Maternity and parental leave

Parents have the right to maternity, paternity and parental leave

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All pregnant women have the right to 4 weeks of leave before the birth and 10 weeks of maternity leave after the birth. Fathers and co-mothers have the right to 2 weeks of paternity leave in connection with the birth.

After the first 10 weeks of maternity leave, each of the parents has the right to parental leave for 32 weeks. A father or co-mother may begin the parental leave before the first 14 weeks after the birth of the child.

All parents are entitled to extend their parental leave from 32 to 40 weeks. However, working parents may choose to extend their leave from 32 to 46 weeks. It is not possible to extend the leave by any number other than 8 or 14 weeks.

The Act on Maternity Leave was amended for children born on or after 2 August 2022. Parents with children born on or after 2 August 2022 are each entitled to 24 weeks maternity leave benefits after birth of the child. Special rules apply for single parents or for parents who are not living together. 

Maternity leave benefits

If the parent is a worker, 11 of the 24 weeks of maternity leave benefits are non-transferable and must be used before the child is 1 year old.

Maternity leave benefits are state benefits that you may be eligible for as compensation for the lack of income during leave. Your eligibility for maternity leave benefits depends on your employment status or affiliation with the labour market, meaning if you are on of the following:

  • a salaried employee on leave
  • an unemployed person on leave
  • self-employed on leave
  • a student who is in (part-time) employment or a newly qualified graduate on leave.

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

Read more about maternity, paternity and parental leave, if you are: 

Last updated: 11 March 2024