illnesses and discomfort give the right to absence with full pay.

If your child is hospitalised

You can extend your maternity leave If your child is hospitalised within 46 weeks after the birth. You can extend your maternity leave by the number of days your child is hospitalised, but by no more than three months. However, this right to extend is subject to the condition that you do not resume to work in connection with the child being hospitalised.

If you give birth to more than one child and these children are hospitalised in connection with the birth, the discharge from the hospital will only count from the date when the last child is discharged.

Please note that the right to extend the maternity leave does not apply to the paternity leave during the two weeks the father may hold within the first 14 weeks.

Working during and after parental leave

Can I resume work during my parental leave?

You are both entitled to resume work partially during the entire period of your leave. Mothers cannot resume work during the first two weeks after the birth. Partial resumption of work means that you can resume work with working hours that are shorter than usual working hours. In principle, this means that you can resume work for up to 36 hours per week if you work 37 hours per week.

You can resume work in the leave period with or without extending the leave.

You are obliged to provide documentation to Udbetaling Danmark stating that you have entered into an agreement on an extension of the leave period. We recommend that you do this in writing.

Example

You want to use the last seven-week period of leave to resume work on a part-time basis. You are a full-time employee working 37 hours per week and agree with your employer that you will work 30 hours per week and take leave for seven hours per week during the seven weeks. Seven weeks of leave corresponds to 259 hours. This means that you can work for 30 hours and take seven hours of leave for a total of 37 weeks.

With extension: Your leave period is extended by the amount of time that you work. If you extend your leave by partially resuming work, you must make an agreement to this effect with your employer.

Without extension: You can try to make an agreement with your employer that you partially resume work during the leave period without extending the leave. Please note however, that you will lose your right to government benefits for the days you work. The local authority pays government benefits for the hours in which you take leave. You can only receive maternity benefits if your leave is at least 20 percent of the weekly working time before you commence your leave.

Can you work part-time during parental leave?

You are entitled to part-time employment up to and including week 60 after the birth if you are covered by the rules of the Standard Collective Agreement or a number of Finansforbundet’s other collective agreements.

If you cannot agree on the reduced working hours by local negotiation, you are entitled to part-time employment during the period. You must notify your employer within eight weeks of the birth if you wish to make use of the right to part-time employment. The company pays both the employee's and company's usual pension contributions during the period.

Example

You want to take maternity leave with full pay up to and including week 26. You want to work part-time from week 27 up to and including week 60, while your husband takes paternity leave on government benefits for 20 weeks from week 27. If you cannot agree with your employer, you are entitled to part-time employment of 50% of normal working hours during the period, and to full pension contributions.

Are you entitled to return to the same job after parental leave?

As Parents, you are entitled to return to the same or an equivalent post on terms and conditions that are no less favourable. You also have the right to benefit from any improvement in working conditions to which you would have been entitled during your absence.

Your employer must not make significant changes to your job while you are on parental leave. This will be comparable with a notice of termination from your employer if this nevertheless happens. Please contact Finansforbundet if changes were made to your job while you were on parental leave and will we advise you with the best solution.

Special protection provisions in the Act on Equal Opportunities between Women and Men apply in case of dismissal due to parental leave.

Can you take an education during parental leave?

You may participate in an education and training during your parental leave without affecting your maternity/paternity benefits.

Holidays and childcare days

Will you accrue holiday with pay during parental leave?

If you are covered by Finansforbundet’s Standard Collective Agreement or similar terms, you accrue the right to holiday with pay pursuant to the rules of the Holiday Act during parental leave in the periods where you receive full or partial pay or pension contributions. You also accrue holiday with pay during the periods when you take parental leave on government benefits but when your employer pays pension contributions - but not beyond week 60 week after the birth.

Accrual of holiday with pay is based on your weekly working time and how many months of employment you have in the qualifying year.

If you are a member of an unemployment fund, you can accrue entitlement to holiday benefits based on the maternity/paternity benefits you have received. This requires that you meet the conditions to receive maternity/paternity benefits, however.

There are more details on lifeindenmark.dk.

If your employer does not have a collective agreement with Finansforbundet

If you are not covered by one of Finansforbundet’s collective agreements, whether you accrue holiday with pay during all or part of your leave depends on your collective agreement or employment contract. Contact your union representative if you are in any doubt about which collective agreement applies to your workplace.

Can you take holidays during parental leave?

According to the Holiday with Pay Act, parental leave is considered a holiday obstacle. Therefore, you can generally not take a holiday during your parental leave.

If you take parental leave up to the end of the main holiday on 30 September or up to the end of the holiday year on 30 April with regard to other holidays, then you will be able to have the remaining holiday days paid out in cash.

If you do not wish to receive payment for your holiday, you can instead agree with your employer that you transfer the holiday you have accrued over 20 days, as well as holiday days granted through a collective agreement (6 holiday weeks), to the following holiday year.

Such an agreement must be in writing and concluded before 30 September and after the end of the holiday year.

What if I am prevented from taking a holiday due to postponement/extension of my leave?
If you are on parental leave and exercise your right to extend the leave or take postponed leave, parental leave is considered a holiday obstacle.

This means that in the above situations you have the option of having your holiday pay paid out for the holiday you have not held.

Another option is to agree with your employer that your holiday is transferred to the next holiday year.

Am I entitled to childcare days during my parental leave?

You are entitled to childcare days if you are covered by Finansforbundet’s Standard Collective Agreement or similar terms.

Childcare days are credited to your timebank at the time they are awarded. You can then choose to have them paid out, or take them as time off in lieu. However, please be aware that something else may have been agreed locally, so contact your union representative or the Finansforbundet if you are in doubt.

When you resume work after the parental leave, you should be aware that you do not accrue entitlement to childcare days during the periods when you do not receive pay or, e.g. only receive pension contributions paid by the company. This is the case for example with parental leave with government benefits.

Read more about the rules for childcare days in Finansforbundet’s and FA's rules on childcare days.

Finansforbundet's og FA's Vejledning om Omsorgsdage (pdf)

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Or write a mail to raadgivning@finansforbundet.dk