Leave with maternity benefits is divided into four stages:
- Pregnancy leave for the mother four 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
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
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.
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
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