Paternity leave

What you need to know about paternity leave

Check out our new ‘Dad’s guide to paternity leave’ here: Guide for dads on paternity leave

When you and your partner have children, you are entitled to 52 weeks of parental leave that you can divide between you. There are many good reasons for a father to take paternity leave:

  • Paternity leave strengthens the bond between you and your child from a very early age.
  • When you take paternity leave, you benefit, and it is good for your baby’s health and well-being.
  • Paternity leave is a special opportunity to spend time getting close to your child and following his/her early development.
  • Your relationship with your partner will be closer and there is less risk of divorce or breakup.
  • Paternity leave gives you a better understanding of what it takes to care for your child.
"Well, it was great to get close to her. And I think it's probably even better now for the relationship I have with my daughter than when I was on paternity leave. Because it has meant that I'm so much closer to her today." - José, Doctor

Things to do with your child during paternity leave

As a dad on paternity leave, you will soon realise that you have your hands full. Yet many dads still find the time and energy for activities with their children. The options in your area depend on where you live. In the larger cities there will be plenty of activities, while in others there is less going on.

Fathers’ groups
In several cities, fathers meet in fathers’ groups to share experiences and join in activities together. In some municipalities, the health visitor is responsible for organising fathers’ groups. Ask your health visitor about the possibilities if you are interested in joining a fathers’ group.

Dads’ Playgroup
You can go along to the Dads’ Playgroup with your child and play in the company of other fathers. There are Dad’s Playgroups all over Denmark – see where on our activities page. The playgroup is open, without commitment, to all fathers with children aged 0-5 years. Occasionally, the municipality’s health visitor will take part, and you can ask questions about large and small matters.

Find activities on our activities page
On our activity page HERE you can find activities for dads and children in your neighbourhood. There are also suggestions for what you can do with your child when you’re on paternity leave. You can:

  • Sign up for a toddlers’ group or rhythmics.
  • Go to the library – they often have playrooms.
  • Try baby swimming, either in a group or on your own at your local swimming pool.
  • Go to a café with other dads or mums on parental leave.
  • Take the pram for a walk in the city or the countryside.
  • Visit the daycare centre your child will be attending.
  • Watch a good film in Babybio, where you are allowed to bring your baby to the cinema.
  • Take a course, for example in paediatric first aid or baby massage.
  • Visit friends and show off your child.
  • Meet other dads and children at Dads’ Playgroup


"I came to understand better why the child's mum was often have been very tired when I came home from work, after she’d been home all day with our child, and she needed me to take over." – Torsten, Administrative staff

Paternity leave among Danish men

More men are taking more paternity leave than before, but right now fathers still only account for around 9% of total parental leave. The number has been increasing in recent years, but Denmark still lags behind the other Nordic countries, where fathers are entitled to more paternity leave than Danish fathers.

There are several reasons why Danish fathers take less paternity leave. For example, your partner may not want to miss out on some of the parental leave, or it may be too hard on your finances, or your workplace may find it difficult to accept that as a father, you need to take paternity leave.

If you are interested in taking paternity leave, talk to your partner and your workplace about it and find the best solution.

Your paternity leave depends on which sector you work in

There are different conditions for your parental leave as a father depending on whether you are a private employee, employed by the state, municipality or region and depending on which sector you work in. HK has put together a guide to give you an overview HERE.

At you can see how much parental leave you have left, apply for parental leave and get good advice on how to get started with your parental leave HERE.