Parental Leave and Maternity Benefits

Find out about maternity and paternity leave, and the benefits available to parents in Denmark...

In order to qualify for maternity benefits, the parent must have been working continuously for the previous 13 weeks or have at least 120 working hours in the 13 weeks.

Parents have the right to a total of 52 weeks leave with maternity subsistence allowance. The mother is entitled to four weeks' maternity leave (barselsorloven) prior to giving birth and 14 weeks after; the father is entitled to two weeks' leave after the birth; and the remaining time can be divided according to individual wishes.

Public sector employees receive full salary during maternity leave. Private sector employees are entitled to a minimum level of maternity benefit, which is subject to negotiation with the employer. Parents who are not entitled to paid maternity leave from their workplace can receive maternity maintenance 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.

Rights under employment law

The Equal Treatment Act prohibits unfair differential treatment and states that employers are not allowed to dismiss an employee who has exercised their right to absence, or who has been absent in accordance with the Act on Benefits in the Event of Illness and Childbirth or due to pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave or adoption.

Denmark's Citizens Website 'Borger' has more on maternity leave and benefits