Rules on child’s sickness

Learn about your rights when your child is sick.

Am I entitled to time off if my child gets sick?

According to the standard collective agreement, you are entitled – if necessary – to time off with pay for up to five days during the sickness period of a child living at home (child under the age of 15). The wording "if necessary" sets the stage for an assessment where, in practice, the decision lies with you alone and not with your employer.

If you have more than two days' absence over two working days, you must explain why it is not possible for you to arrange other appropriate care of your child.

You need not necessarily take the days off consecutively or take the first day off on the child's first sick day. If you leave early to pick up your sick child in the childcare centre, it counts as a full day.

If you are covered by a corporate collective agreement, then check if it gives you more rights than the standard collective agreement in the event of child's sickness.

NOTE. Insurance agents are entitled to full or partial time off with pay for up to two days. In case of sickness for more than two days, leave without pay may be granted for such a period that proper care of the sick child is practically possible. In case of leave for more than eight days, the employer may require a medical certificate.

The right to time off also applies if you have a custody-like relationship with the child.

Check additional rights at your workplace.

Am I entitled to paid leave if my child is hospitalised or receiving outpatient treatment?

According to the standard collective agreement, you are entitled to up to two weeks' paid leave if your under-age child is hospitalised or needs equivalent outpatient treatment requiring your presence as parents.

In this context, an under-age child will usually be a child under 18; children staying at a continuation school are considered to be living at home. Please note that the collective agreement for insurance agents does not give you this right.

If your child is discharged after a couple of days, but continues to require care in the home instead of being hospitalised, you are still entitled to time off with pay within a total of two weeks. Your employer may demand documentation. You cannot be away from work for more than two weeks.

The right to paid leave also applies to custody-like relationships.

NOTE. Insurance agents are entitled to up to eight calendar days' leave with full pay in case of the hospitalisation of an under-age child requiring the parents' presence (children under 15). As from 1 April 2012, the leave is set off against the insurance agent's pay, unless otherwise agreed locally.

Can I take leave if my child under 18 is seriously ill?

Our collective agreements entitle you to full or partial leave for up to 13 weeks if you have a seriously ill child under 18, and you have the right to government benefits pursuant to section 26 of the Danish Maternity Leave Act. Your employer pays full usual pay in the leave period for up to 13 weeks with refund of government benefits from Udbetaling Danmark.

According to section 26 of the Maternity Leave Act, you may be entitled to government benefits for up to 52 weeks if, based on a medical assessment, your child's sickness is estimated to result in hospitalisation or similar for at least 12 days.

If your child is in need of treatment and care in the home, this may be compared with hospitalisation if it is medically acceptable.

The requirement for a duration of 12 days does not apply if you are a single parent and your child is hospitalised.

Can I apply for leave of absence if my child continues to be ill?

Under the standard collective agreement, you can apply for unpaid leave for a period of time if your child's continued illness makes it necessary for you to take time off to care for him or her for more than the usual five days, or up to two weeks' paid leave.

In case of leave for more than two weeks, the company may make it a condition for the granting of leave that you present a medical certificate. The doctor's fee for issuing the medical certificate is paid for by the company.

Under the collective agreement for insurance agents, you can apply for unpaid leave to arrange for appropriate care of your child in case of sickness lasting for more than two days. Your employer may require a medical certificate to grant additional unpaid leave; the company pays for the certificate.

Can I take unpaid leave if my child under 18 is physically or mentally disabled?

According to our collective agreements, you are entitled to full or partial leave without pay, see section 42 of the Danish Social Services Act, if you have a mentally or physically disabled child under 18 who is living at home.

Both you and your employer pay full pension contributions in the leave period. 

Will I receive cover for loss of earnings?

The local authority may cover full or partial loss of earnings pursuant to section 42 of the Social Services Act if it is deemed necessary that you care for your child under 18 in the home or must accompany him or her to, for instance, treatment and control at a hospital.

The physical or mental function of your child must be substantially and permanently impaired, or the child must suffer from serious, chronic or long-term illness. Whether it is considered necessary and desirable that you care for your child in the home is a specific assessment.

The cover for loss of earnings must compensate for the earnings you lose by giving up work in whole or in part. Generally, the most recent, usual gross salary forms the basis for how lost earnings are calculated.

If you applied for cover for loss of earnings after 1 January 2011, there is a ceiling on the monthly gross payment, irrespective of whether you have worked full time or part time.

As of 1 January 2017, the payment ceiling is DKK 29,918 per month. 

Am I entitled to part-time employment for parents of small children?

Under the standard collective agreement, parents with children under 12 are entitled to enter into a fixed-term agreement on reduction of their working hours. Working hours can be reduced to not less than 30 hours a week excluding breaks.

Part-time employment for parents of small children must be for a minimum of three months and a maximum of 12 months in total. The employee has the option of splitting such part-time employment into up to four periods of three months' duration, each subject to its own agreement.

Following a dialogue with the union representative, the company can oppose any part-time arrangement if responsibilities and commercial scope (e.g. customer, managerial and/or operational considerations) are incompatible with such part-time arrangement.

If part-time employment cannot be offered in the existing job, the possibility of an alternative post must be investigated.