Maternity/paternity benefits

Maternity/paternity benefits compensate for income you do not get when you are on maternity leave

Introduction

Maternity benefits are benefits that you have the possibility of getting as compensation for the income which you do not get when you are on maternity leave. Your possibility of obtaining maternity benefits depends on your affiliation with the labour market, meaning if you are:

  • a salaried employee on maternity leave
  • an unemployed person on maternity leave
  • self-employed on maternity leave or
  • students and newly qualified on maternity leave.

Maternity benefits are administered by Udbetaling Danmark (Public Benefits Administration).

The new maternity/paternity leave rules mean that both parents as a general rule are entitled to 24 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits after birth if they live together when the child is born.

Plan your leave - children born before or after 2 August 2022

If your child was born before 2 August 2022, you can find information about planning your leave in this article: 'Plan your leave for children born before 2 August 2022'

If your child was born on 2 August 2022 or later, you can find information about planning your leave on one of the following pages:

The ‘Transfer leave’ article is relevant to you if your child was born on 2 August 2022 or after.

What rules apply to me?

It is the date of birth and not the due date that is critical in determining which of the two legislations apply to you. This means that if, for example, your due date is 30 July but you give birth on 6 August 2022, you will be subject to the new maternity/paternity leave rules.

Please note that you might have to notify of your absence based on other rules to your employer if you are subject to other rules than you originally notified under.

Leave with maternity benefits is divided into four stages:

  • Pregnancy leave for the mother 4 weeks before expected childbirth.
  • Maternity leave for the mother for 14 weeks after the childbirth.
  • Paternity leave for the father or the co-mother for two weeks after the childbirth according to agreement with the employer before the child reaches 14 weeks.
  • Parental leave for up to 32 weeks which the parents can split.

If you give birth before or after the expected due date

It has no impact on the rest of your maternity/paternity leave if you give birth before or after the expected due date. The maternity/paternity leave that you can use after giving birth starts the day after you have given birth and will amount to the same number of days no matter when you end up giving birth. 

If you are receiving a salary

If you are receiving a salary during the four weeks before your estimated due date, your employer will be refunded your maternity/paternity leave. If you are covered by an agreement letting you start your maternity/paternity leave earlier, then your employer will pay for the extra weeks. In letters from Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration your first day of maternity/paternity leave may therefore be stated as the first day that your employer receives the maternity/paternity leave benefits.

How long can me and my partner be on maternity/paternity leave after the birth of our child?

This is how you can structure your maternity/paternity leave after the birth of your child: 

  • 14 weeks, for the mother only (maternity leave)
  • 2 weeks only for the father/co-parent (paternity leave)
  • 32 weeks shared between you (parental leave)

If you are receiving a salary during your leave, your employer will receive the maternity/paternity leave benefits during that period. The weeks that you are receiving a salary therefore count as weeks with maternity/paternity leave. If you are not receiving a salary during the leave, or if you are unemployed and entitled to unemployment benefits, you will be paid the maternity/paternity leave benefits directly.

You must of course always meet the conditions for receiving maternity/paternity leave.

Only using maternity leave

As a mother, you are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave after giving birth. Most take the full 14-week maternity leave. However, if you wish to work a few hours on the side and in that way increase the maternity leave period, you can begin doing so once the first two weeks have passed. If you return to work for a full week, you will lose the right to maternity pay for that week.

Only using paternity/co-parent leave

As a father/co-parent, you can take two weeks of paternity/co-parent leave during the first 14 weeks if you are in employment. You can schedule the weeks as you see fit if you can get your employer to agree. For example, you might want to take two weeks in a row or take two days per week off for five weeks.

If you are unemployed, you must take the two weeks directly after the birth, starting on the day of the child’s birth or, at the latest, the following day. If the child is hospitalised from birth, however, then you can wait to take your leave until your child is discharged from the hospital.

Shared parental leave

The 32 weeks of parental leave can be shared between you as you see best. For example, you can stretch the parental leave and benefits period over a longer period or you can save up some leave for a later date. You can read more about that here on this page.

Example: The mother is receiving a salary for 26 weeks

If you are a mother and receiving a salary for 26 weeks after giving birth, you have used the 14 weeks reserved for the mother and also used 12 weeks of the parental leave once you stop receiving a salary. Then on top of that is added two weeks of paternity leave. What remains is 20 weeks of parental leave with benefits that you can both use.

Get more answers for your particular circumstances below.

Planning your leave if your child is born before 2 August 2022 or later

If your child was born on 2 August 2022 or later, you can find information about planning your leave on one of the following pages:

A salaried employee on maternity/paternity leave

If you are an employee and have worked in Denmark for the last four whole months, you will receive parental benefit if you meet the following conditions:

  • You have employment the day before the leave starts or on the first day of it.
  • You have worked at least 160 hours within the last four whole months before your leave.
  • You have worked at least 40 hours per month for at least three of those four months.

If you move to Denmark from another EU/EEA country less than four whole months before your leave, your employment in that other country counts as part of the 160 hours in total and 40 hours per month. To receive maternity/paternity benefits in Denmark, it is a condition that you are employed in Denmark prior to your leave.

Please note that you also need to spend time – be physically present – with your child every day to receive maternity/paternity benefits.

If your child is new-born when you move to Denmark

If you move to Denmark after the birth of your child, you are eligible for the benefits from Udbetaling Danmark if:

  • You meet the employee-conditions above or are eligible to receive unemployment benefits
  • You no longer receive maternity/paternity benefits from the country that you arrive from
  • Your child was born less than 1 year ago.

If you comply with all these terms, you are eligible for maternity/paternity benefits until your child is 1 year old.

If you or the child’s other parent are not subject to the Danish maternity/paternity rules before your child is 1 year old, you cannot take your leave and receive maternity/paternity benefits from Udbetaling Danmark later.

Udbetaling Danmark automatically gets the information about your employment and hours when your employer reports your pay.

If you get full salary for part of your maternity leave, you should not apply for maternity benefits until your employer does not pay the salary any longer. If you receive full salary during your entire leave, you should not apply for maternity benefits.

If you are in doubt about which rules apply to you, you can contact your employer or trade union to hear more about the rules of your collective agreement.

1. It begins with your employer

As a salaried employee, you must ask your employer to go to virk.dk/barselsdagpenge and inform Udbetaling Danmark that you are going on leave. They can do that no earlier than on your first day on leave.

2. You receive a letter giving you access to apply

When your employer has given notice of your leave, you receive a letter through Digital Post from Udbetaling Danmark with access to apply for maternity benefits. You cannot apply in advance.

Deadlines for application

When you are going to apply for maternity benefits, the deadlines are as follows:

  • 8 weeks after the childbirth if you do not receive pay during the leave
  • 8 weeks after the payment of salary has stopped if you receive pay during part of the leave
  • 8 weeks after the first day of leave, e.g. if a father takes paternity leave without pay.

If Udbetaling Danmark receives the application after expiry of the deadline, you cannot get maternity benefits until the day when Udbetaling Danmark has received your application.

If you have more employers, you must notify each of them.
If you want to know more about what to do if you have more employers, you can read more on the Danish page at borger.dk:

When can I get a dispensation from the application deadline?

In special circumstances you can get an exemption from the deadline for application.

If you have received the letter that you can apply for maternity benefit so late that you have not been able to meet the deadline, you can get a dispensation. In that situation, the application deadline will be extended by 7 days.

You also have the option of obtaining a dispensation if you have applied too late due to particularly excusable circumstances such as hospital stays.

If you have been paid during part of your leave, and your employer has not stated that your pay has been stopped, long enough for you to have been able to apply for maternity/paternity benefit within the deadline, you can in some situations also receive a dispensation. However, it requires that you have applied within 6 months after your salary has stopped.

If you are in one of those situations, please send us documentation of the reason why you applied too late, and we will look into your case again.

If you are a salaried employee, including a student with a student job

If you have a permanent job in addition to your education, you have the possibility of applying for maternity benefits as a salaried employee for the hours during which you work.

If you are on full leave, are employed for 37 hours a week and get more than DKK 19,351 as monthly pay, you will get the highest unemployment benefit of DKK 4,465 (2022) per week before tax.

Your maternity benefits will be calculated according to your hourly wage (excluding Labour Market Contribution) and how many hours of leave you take per week.

In 2022, the maximum is DKK 120.68 per hour before tax for maternity benefits (DKK 4,465/37 hours). If your hourly wage is less than DKK 120.68, you will get your usual hourly rate.

How does Udbetaling Danmark calculate your hourly wage?

Udbetaling Danmark calculates your hourly wage based on your average income and working hours for the past three full months before your first day of leave. Here, the information reported to the Danish Tax Agency by your employer is used automatically.

If you have been employed for less than eight weeks, however, Udbetaling Danmark does not calculate your average income and working hours. Instead, the income and working hours reported by your employer to Udbetaling Danmark are used.

Check your collective agreement and terms of employment

Some collective agreements and businesses give a right to full salary during the entire or parts of the maternity leave. When the salary stops, you can get maternity benefits from Udbetaling Danmark.

If you are in doubt of whether you can get salary during your leave, your employer or trade union can help you understand your collective agreement.

Yes, you can take a vacation during your maternity/paternity leave. Just remember that you must agree with your employer that you are taking the vacation.

When you take a vacation with pay or holiday pay, you cannot receive maternity/paternity benefits at the same time.

Please note that if you have earned holiday pay, you cannot have it paid during your leave. Contact your unemployment insurance fund if you have questions about your holiday pay.

You can get maternity benefits abroad if you:

  • go to or move abroad during the leave or
  • work in Denmark, but reside in another EU or EEA country.

You must have a NemKonto (easy account) in Denmark and provide Udbetaling Danmark with your address and your telephone number, if any, so that they can reach you abroad.

You cannot receive benefits if you live in Denmark and work abroad, e.g. in Sweden and Germany. It is the law of the country in which you work that determines the rules of maternity benefits.

You must always notify Udbetaling Danmark if you move abroad.

Families where the parents live together when the child is born are each generally entitled to 24 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits after birth.

Many salaried employees are entitled to pay during the leave. You can therefore check your collective agreements and employment contracts and get an overview of what periods are with pay and which are without pay.

You can plan your leave so that it suits your working and family life circumstances.

You can choose to transfer some of the weeks of leave to each other. This means that a parent after the birth of a child can take more than 24 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits if the other parent has transferred leave to him or her. Read more about transferring leave lower on the page.

If the other parent is not a salaried employee, you can read about the rules governing leave here:

As a mother, how long can I go on leave?

Number of weeks Rules for the leave
4 weeks of pregnancy leave You can receive maternity/paternity benefits during pregnancy leave that you can take 4 weeks before the due date. 
2 weeks of leave after birth The leave must be taken after the birth of the child and cannot be transferred.
8 weeks at birth* When the 2 weeks of leave end, you will continue having 8 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits. The leave must be taken within the first 10 weeks of the child being born. You can extend the leave if you resume working part-time as per an agreement with your employer. 
9 weeks of leave The 9 weeks of leave cannot be transferred to the other parent. The leave must be taken within 1 year of the child’s birth unless the parent, due to special circumstances, is prevent from taking the leave.
5 weeks of leave The 5 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits must be taken within 1 year of the child being born. However, you can extend or postpone the weeks up until the child reaches the age of 9 if you fulfil the conditions for this. 

*As a mother, you can choose to transfer the 8 weeks of leave and the 5 weeks of leave to the other parent who can receive maternity/paternity benefits during leave if they fulfil the conditions for this at the time of the leave being taken. Read more about the rules for transferring leave on this page below.

How long can I take leave as a father or co-mother? 

Number of weeks Type of leave
2 weeks of leave at birth

1. As a father or co-mother, you can take leave with maternity/paternity benefits in the first 2 weeks from the day or day after your child is born.

2. You can also agree with your employer to take the leave flexibly over the course of the first 10 weeks.

Special rules apply if the child is hospitalised. Read more under ‘If your child is hospitalised’. Special rules also apply if you want to resume work on a part-time basis. 

9 weeks of leave The 9 weeks of leave cannot be transferred to the other parent. The leave must be taken within 1 year of the child’s birth unless the parent, due to special circumstances, is prevent from taking the leave.
13 weeks of leave* The 13 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits must be taken within 1 year of the child being born. However, you can extend or postpone the weeks up until the child reaches the age of 9 if you fulfil the conditions for this. 

*As a father or co-mother, you can choose to transfer the 13 weeks of leave to the other parent who can receive maternity/paternity benefits during the leave if they fulfil the conditions for this at the time of taking the leave. Read more about the rules for transferring leave below on this page under ‘Transfer leave’. 

Flexible leave at birth

If you as a father or co-mother have agreed with your employer to spread out your 2 weeks of leave at birth then you can, for example, take one week of leave immediately after the child is born and the other week at a later date. Generally speaking, you just need to take your 2 weeks of leave within the first 10 weeks of the child being born.

You can also take your leave as individual days spread out of over the 10 weeks.

Your 2 weeks of leave at birth correspond to the number of hours that you are employed with. When working full-time from Monday to Friday, you have 74 hours of leave (2 x 37 hours) to distribute over the course of the 10 weeks.   

Important deadlines

Please pay attention to the deadlines for applying for maternity/paternity benefits. Read more under ‘Apply for maternity/paternity benefits’.

What does transferring leave mean?

As a parent, you can choose to transfer parts of your leave to each other so that it best suits your working and family life circumstances. There are different rules for which weeks can be transferred and different deadlines for when the leave must have been taken.

When can I transfer leave?

You can only transfer leave to the other parent once your child is born. 

Who can I transfer to?

In order to transfer and receive leave, you must be the legal parent of the child.

In order to get maternity/paternity benefits during the leave that you have been transferred, you must also meet the usual requirements, including the employment requirement, which means that you need to be employed or a member of an unemployment insurance fund. Read more under ‘Can I get maternity/paternity benefits?’.

If a parent is not able to transfer leave to the other parent, the other parent can apply to Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration and ask them to do it. For example, this may be in cases where the parent has had an accident and is not conscious.

How much leave can we transfer to each other?

As a general rule, each parent is entitled to 24 weeks of leave after birth with maternity/paternity benefits if the parents live together when the child is born. If you are a salaried employee, up to 13 weeks of the leave can be transferred to the other parent. 

Leave for mothers

  • 2 weeks of leave at birth – cannot be transferred
  • 8 weeks of leave – can be transferred in some situations
  • 9 weeks of leave – cannot be transferred
  • 5 weeks of leave – can be transferred

Leave for fathers or co-mothers:

  • 2 weeks of leave at birth – cannot be transferred
  • 9 weeks of leave – cannot be transferred
  • 13 weeks of leave – can be transferred

If a mother, father or co-mother is not a salaried employee, you can read about your situation here:

How much leave can the mother transfer?

As a mother and a salaried employee, you can transfer up to 13 weeks of leave to the other parent if you live together when the child is born. You can transfer whole weeks or individual days.

Transferring the 8 weeks of leave

As a mother, you can choose to transfer up to 8 weeks of your leave in the period from the 3rd to 10th week after the child is born if:

  1. you resume working full time
  2. you continue directly on the 14 weeks of leave together with the child.

1) You resume working full time

If as a mother you resume working full time in the period from the 3rd to 10th week after giving birth, you can transfer up to 8 weeks of leave to the other parent. Those up to 8 weeks of leave must be taken by the other parent within 10 week of the child being born. 

2) You continue directly on the 14 weeks of leave together with the child

If you start the 14 weeks of leave in the period from the 3rd to 10th week after giving birth, you can transfer up to 8 weeks of leave to the other parent. Generally speaking, the other parent must take the up to 8 weeks of leave within 1 year after the child was born and there is a possibility for postponement or extension up until the child reaches the age of 9.

Transferring the 5 weeks of leave

As a mother, you can also transfer up to 5 weeks of your leave scheduled for after the 10th week following the birth to the father or co-mother.

Generally speaking, the father or co-mother must take the leave within 1 year of the birth of the child with a possibility for postponement or extension up until the child reaches the age of 9.

How much leave can the father or co-mother transfer?

As a father or co-mother working as a salaried employee, you can transfer up to 13 weeks of leave to the mother. You can transfer whole weeks or individual days. 

Generally speaking, the transferred leave must be taken within 1 year of the birth of the child with a possibility for postponement or extension up until the child reaches the age of 9.

If you are no longer a salaried employee 

It is your employment at the time of transfer that is critical in determining whether the 9 weeks can be transferred or not.

If you are a salaried employee at the time of transfer, you cannot transfer the 9 weeks of leave.

If you were a salaried employee but later, for example, become unemployed or self-employed when you want to transfer leave, you can transfer up to 9 weeks of leave to the other parent. 

If you are employed in your own A/S or ApS company

If you are a salaried employee employed in your own A/S or ApS company, then generally speaking you cannot transfer the 9 weeks of leave to the other parent.

However, you can apply to Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration for a dispensation from this rule if you are employed in your own joint stock company or limited liability company that you own 100% and if you have no other salary income beyond this.

The same applies if you:

  • Own more than 50% of the company
  • Hold the majority of voting rights
  • Otherwise wield influence over the company and,
  • have no other salary income beyond that.

An unemployed person on maternity leave

For those who are members of an unemployment insurance fund

You can get maternity benefits during your leave if you have reported unemployed in your unemployment insurance fund and made yourself available for work as a job-seeker in your job centre, meaning that you are entitled to unemployment benefits.

You must have daily physical contact with your child during your maternity/paternity leave to get maternity benefits.

Further, it is a good idea that you consult your job centre, your unemployment insurance fund or other player about the conditions for being available, when you are about to take maternity/paternity leave.

You can transfer leave to the other parent

If you are receiving welfare benefits or other income support, you are not entitled to take maternity/paternity leave with maternity/paternity benefits. However, you can transfer leave to the other parent if the other parent fulfils the conditions. As a mother, you can transfer 14 weeks to the other parent. As a father or co-mother, you can transfer 22 weeks to the other parent.

  1. If you are unemployed and get unemployment benefits from an unemployment insurance fund, you must tell your unemployment insurance fund about your childbirth no later than eight weeks after the childbirth.
  2. When your unemployment insurance fund has told Udbetaling Danmark about your childbirth, you receive a letter by Digital Post about what you must do and access to apply for maternity benefits. The unemployment insurance fund cannot inform them of your childbirth until on the first day of your leave. You cannot apply in advance.
  3. You must apply for maternity benefits no later than eight weeks after receipt of the letter.

In special circumstances you can get an exemption from the deadline for application.

If you have received the letter that you can apply for maternity benefit so late that you have not been able to meet the deadline, you can get a dispensation. In that situation, the application deadline will be extended by 7 days.

You also have the option of obtaining a dispensation if you have applied too late due to particularly excusable circumstances such as hospital stays.  

If you are in one of those situations, please send us documentation of the reason why you applied too late, and we will look into your case again.

You can get the same amount of maternity benefits as you get for unemployment benefits. However, you can get no more than DKK 4,465 (2022) per week before tax.

If, during your maternity leave, you become entitled to a higher amount of unemployment benefits, you can also get a higher maternity benefits amount.

You must contact Udbetaling Danmark yourself to have the amount changed. The amount will be changed on the Monday after your request.

You must also have documentation from your unemployment insurance fund.

Udbetaling Danmark changes provider status

If you get a fixed reduced rate as a non-provider from your unemployment insurance fund, Udbetaling Danmark automatically changes your maternity benefits to the higher provider rate after the birth of your child.

How is the leave structured?

Families where the parents live together when the child is born are each generally entitled to 24 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits after birth.

You can plan your leave so that it suits your working and family life circumstances. For example, you can choose to transfer some of the weeks of leave to each other. This means that a parent after the birth of a child can take more than 24 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits if the other parent has transferred leave to him or her. You can read more about transferring leave below.

Please note that if you find yourself in a special circumstance, you may in some cases qualify for extra leave. Read more in the ‘Situations that may impact your leave’ section.

If the other parent is not unemployed, you can read about the rules governing leave here:

As a mother, how long can I go on leave?

Number of weeks   The rules governing leave if you live together when the child is born 
4 weeks of pregnancy leave You can receive maternity/paternity benefits during pregnancy leave that you can take 4 weeks before the due date.
2 weeks of leave  The leave starts the day after the child is born and cannot be transferred.
8 weeks of leave When the 2 weeks of leave end, you will continue having 8 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits. The leave must be taken within the first 10 weeks of the child being born. The leave cannot be transferred.
14 weeks of leave The 14 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits must be taken within 1 year of the child being born. As a mother, you can choose to transfer the 14 weeks of leave to the other parent who can get maternity/paternity benefits during the leave if you fulfil the conditions for this at the time the leave is to be taken. Read more about the rules for transferring leave on this page below.

How long can I take leave as a father or co-mother?

Number of weeks      The rules governing leave if you live together when the child is born
2 weeks of leave As a father or co-mother, you must take the 2 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits in 2 consecutive weeks from the day or day after the child is born. If you disrupt your leave, you will lose the remaining part of it. You are allowed to postpone the start of the leave until the child leaves the hospital and comes home. However, you must take the entirety of the leave before the child reaches the age of 10 weeks.
22 weeks of leave The 22 weeks of leave must be taken within 1 year of the child being born. As a father or co-mother, you can choose to transfer the 22 weeks of leave to the other parent who can receive maternity/paternity benefits during the leave if they fulfil the conditions for this at the time of taking the leave. Read more about the rules for transferring leave on this page below.

If you start working

Please note that if you start working as a salaried employee before the child reaches the age of 1, then you must take the 9 weeks of leave yourself before the child reaches the age of 1 if you have leave remaining. This rule applies no matter how many hours of employment you have. 

If you have less than 9 weeks of leave remaining or have taken or passed on your leave at the time when you become a salaried employee, then in some cases you can get up to 9 weeks of extra leave. You can read more in the ‘If you become a salaried employee while the child is under the age of 1’ article.

The leave must be taken within 1 year of the child’s birth unless the parent, due to special circumstances, is prevent from taking the leave – if not, the entitlement to this leave will be lost.

What does transferring leave mean?

As a parent, you can choose to transfer parts of your leave to each other so that it best suits your working and family life circumstances. There are different rules for which weeks can be transferred and different deadlines for when the leave must have been taken.

When can I transfer leave?

You can only transfer leave to the other parent once your child is born. In addition, you must both be registered as parents before you can transfer leave to each other. In order to transfer leave, you also need to be covered by social security in Denmark or have legal residency status in Denmark at the time of transferring the leave.

Who can I transfer leave to?

In order to transfer and receive leave, you must be the legal parent of the child. In order to get maternity/paternity benefits during the leave that you have been transferred, you must also meet the usual requirements, including the employment requirement, which, for example means that you need to be employed or a member of an unemployment insurance fund. Read more under ‘Can I get maternity/paternity benefits?’.

If a parent is not able to transfer leave to the other parent, the other parent can apply to Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration and ask them to do it. For example, this may be in cases where the parent has had an accident and is not conscious. 

How much leave can we transfer to each other?

As a general rule, each parent is entitled to 24 weeks of leave after birth with maternity/paternity benefits if the parents live together when the child is born. You can choose to transfer some of the leave to each other. You can transfer whole weeks or individual days. 

How much leave can the mother transfer?

As an unemployed mother, you can transfer up to 14 weeks of leave to the father or co-mother if you live together at birth:

  • 2 weeks of leave at birth – cannot be transferred
  • 8 weeks of leave – cannot be transferred
  • 14 weeks of leave – can be transferred

Generally speaking, the father or co-mother must take the leave within 1 year of the child being born. However, the transferred leave can be extended or postponed until the child reaches the age of 9 if the conditions are met. 

How much leave can the father or co-mother transfer?

As an unemployed father or co-mother, you can transfer up to 22 weeks to the mother if you live together at the time of birth:

  • 2 weeks of leave at birth – cannot be transferred
  • 22 weeks of leave – can be transferred

Generally speaking, the mother must take the leave within 1 year of the child being born. However, the transferred leave can be extended or postponed until the child reaches the age of 9 if the conditions are met. If a mother, father or co-mother is not unemployed, you can read about your situation here:

If you are also a salaried employee

If next to your unemployment benefits you also have a salary income and are working as a salaried employee, you will be subject to the rule stating that the 9 weeks of leave must be taken by yourself as a wage earner before the child reaches the age of 1 unless, due to special circumstances, you are prevented from taking the leave. It is your employment at the time of transfer that is critical in determining whether you can transfer the 9 weeks of leave to the other parent. 

If you become a salaried employee

If you become a salaried employee during the first year after the birth of the child, please note that you need to take 9 weeks of leave yourself with maternity/paternity benefits as a salaried employee. If you do not, the weeks will be lost if there are no special circumstances that prevented you from taking the leave. If you become a salaried employee, you can also no longer transfer the 9 weeks of leave to the other parent from the time that you became a salaried employee.

Please note that if you become a salaried employee within the first year of the child being born, then in some cases you will be entitled to 9 extra weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits as a salaried employee. 

A self-employed on maternity/paternity leave

You can get maternity benefits as a self-employed if you meet these five conditions:

  • You have worked for at least six months within the past 12 months.
  • You have worked for the past month before you took maternity leave.
  • There is a profit in your business.
  • You have worked at least half time (18.5 hours a week) in your business.
  • You are together with your child every day, meaning that physically you spend time with your child during your maternity leave.

If you have worked as a self-employed for less than six months, you can include periods in which you have worked as a salaried employee.

Periods during which you have obtained sick pay, maternity benefits or similar benefits do, however, not count as work.

If you are employed in your own ApS or A/S, you are a salaried employee and not self-employed. You can read more about the rules for salaried employees on maternity leave under “A salaried employees on maternity leave” on this page.

As a self-employed you apply for maternity benefits from Udbetaling Danmark on Virk:

Deadline for application

You must apply for maternity benefits no later than 8 weeks after the child has been born in order for you to get maternity benefits.

If you start your leave after the childbirth, you must apply for maternity benefits no later than 8 weeks after the first day of leave. If you apply later than 8 weeks after, you cannot get maternity benefits until the time when Udbetaling Danmark has received your application. In special circumstances you can get an exemption from the deadline for application.

You have the option of obtaining a dispensation if you have applied past the deadline, if the reason is due to particularly excusable circumstances such as hospital stays or operational disruptions at NemRefusion on virk.dk.

If this is the case, please send us documentation of the reason why you applied too late, and we will look into your case again.

If you are self-employed

The amount that you can get for maternity benefits is calculated based on:

  • the profit in your business
  • any income transferred to a co-operating spouse
  • own sick pay and maternity benefits.

However, you can get no more than DKK 4,465 (2022) per week before tax for maternity benefits.

To get the full maternity benefit amount, your income must be at least DKK 232,212 (2022) per year. 

If you do not have any profit in your business, and you have not taken out insurance, you cannot get any maternity benefits.

If you have not worked as a self-employed during the entire past income year, Udbetaling Danmark uses your most recent tax assessment notice as a salaried employee or financial statements for an entire year signed by an auditor. The financial statements must be determined in the same way as the tax assessment notice.

When you receive maternity/paternity benefits as a self-employed person from Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration, you may also receive compensation from Barsel.dk.

How much can I receive?

You can receive up to DKK 78.74 per hour in compensation beyond the maternity/paternity benefits (2021 rates).

How do I apply?

When applying for maternity/paternity benefits from Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration via NemRefusion, you will also automatically apply for compensation from Barsel.dk. Therefore, you do not need to take further action to apply for compensation from Barsel.dk. If you are entitled to receive compensation, you will receive a letter at the same time as your first payment.

If you have purchased health insurance from Udbetaling Danmark no later than six months before you apply for maternity benefits, you can get at least two thirds of the maximum maternity leave rate, irrespective of how much you have earned.

With the insurance, and if you are subject to a waiting period that expires during your leave, you will also get at least two thirds of the maximum maternity benefit rate from the time when the waiting period expires.

What do you need to do?

You must inform Udbetaling Danmark yourself that you are subject to a waiting period and when it expires. Then Udbetaling Danmark can calculate your maternity benefits again.

As self-employed, you have three possibilities of working during your maternity leave.

  1. You can work for up to 25% a week. This means that you take leave for 75% of the time with 75% of the maternity benefits you can get on full leave.
  2. You can work for more than 25% and up to 50% per week. This means that you take leave for 50% of the week with half maternity benefits.
  3. If you resume your work by more than 50% per week, that will be like working full time. Therefore, maternity benefits cannot be paid to you.

How is the leave structured?

Families where the parents live together when the child is born are each generally entitled to 24 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits after birth.

You can plan your leave so that it suits your working and family life circumstances.

You can choose to transfer some of the weeks of leave to each other. This means that a parent after the birth of a child can take more than 24 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits if the other parent has transferred leave to him or her. Read more about transferring leave lower on the page. 

Please note that in some situations there are special rules that apply and thus there is another distribution of your leave. 

Contact Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration if you would like more information. 

If the other parent is not self-employed, you can read about the rules governing leave here:

As a mother, how long can I go on leave?

Number of weeks The rules governing leave if you live together when the child is born
4 weeks of pregnancy leave You can receive maternity/paternity benefits during pregnancy leave that you can take 4 weeks before the due date.
2 weeks of leave after birth The leave must be taken after the birth of the child and cannot be transferred.
8 weeks of leave after giving birth* When the 2 weeks of leave end, you will continue having 8 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits. The leave must be taken within the first 10 weeks of the child being born. You can extend the leave if you resume working part-time.
14 weeks of leave* The 14 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits must be taken within 1 year of the child being born. However, you can extend or postpone the weeks up until the child reaches the age of 9 if you fulfil the conditions for this. 

*As a mother, you can choose to transfer the 8 weeks of leave and the 14 weeks of leave to the other parent who can receive maternity/paternity benefits during leave if they fulfil the conditions for this at the time of the leave being taken. Read more about the rules for transferring leave on this page below.

How long can I take leave as a father or co-mother?

Number of weeks  The rules governing leave if you live together when the child is born 
2 weeks of leave at birth

1. As a father or co-mother, you can take leave with maternity/paternity benefits in the first 2 weeks from the day or day after your child is born.

2. You can also take the leave with more flexibility within the first 10 weeks of the child being born.

Special rules apply if the child is hospitalised. Read more under ‘If your child is hospitalised’. 

Special rules also apply if you want to resume work on a part-time basis.

22 weeks of leave* The 22 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits must be taken within 1 year of the child being born. However, you can extend or postpone the weeks up until the child reaches the age of 9 if you fulfil the conditions for this. 

*As a father or co-mother, you can choose to transfer the 22 weeks of leave to the other parent who can receive maternity/paternity benefits during the leave if they fulfil the conditions for this at the time of taking the leave. Read more about the rules for transferring leave on this page below.

Can I work while I am on maternity/paternity leave?

As self-employed, you have three possibilities for working during your maternity leave.

  1. You can work 25% of the weekly hours. This means that you are on leave 75% of the time and receive 75% of the maternity/paternity benefits that you could get if fully on leave.
  2. You can work more than 25% and up to 50% of the weekly hours. This means that you are on leave 50% of the week and receive half of the maternity/paternity benefits.
  3. If you resume working at more than 50% of the weekly hours, this is considered working full-time. You can therefore not receive maternity/paternity benefits.

The time that you work in self-employment during your leave must be calculated in terms of the number of weekly hours that you have reported to Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration.

Example: If you have reported via NemRefusion that you work 50 hours per week, you are permitted to work 25 hours per week if you want to work half-time during your leave.

How to proceed:

You must notify Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration if you resume working:

What does transferring leave mean?

As a parent, you can choose to transfer parts of your leave to each other so that it best suits your working and family life circumstances. There are different rules for which weeks can be transferred and different deadlines for when the leave must have been taken.

When can I transfer leave?

You can only transfer leave to the other parent once your child is born. 

Who can I transfer to?

In order to transfer and receive leave, you must be the legal parent of the child.

In order to get maternity/paternity benefits during the leave that you have been transferred, you must also meet the usual requirements, including the employment requirement, which, for example, means that you need to be employed. Read more under ‘Can I get maternity/paternity benefits?’.

If a parent is not able to transfer leave to the other parent, the other parent can apply to Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration and ask them to do it. For example, this may be in cases where the parent has had an accident and is not conscious.

How much leave can we transfer to each other?

As a general rule, each parent is entitled to 24 weeks of leave after birth with maternity/paternity benefits if the parents live together when the child is born.

If you are self-employed, up to 22 weeks of the leave can be transferred to the other parent. 

If you do not live together when the child is born or if you are otherwise in a special situation, there is another distribution of the leave and thus another number of weeks that can be transferred.

Contact Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration if you would like more information. 

Leave for the mother if you live together when the child is born:

  • 2 weeks of leave at birth – cannot be transferred
  • 8 weeks of leave – can be transferred in some situations
  • 14 weeks of leave – can be transferred

Leave for the father or co-mother if you live together when the child is born:

  • 2 weeks of leave at birth – cannot be transferred
  • 22 weeks of leave – can be transferred

If a mother, father or co-mother is self-employed, you can read about your situation here:

How much leave can the mother transfer?

As a mother that is self-employed, you can transfer up to 22 weeks of leave to the other parent if you live together when the child is born. You can transfer whole weeks or individual days.

Transferring the 8 weeks of leave

As a mother, you can choose to transfer up to 8 weeks of your leave in the period from the 3rd to 10th week after the child is born if:

  1. you resume working full time
  2. you continue directly on the 14 weeks of leave together with the child.

1) If as a mother you resume working full time in the period from the 3rd to 10th week after giving birth, you can transfer up to 8 weeks of leave to the other parent. Those up to 8 weeks of leave must be taken by the other parent within 10 weeks of the child being born. 

2) If you start the 14 weeks of leave in the period from the 3rd to 10th week after giving birth, you can transfer up to 8 weeks of leave to the other parent. Generally speaking, the other parent must take the up to 8 weeks of leave within 1 year after the child was born and there is a possibility for postponement or extension up until the child reaches the age of 9.

Transferring the 14 weeks of leave

If you live together when the child is born, then you as a mother that is self-employed can also transfer up to 14 weeks of your leave scheduled for after the 10th week following the birth to the father or co-mother. Generally speaking, the father or co-mother must take the leave within 1 year of the birth of the child with a possibility for postponement or extension up until the child reaches the age of 9.

How much leave can the father or co-mother transfer?

As a father or co-mother that is self-employed, you can transfer up to 22 weeks of leave to the mother if you live together when the child is born. You can transfer whole weeks or individual days. 

Generally speaking, the mother must take the leave within 1 year of the birth of the child with a possibility for postponement or extension up until the child reaches the age of 9.

If you are a salaried employee and also have your own company

If you have your own company and are also a salaried employee and fulfil the conditions for receiving maternity/paternity benefits as salaried employee, you will be subject to the rule stating that 9 weeks of leave cannot be transferred to the other parent.

You must take the 9 weeks of leave yourself as a salaried employee before the child reaches the age of 1 unless there are special circumstances that prevent you from doing so.

If you are no longer self-employed

It is your employment at the time of transfer that is critical in determining how much leave you can transfer to the other parent. 

If you are a salaried employee at the time of transfer, you cannot transfer the 9 weeks of leave to the other parent. You must take the 9 weeks of leave yourself as a salaried employee before the child reaches the age of 1 unless there are special circumstances that prevent you from doing so.

Please note that if you become a salaried employee within the first year of the child being born, then in some cases you will be entitled to apply for 9 extra weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits as a salaried employee. 

Contact Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration if you would like more information.

Students and recent graduates on maternity leave

As a student, you can get maternity benefits if you are in one of the following three situations:

1. You have a permanent job in addition to your education

If you have a permanent job in addition to your education, you have the possibility of applying for maternity benefits as a salaried employee for the hours during which you work. You can therefore read more about which rules apply in the section “Salaried employees on maternity leave”.

2. You are an apprentice in paid traineeship

You can get maternity benefits if you are an apprentice in paid traineeship on your first day of leave or the day before. Therefore, you cannot get maternity benefits if your first day of leave is in a period with teaching at the place of education.

You can read more about which rules apply in the section “A salaried employees on maternity leave”.

3. You are on leave from your education and report unemployed in your unemployment insurance fund

When you take leave from your education, you can get maternity benefits if you stop your state study grants, report unemployed in your unemployment insurance fund and make yourself available for jobs in your job centre, meaning that you are entitled to unemployment benefits.

You should be aware that you must inform your place of education about your leave so that you can document the leave when you apply for maternity benefits. You can read more about which rules apply in the section “Unemployed persons on maternity leave”.

Further, you must also be together with your child each day in all situations, meaning physically spend time with the child.

As a recent graduate, you can get maternity benefits if you are together with your child each day, meaning that physically you spend time with your child during the leave and that you meet one of the following requirements:

  • You have completed business education of at least 18 months during the last month up to the childbirth, if you are a mother and until you take leave if you are the other parent of the child. It must be an education that qualifies you for a job right after completed education.
  • You have completed your study programme after giving birth, but you have reported to your unemployment insurance fund that you are unemployed and made yourself available as a job seeker in your job centre, i.e. you are entitled to receiving unemployment benefits. You can read more in the section ‘An unemployed person’.

You should be aware that you cannot take leave after the child has reached the age of 46 weeks.

It is your situation that determines what you must do to get maternity benefits.

If you are newly qualified

If, as a newly qualified, you are not a member of an unemployment insurance fund, you must contact Udbetaling Danmark to get an application form for maternity benefits.

You fill in the form and return it with documentation to Udbetaling Danmark via Digital Post.

If you are a member of an unemployment insurance fund and are entitled to unemployment benefits from an unemployment insurance fund, you must contact your unemployment insurance fund and tell them that you are going on maternity leave.

The Unemployment insurance fund notifies Udbetaling Danmark, which sends you a letter by Digital Post. You confirm digitally that the information from your unemployment insurance fund is correct and you also send documentation to Udbetaling Danmark.

Documentation

As documentation, you must send a copy of your exam certificate or advance approval from your tutor to Udbetaling Danmark. It must appear on which date you completed the education or expect to complete it.

How is the leave structured?

Families where the parents live together when the child is born are each generally entitled to 24 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits after birth.

You can plan your leave so that it suits your working and family life circumstances. For example, you can choose to transfer some of the weeks of leave to each other.

This means that a parent after the birth of a child can take more than 24 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits if the other parent has transferred leave to him or her. 

Please note that in some situations there are special rules for your leave, for example, if you are not living together when the child is born, if you are a single parent, etc. You can read more in the ‘Situations that may impact your leave’ section by clicking on the links below. 

As a student or recent graduate, there are different rules that apply to your leave depending on whether you, for example, are working a student job or if you are a member of an unemployment insurance fund, etc.

You can read more about your situation in the ‘Maternity/paternity benefits’ section on this page or you can read about the rules for your leave here:

If you are a student with a student job

If you are a student with a student job, the same rules apply as if you were a salaried employee. You can read more in the section 'A salaried employee on maternity leave'.

If you have a permanent job in addition to your education, you have the possibility of applying for maternity benefits as a salaried employee for the hours during which you work. Read more under how much you can get as a salaried employee.

If you are newly qualified

As newly qualified you can get the following amounts for maternity benefits:

  • DKK 3,195 per week (2022) before the birth of the child.
  • DKK 3,660 per week (2022) after the birth of the child.

If you provide for other children under 18, you will also get paid DKK 3,660 per week (2022) before the childbirth.

If you are something else

In order to get maternity/paternity benefits, you must fulfil the conditions in the Danish Maternity/Paternity Leave Act, including the requirements for employment. This means that you must be either working as a salaried employee or as a self-employed person. It is also a requirement that you spend time together with your child daily (in person).

You can also be entitled to maternity/paternity benefits if you are unemployed and a member of an unemployment insurance fund.  

Read more about the requirements for employment on these pages under ‘Can I receive maternity/paternity leave’. 

If you are not entitled to maternity/paternity benefits yourself, you can choose to transfer your leave to the other parent. This might be if, for example, you are receiving SU (student grants) without having a student job, if you are receiving welfare benefits, if you are a disability pensioner or if you are not receiving a public benefit.

If you live together when the child is born, then as a mother you have 14 weeks of leave after giving birth that you can transfer to the other parent. As a father or co-mother, you have 22 weeks of leave after the child is born that you can transfer to the other parent. If you are an adoptive parent, you have 18 weeks of leave after receiving the child that you can transfer to the other parent.

The other parent can take the transferred leave with maternity/paternity benefits if he or she fulfils the conditions.

Generally speaking, the weeks of leave must be taken before 1 year after the child is born or an adopted child is received. The leave can be postponed or extended up to 9 years after the child is born or the adopted child is received if the conditions for this are met.

Read about how to transfer leave under ‘Transfer leave’.

Read more in the section ‘Can I get maternity/paternity benefits’

When receiving welfare benefits or income support

You cannot get maternity benefits if you receive welfare benefits or income support However, you can continue getting welfare benefits or income support when you are on maternity leave. If that applies to you, you must contact your municipality.

As a parent, you can choose to transfer parts of your leave to each other so that it best suits your working and family life circumstances. There are different rules for which weeks can be transferred and different deadlines for when the leave must have been taken.

When can I transfer leave?

You can only transfer leave to the other parent once your child is born or the adopted child is received.

Who can I transfer to?

In order to transfer and receive leave, you must be the legal parent of the child.

In order to get maternity/paternity benefits during the leave that you have been transferred, you must also meet the usual requirements, including the employment requirement. Among other things, this means that you must be employed or a member of an unemployment insurance fund. Read more under ‘Can I get maternity/paternity benefits?’

How much leave can we transfer to each other?

If you live together when the child is born, then as a mother you have 14 weeks of leave after giving birth that you can transfer to the other parent. As a father or co-mother, you have 22 weeks of leave after the child is born that you can transfer to the other parent. If you are an adoptive parent, you have 18 weeks of leave after receiving the child that you can transfer to the other parent.

If you do not live together when the child is born or the adopted child is received or if you are otherwise in a special situation, there is another distribution of the leave and thus another number of weeks that can be transferred. Read more in the section ‘If you do not live together’.

If the mother, father or co-mother is employed, unemployed or self-employed, etc. you can read about the situation here:

If as parents you do not live together when the child is born or the adopted child is received, there is another distribution of your leave than the ordinary distribution of 24 weeks for each parent after birth or receiving the adopted child.

Leave for the parent that the child lives with

The parent that the child’s registered address is with will get 13 weeks of extra leave with maternity/paternity benefits that the parent can choose to transfer to the other parent.

Leave for the parent that the child is not living with

The parent that the child does not share a registered address with is entitled to less leave.

If you as a parent are not entitled to maternity/paternity benefits and is not living with the child, you have 9 weeks of leave that you can transfer to the other parent.

If you move apart after birth

If you move apart after birth or after receiving the adopted child, it has no impact on the distribution of your leave. This means that each parent will be entitled to 24 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits after the birth. This also applies even if you move apart shortly after the child is born or the adopted child is received.

You must agree between yourselves if you want to transfer leave to each other. Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration cannot set up another distribution of the leave if you cannot agree on transferring leave to each other.

The father or co-mother is undetermined or the other parent is unknown

You must notify us of this and, if relevant, send documentation when you are applying for maternity/paternity benefits or the transfer of leave if you are in one of the following situations:

  • the father or co-mother is undetermined and a case is in progress
  • it has been determined that the other parent is unknown.

If a father or co-mother is registered at a later date, the father or co-mother will be able to apply for 9 weeks of leave. 


If you become a salaried employee while the child is under the age of 1 or under 1 year after receiving an adopted child and you have not previously taken 9 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits as a salaried employee, you have the option of applying for up to 9 weeks of extra leave. You can do this in situations where you have used or transferred all of your leave that is after the mother’s 10 weeks of leave after birth or the father or co-mother’s 2 weeks of leave after the birth. If you are an adoptive parent, you can apply in those situations where you have used or transferred all of your leave scheduled for the first 10 weeks after receiving the child.

This applies if, for example, you have been self-employed, unemployed or receiving another benefit but then become a salaried employee within 1 year of the child being born or the adopted child being received.

You need to be a salaried employee when you start the 9 weeks of leave.

The leave cannot be transferred to the other parent.

The leave must be taken within 1 year of the child’s birth or within 1 year of receiving the adopted child unless the parent, due to special circumstances, is prevent from taking the leave.

If you have leave remaining

If you have leave remaining (i.e., leave that is not taken or transferred), then up to 9 weeks of your remaining leave will be included in the 9 weeks of extra leave.

More information

  1. If you are ill due to your pregnancy, you must tell it to your employer or unemployment insurance fund which must report it to Udbetaling Danmark. As self-employed, you must apply for maternity benefits at virk.dk.
  2. You will then receive a letter by Digital Post which explains how you should apply for maternity benefits or which information you must send to Udbetaling Danmark in the self-service solution “My maternity leave”.
  3. If you get a letter by Digital Post that Udbetaling Danmark must have a doctor’s certificate, you must contact your doctor to have it filled in, and the doctor must then send it to Udbetaling Danmark.

You should be aware that if Udbetaling Danmark does not receive the doctor’s certificate within the deadline notified to you, this may influence your right to maternity benefits.

If your work can harm your unborn child

As the mother you can take leave earlier with maternity benefits if:

  • your doctor thinks that there is a special risk for you or your unborn child
  • your work can harm your unborn child.

Your employer must report your absence to Udbetaling Danmark, which sends you a letter by Digital Post. From the letter you can see which information you must send to Udbetaling Danmark in the self-service solution “My maternity leave”. (Min Barsel)

Sickness during maternity leave

If the child’s mother becomes too ill to take care of your child within the first 10 weeks after the child is born, then as a father or co-mother you can take leave during this period. You can actually take over the mother’s leave, but this requires that you both fulfil the conditions for taking maternity/paternity leave with maternity/paternity benefits.

You also need documentation from a doctor that the mother cannot take care of the child and for how long this is the case.

If you become ill during the leave

If you as a mother become sick in the first 10 weeks after giving birth, or if you as a father or co-mother become sick in the first 2 weeks after the birth, you can choose to transfer part of your remaining leave to the other parent.However, please note that as a salaried employee, you are not able to transfer 9 of the weeks.  

If your child is hospitalized

As parents, you can extend your leave if your child is hospitalised. However, this only applies until the child reaches the age of 46 weeks and if you are not working at the same time.

The leave can be extended by the amount of time the child is hospitalised. You can at most extend the leave 3 months altogether.

Please note that it is only a hospitalisation that offers this opportunity. If the child is sent home early, for example, those days are not counted.

Special rules for fathers and co-mothers

If your child is hospitalised during your 2 weeks of leave at birth, you can interrupt your leave and start your up to 22 weeks of leave instead, as the 2 weeks of leave at birth cannot be extended. The 2 weeks of leave at birth must also be taken before the child reaches the age of 10 weeks, otherwise they are lost.

You must contact your employer and make an agreement with them if you want to use your 22 weeks of leave while the child is hospitalised. Also remember to notify your employer immediately when the child comes home from the hospital.

If you want to work during the hospitalisation

If you return to work while the child is hospitalised, you can instead postpone the remaining leave with maternity benefits until after the discharge. To use that possibility, your child must have been discharged no later than 60 weeks after the birth. This also applies to the father or co-mother’s 2 weeks of leave at birth.

Send documentation

In order to extend your leave and be entitled to receiving maternity/paternity benefits, you must send documentation from the hospital for the child’s hospitalisation. It is important that the hospitalisation date and the discharge date is stated on the documentation.

Send documentation to Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration via:

Please note that Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration can only pay maternity/paternity benefits for the extended period once documentation is received (and the documentation must state the child’s hospitalisation date and discharge date).

Deadlines for application

As self-employed, you must apply no later than three weeks after the first day of absence.

As a salaried employee you must apply no later than:

  • 8 weeks after the childbirth if you do not receive salary during the leave
  • 8 weeks after the payment of salary has stopped if you receive pay during part of the leave.

As an unemployed person, you must do as follows:

  1. If you are unemployed and get unemployment benefits from an unemployment insurance fund, you must tell your unemployment insurance fund about your childbirth no later than eight weeks after the childbirth.
  2. When your unemployment insurance fund has told Udbetaling Danmark about your childbirth, you receive a letter by Digital Post about what you must do and about access to apply for maternity benefits. The unemployment insurance fund cannot inform them of your childbirth until on the first day of your leave. You cannot apply in advance.
  3. You must apply for maternity benefits no later than eight weeks after receipt of the letter.

If you apply later, you cannot get unemployment benefits until the day when Udbetaling Danmark has received your application. In special circumstances you can get an exemption from the deadline for application.

When you get maternity benefits, you have a duty of disclosure. This means that you must immediately notify Udbetaling Danmark if your circumstances change and if the change has an impact on your maternity leave.

When you get maternity benefits, you must e.g. notify Udbetaling Danmark if:

  • you end the leave before planned
  • you start working partially
  • you take holidays with e.g. pay or holiday pay
  • you extend your leave with reduced unemployment benefit
  • you no longer live together with your child
  • your child is hospitalized - that gives the possibility of extended leave
  • you go to or move abroad during the leave
  • you become unemployed during the leave and are entitled to unemployment benefits. In some situations that will give more for maternity benefits.
  • you have health insurance with Udbetaling Danmark, which enters into force or expires during your leave

If you do not notify Udbetaling Danmark when your situation changes, you risk having to pay money back

Udbetaling Danmark sends its letters in Danish

When you receive maternity benefits, you will receive letters from Udbetaling Danmark, e.g. about the amount you are being paid.

All letters sent from Udbetaling Danmark are in Danish. Therefore, it may be a good idea to have a friend or acquaintance translate the letters if you do not understand Danish. You are also always welcome to call Udbetaling Danmark if you have any questions.

If you are contacting Udbetaling Danmark on behalf of someone else, you first need to have a power of attorney. This also applies even if you are cohabiting and you just need to speak to Udbetaling Danmark about the case.

If someone else is going to contact Udbetaling Danmark on your behalf, you first need to provide that person with a power of attorney.

To you who receive maternity benefits

Here, you can digitally give someone else a power of attorney to act on your behalf when contacting Udbetaling Danmark. You can provide a power of attorney for maternity benefits or for other areas that Udbetaling Danmark deals with.

For those of you who will be helping someone else

If the person who wants to provide you with a power of attorney does not have MitID, you can use a written power of attorney. The form can be filled out on the screen or by hand, and it needs to be signed by the person giving you the power of attorney.

If you have a disability, you may have difficulty reading the document. Please contact Udbetaling Danmark, Maternity/ paternity benefits for more information.

If you have a written power of attorney from someone receiving maternity benefits, you can send the signed power of attorney digitally. If you are using a mobile phone, you can take a picture of the power of attorney and attach it.

You can also send the power of attorney by post to Udbetaling Danmark, Kongens Vænge 8, 3400 Hillerød. Please note that it may take up to a week before Udbetaling Danmark receives the power of attorney by post.

If you want to know more about powers of attorney for maternity benefits, you can read more on the Danish page at borger.dk:

If you have received more maternity benefits than you are entitled to, for example because your situation has changed, you should generally return this money to Udbetaling Danmark.

If you have to pay money back to Udbetaling Danmark, Barsel, this may be for one of the following reasons:

you have received paid holiday or holiday allowance during your maternity leave without letting Udbetaling Danmark know.

you have returned to work earlier than stated.

How to pay back money to Udbetaling Danmark

If you have received too much for maternity benefits, you will receive a letter from Udbetaling Danmark explaining what you have to pay and why. If you have received this letter, you can pay the entire amount in one lump sum by transferring the money to Udbetaling Danmark’s bank account:

  • Bank: Danske Bank
  • SWIFT: DABADKKK
  • IBAN no.: DK9602164069172059

Remember to state your civil registration number

If a child only has one parent at the time of birth, that parent can apply for 22 extra weeks of leave.

This can be in situations where:

  • a single mother has gotten pregnant via fertility treatment using an unknown donor
  • a single father has had a child via a surrogate mother abroad
  • the other parent has passed away before the child was born
  • the parent is a single adopter.

For families where there are two legal parents for the child but where, for example, there is no joint custody or residence, other rules apply. The same applies to situations where the paternity is not determined.

Contact Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration if you would like more information. 

How your leave looks as a single mother

As a single mother, generally speaking you are entitled to 46 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits after the child is born, and this must generally be taken before the child reaches the age of 1.

Number of weeks  Leave 
 4 weeks of leave before birth   The leave must be taken 4 weeks before you are expected to give birth. 
 2 weeks of leave  The leave must be taken immediately after giving birth.
 8 weeks of leave   The leave must be taken before the child reaches the age of 10 weeks.   
 14 weeks of leave

Generally speaking, the leave must be taken before the child reaches the age of 1. The weeks can be postponed and extended up until the child reaches the age of 9.

If you are a salaried employee, 9 of the weeks must be taken before the child reaches the age of 1 and therefore it cannot be postponed or extended.

 22 weeks of extra leave  Generally speaking, the leave must be taken before the child reaches the age of 1. The weeks can be postponed and extended up until the child reaches the age of 9.

How your leave looks as a single father

As a single father, generally speaking you are entitled to 46 weeks of leave with maternity/paternity benefits after the child is born, and this must generally be taken before the child reaches the age of 1.

Number of weeks   Leave 
 2 weeks of leave  The leave must be taken before the child reaches the age of 10 weeks.
 22 weeks of leave  Generally speaking, the leave must be taken before the child reaches the age of 1. The weeks can be postponed and extended up until the child reaches the age of 9.If you are a salaried employee, 9 of the weeks must be taken before the child reaches the age of 1 and therefore it cannot be postponed or extended. 
 22 weeks of extra leave  Generally speaking, the leave must be taken before the child reaches the age of 1. The weeks can be postponed and extended up until the child reaches the age of 9.

Contact Udbetaling Danmark, Maternity/ paternity benefits

Last updated: 21 November 2022