According to the maternity/paternity provisions, you as parents are entitled to a total of 52 weeks' maternity/paternity leave with full government benefits. The 52 weeks are distributed as follows: four weeks before and 14 weeks after the birth for the mother, two weeks for the father and 32 weeks to be divided between the mother and father.
As a main rule, it is a condition for the right to government benefits that you meet one of the following criteria:
- you have been attached to the labour market the day before the absence
- on the first day of absence you are in employment. Furthermore, you must have been employed for at least 160 hours within the last four calendar months prior to the absence period, and for at least three of these months you have been employed for at least 40 hours per month.
Government benefits are calculated on the basis of the hourly pay you lose by being absent after deduction of labour market contribution, and the number of hours you should have worked.
At 1 January 2018, the highest benefit amount is DKK 116,22 per hour and a maximum of DKK 4,300 per week. Please note that government benefits are paid in arrears.
Example: If you work 30 hours per week, you will receive a maximum of 30 hours x hourly maximum of benefits, i.e. 30 x DKK 116.22 = DKK 3,486 per week before tax.
Udbetaling Danmark administers the maternity/paternity rules and pays government benefits, including payment of the refund to your employer.
Government benefits in case of extended maternity/paternity leave
You have the right to full government benefits for 32 weeks, which means that you receive government benefits corresponding to 32 weeks for 40 or 46 weeks, respectively.
It is your own responsibility to point out to Udbetaling Danmark that you want your government benefits for 32 weeks to be extended to 40 or 46 weeks. Please note in this connection that the father uses two of the 32 weeks' government benefits if he takes paternity leave for four weeks.
Extension of the government period will not take effect until the date when you inform Udbetaling Danmark that you want to extend the 32-week government benefit period. Please note that sometimes incorrect instructions are given to the effect that the government benefits should not be reduced until after the end of the salary period. If you follow those instructions, you will lose money.
It is important that you ensure that at least 32/46 of the highest amount of government benefits are refunded to the employer for you to be entitled to pay according to the collective agreement.
If your child is hospitalised and you resume work
If you as parents on leave choose to resume work when your child is hospitalised, you postpone the right to government benefits for the remaining period. The paternity leave can also be divided.
It is a condition for postponing the leave that your child is discharged within 60 weeks of the birth, and you must stop working as soon as the child is discharged.
You must provide documentation that your child is hospitalised, e.g. by an admission note and discharge report, transcript of the medical record or a medical certificate.
If your child dies
If your child is stillborn or dies before week 32 after delivery, the mother is entitled to government benefits for 14 weeks after the death of the child.
The father is entitled to government benefits for two consecutive weeks after the birth if the child is stillborn.
You are not entitled to government benefits if your child dies or is put up for adoption after week 32 after delivery. Instead, you may be entitled to sickness benefits if you are considered to be unfit for work, for instance for mental reasons.
If the mother has a pregnancy-related illness in connection with the stillbirth or death of the child, she can get government benefits, but for no more than 46 weeks after the birth.