Rules for parental leave

You can read here about the rules for parental leave which took effect on 2 August 2022, and where you can find more information about your specific situation.

These are the rules for parental leave


Note: The 9 earmarked weeks apply only to those in employment.

Between them, parents are entitled to 48 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefit after the birth of the baby, provided the parents meet the conditions for benefit. The 48 weeks are divided equally between the parents, so that as a point of departure, each has 24 weeks leave with benefit after the birth. Out of these 24 weeks, two weeks are reserved for each of you to take together immediately after the baby is born.

For those in employment, 9 more weeks out of the 24 are reserved for each of you. That means that a total of 11 weeks with maternity/paternity benefit are reserved for each of you, and they cannot be transferred
to the other parent.

Either parent may transfer the remaining 13 weeks with maternity/paternity benefit to the other parent, if he/she does not wish to take them personally. This applies to both the father and the mother.

Additionally, mothers are entitled to four weeks’ leave before the birth, with maternity benefit.

It’s a bit complicated, arranging your parental leave... I can’t even remember now, how many weeks there are. There are some weeks you are entitled to, and then there are some weeks they have negotiated about, and it depends whether you work in the public or private sector and … which collective agreement.

Can you be paid wages during parental leave?

The model above shows how many paid holidays and what benefits you are entitled to during parental leave. However, whether you can be paid wages during parental leave depends on your employer.

If you are an employee and on a collective agreement, you will in many cases be paid
wages during part of the parental leave. You will need to contact your employer
or trade union to find out about what applies to you.

If you are not covered by a collective agreement, in some cases you may be entitled to wages during parental leave, and in other cases you will not. Again, you have to ask your employer or trade union about the terms and conditions at your workplace.

If you are self employed, you may also be entitled to compensation for earnings during parental leave. In this case it depends on your annual income. Read more about terms and conditions and your options at

If you are a student, unemployed, on sick leave or receiving welfare payments, then in most cases you will be entitled to maternity/paternity benefit. You can find lots more information on the rules for parental leave, and find your own situation at

Still confused?

Depending on your situation, there are various places where you can find out more, such as:
● Your employer
● Your trade union
● Your unemployment fund (A-kasse)
● Udbetaling Danmark
● The Ministry of Employment

It can be a jungle

Many fathers say it was difficult for them to work out what the terms and conditions were, and how much paternity leave they were entitled to. This was partly because many authorities lacked experience in advising fathers about their entitlement to paternity leave. It is hoped that with reserved paternity leave, this will change for the better.

And that was where we ran into problems trying to work out – well – who who should pay what and who did not have to pay. We spoke to Udbetaling Danmark, several times, and they said one thing, and then we talked to our workplaces, who told us something different.