Til indhold

Salary during parental leave

Your right to salary during your parental leave depends on which collective agreement, contract, or law you are covered by as an employee.

  • Employed in the state, region, or municipality

    As an employee in the public sector, you are covered by the collective agreement for the state, region, or municipality and its corresponding parental leave agreement.

    Municipality and regions

    Mother’s right to full salary:

    • 8 weeks before birth
    • 14 weeks after birth (maternity leave)
    • 6 weeks after birth (parental leave)
    • Potential joint right to salary (see below)

    Father or partner’s right to full salary:

    • 2 weeks (partner’s leave)
    • 7 weeks (parental leave)
    • Potential joint right to salary (see below)

    The state

    Mother’s right to full salary:

    • 6 weeks before birth
    • 14 weeks after birth (maternity leave)
    • 6 weeks after birth (parental leave)
    • Potential joint right to salary (see below)

    Father or partner’s right to full salary:

    2 weeks (partner’s leave)

    7 weeks (parental leave)

    Potential joint right to salary (see below)

    Joint right to salary

    Municipal, regional, and state employees have, in addition to the ear-marked leave, 6 weeks which can be shared between mother and father/partner (parental leave), in addition to that which is already ear-marked to the father/partner.

    The joint right to salary is in practice only joint for parents that are employed under the same collective agreement. If you are employed under two different agreements which both have the joint right to salary, you can both use the 6 weeks.

    Be aware of the rules for flexibility in the planning of your parental leave as well as the different possibilities for delaying your salary.

    Read more about planning your maternity leave (in Danish)

    The right to full salary during parental leave is based on the condition that your employer receives the unemployment benefits that you would be entitled to from the public sector (reimbursement).

  • Employed in the private sector

    As an employee of the private sector, your salary during parental leave will be regulated by the Act on Salaried Employees, potentially a private collective agreement, as well as your own individual employment contract or your workplace’s personnel policy.

    According to the Act on Salaried Employees, if you are pregnant you have the right to half your salary for 4 weeks before the birth and 14 weeks after.

    All academically-trained employees are, as a starting point, covered by the Act on Salaried Employees.

    Parental leave fund and equalisation

    Private employers should be signed up for the parental leave fund or the parental leave equalisation scheme. This scheme means that your employer receives a reimbursement when they pay out half or part of the salary during parental leave to a person who has the right to parental leave unemployment benefits.

    Reimbursement makes up the difference between parental leave unemployment benefits and salary during parental leave within a fixed reimbursement limit of 189.50 kroner per hour including holiday pay. It will therefore be free of charge for your employer to pay out the extra sum.

    The employer can, in total, get reimbursement from the parental leave fund for up to 33 weeks, which are divided as such:

    Mother: The employer can get a reimbursement from the parental leave fund if they pay out the salary for up to 4 weeks before birth, 2 weeks after birth, and up to 25 weeks after that, to be shared between mother and father/partner (parental leave).

    Father/partner: The employer can get reimbursement from the parental leave fund if they pay out the salary for 2 weeks after birth and up to 25 weeks after, to be shared with the mother (parental leave).

    Parental leave fund and employment contract

    DM recommends that you have the agreement for salary during your parental leave, in relation to parental leave equalisation, written into your employment contract. You and your employer can also add a brief addendum to your current contract, so that you are sure it is in accordance with the rules.

    For example, you can write: During parental leave, the employee can at a minimum receive a salary equal to the maximum reimbursement during the period where the business can receive salary reimbursement in light of the Act on Maternity Equalisation in the Private Labour Market.

    Contact DM at 38156600 or at dm@dm.dk if you are in doubt about your options and rights in relation to salary during parental leave.

    Salary during sick leave and parental leave

    According to the Act on Salaried Employees, you have right to a full salary during sick leave, but only half your salary during parental leave. Therefore, it can be a question of how much of a given sick period before birth should be paid out as salary under sick leave or under maternity leave. Whether or not you get your full salary depends on if the maternity leave can be considered begun or not.

    If you become unable to work because of your pregnancy in the period from 4 weeks before your due date, but before the period where your maternity leave is set to begin, and you resume work before you go on maternity leave, the absence from work is considered a sick leave and therefore with the right to your full salary.

    On the other hand, if you do not resume your work by the time your maternity leave begins, you are considered to have gone on maternity leave with half your salary from the point in time you became sick.

    If you become sick for other reasons besides your pregnancy in the period from 4 weeks before your due date, but before you are set to begin your maternity leave, you have the right to full salary until your maternity leave is meant to start. That means also in the cases where you do not resume your work by that point in time.

  • Student or recent graduate

    Students

    As a student you do not meet the conditions to receive parental leave unemployment benefits.
    Students can get extra SU payments during their parental leave.

    Student job

    If you, in addition to your studies, have enough work that the employment condition in the parental leave law is met, you can receive parental leave unemployment benefits from the public sector at the same time that you receive extra SU payments. In this situation you should have worked at least 120 hours in the past 13 weeks.

    There is however a limit to how much you may earn on the side of your SU. That limit, also known as the deductible, is among other things dependent on how many months of SU you have used in the span of one year. In certain situations the deductible can be increased, so you can earn more without having to pay your SU back.

    If your student work has a functionary status, as in office-related work for at least an average of 8 hours per week, the rules for parental leave under the Act on Salaried Employees apply. This means that as a mother you have the right to half your salary for 4 weeks before the due date until 14 weeks after the birth.
    If half your salary does not exceed the amount you can earn in unemployment benefits, you can supplement your salary with unemployment benefits. Contact Udbetaling Danmark for more information.

    New graduates

    Once you have completed your education, you no longer have the right to receive SU payments.

    If you give birth to your child so late in your studies that part of the parental leave occurs after your graduation, you have the right as a new graduate to parental leave unemployment benefits from the public sector, from the point in time where you have the right to these benefits from your unemployment fund (a-kasse).

    New graduates have the right to unemployment benefits a month after they are accepted into an unemployment fund.

    As a new graduate you should make sure to join an unemployment fund once you have received an approval (or a pre-approval) of your thesis, and at the latest 14 days after your education is completed (you have received your final grade).

    Parental leave unemployment benefits are paid out in an amount equal to what you would get paid out by the unemployment fund. The amount of unemployment benefits a new graduate is entitled to is 82% of the full amount.

    If you have a child after your education is completed, you are entitled to parental leave unemployment benefits from the public sector immediately if you join an unemployment fund at the latest 14 days after you complete your education, or if you have completed your education within the past month.

    Read more at SU-styrelsen (in Danish)

  • PhD or employed at a university

    PhD students and employees in assistant professor, researcher, or post-doc positions are included in the state’s rules in the parental leave and adoption law. This means that as a researcher employed in one of these positions, you have the right to your full salary on the same conditions as other state employees.

    Being employed in these positions in the university sector means you have the right, after applying, to have your employment extended, in a period equal to the amount of time you have been absent due to parental or adoption leave. You can therefore have your terms of employment extended, both for salary-based and unemployment benefits-based parental leave.

    Your terms of employment can only be extended for the part of your leave which occurs during your employment period. This means that if your employment ends during your leave, you can at the most have your employment extended for a period of time equal to when you were on leave before it ended.
    This means that you will return to work after your parental leave for a period of time equal to your leave during the employment period.

    Fixed-term employees

    If you are employed in the public sector in a fixed-term position, you are included in the rules for parental leave and adoption as long as you are employed. If you resign before you have used all your salaried parental leave, you will lose the right to the rest of that leave.

    External lector

    If you are employed as an external lector, you have the right to full salary during parental and adoption leave according to the rules for state employees. However, the right to full salary during parental leave applies only to leave which can be used during the employment period.

    If you, during the employment period, are full-time or part-time employed elsewhere to an extent that it, including your salaried employment as an external lector, constitutes more than full-time employment, you can at most receive a salary equal to full-time work.

    Teaching assistants

    If you are a teaching assistant, the state agreements on parental leave apply to you, as long as the agreed-upon teaching period is at least four months, or includes 50 or more teaching hours.

    If you, during the employment period, are full-time or part-time employed elsewhere to an extent that it, including your salaried employment as a teaching assistant, constitutes more than full-time employment, you can at most receive a salary equal to full-time work.

    Full salary during parental leave applies only for the part of the leave which falls under your employment period.

  • Adoptive parents

    As a starting point, adoptive parents have the same rights as biological parents.

    Parents that adopt from abroad have the right of up to four weeks of leave and unemployment benefits before the arrival of the child (this can be further extended by up to four weeks).

    Parents that adopt in Denmark have the right of up to one week of leave and unemployment benefits before the child joins the family (this can be further extended by up to one week).

    Unemployment benefits for adoptive parents are given for the first 14 weeks after the arrival of the child to one parent at a time, while the first two weeks can be held together. This requires, however, that the adoption is approved before the child is 14 weeks old. You can receive unemployment benefits for up to 46 weeks in all after the child’s arrival.

    The same rules for flexibility in parental leave for biological parents apply to adoptive parents as well.