Parental benefit in Denmark

Færøske barselsdagpenge
Here you can read about the Danish rules for parental leave and parental benefit.

As a rule, when you work in Denmark, the Danish rules for parental leave will apply to you. If you are unsure about whether you have the right to parental leave and parental benefit in Denmark, contact Udbetaling Danmark.

    The parental leave process

    Danish parental leave with parental benefit is divided into four stages:

    • 4 weeks pregnancy leave for the mother up to the due date
    • 14 weeks maternity leave after the birth
    • 2 weeks paternity leave for the father or co-parent either immediately after the birth or at a some point during the first 14 weeks as agreed with their employer
    • 32 weeks of parental leave shared by the parents as they choose.

    If you have the right to parental benefit in Denmark but the other parent does not, you will generally be granted 16 weeks of parental leave and parental benefit. You may, however, have the right to 32 weeks of parental benefit if you live alone with the child or can prove that the other parent is not receiving benefits from another country during the same period.

    You can read more about the rules for parental leave for EU and EEA citizens who move to Denmark on borger.dk.

    Do you have the right to parental benefit in connection with pregnancy, childbirth and adoption?

    If you are an employee

    If you are an employee, you can receive parental benefit if you meet the following conditions:

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

    You also need to be with your child every day, i.e. be physically present and spend time with the child during your leave.

    Udbetaling Danmark automatically receives information about your employment status when your employer reports your salary.

    If you receive full salary during part of your leave, you should only apply for parental benefit when the salary stops. You can also apply for parental benefit if part of your salary stops during the leave because, in some cases, you will have the right to a certain amount of parental benefit alongside your salary.

    If you receive full pay from your employer throughout your leave, you should not apply for parental benefit.

    If you are unsure about which rules apply to you, contact your employer or trade union to learn more about the terms and conditions in your collective bargaining agreement.

    How to apply

    As an employee, you must ask your employer to inform Udbetaling Danmark online at virk.dk/barselsdagpenge that you will be going on leave.

    Once your employer has reported your leave, you will receive an e-mail via Digital Post from Udbetaling Danmark with access details for applying for parental benefit. You cannot apply before you receive this e-mail.

    If you have multiple employers, you must inform each of them of your leave.

    You can read more at borger.dk. Here you can also read about adoption leave and the opportunities for extending parental leave or postponing parts of it.

    Please note that different conditions apply for parental benefit if you have gone on leave since 1 July 2018. You can read more at borger.dk.

    Self-employed

    You can receive parental benefit while self-employed if you meet the following five conditions:

    • You have worked at least six months within the last 12 months.
    • You have worked during the last month before going on parental leave.
    • Your business is making a profit.
    • You have been working at least part-time (18.5 hours per week) in your company.
    • You spend time with your child every day during your parental leave.

    If you have been self-employed for less than six months, you can also count periods when you were an employee.

    Periods during which you have received sickness benefit, parental benefit, or similar benefits do not count as work.

    If you are an employee of your own limited company (ApS) or joint stock company (A/S), then you are counted as an employee and not as self-employed. You can read more under “If you are an employee”.

    You apply for parental benefit from Udbetaling Danmark online at virk.dk.You can read more at borger.dk. You can also read about adoption leave and the opportunities for extending parental leave or postponing it.

    If you are unemployed

    If you are a member of an unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse)

    You have the right to parental benefit during your leave if you are entitled to unemployment benefit – i.e. if you have registered as unemployed with your unemployment insurance fund and registered as a job seeker with the job centre.

    You also need to be with your child every day, i.e. be physically present and spend time with the child during your leave.

    It is also a good idea to talk to your job centre or unemployment insurance fund about the conditions for being available for work during your parental leave.

    You can read more at borger.dk.

    If you receive cash benefits or out-of-work allowance

    You do not have the right to parental benefit if you receive cash benefits or out-of-work allowance. However, you can continue to receive cash benefits or out-of-work allowance while on parental leave.

    Contact your local authority for more information.

    You can read more at borger.dk.

    Students

    If you are a student, you can receive parental benefit if you physically spend time with your child every day during your leave, and you are in one of the following situations:

    • You must be in work the day before the leave starts or on the first day of it. You must also have worked for at least 160 hours within the last four whole months before your leave, and at least 40 hours per month for at least three of those four months.
    • You are on a paid internship as part of your study programme. Read more under “If you are an employee”.
    • You are officially on leave of absence from your study programme, you stop receiving your study grant (SU), register as unemployed with your unemployment insurance fund, register as as a job seeker for with the job centre and have the right to unemployment benefit.    Read more under “If you are unemployed”.

    If you are receiving a study grant (SU), you can receive an extra payment when you have a child. As a parent in education, you may also have the right to child allowance. You can read more at borger.dk. At borger.dk you can also read about the rules for parental benefit for adoption leave.

    Recent graduates

    You can receive parental benefit as a recent graduate if you physically spend time with your child every day during your leave and you fulfil one of the following requirements:

    • You have completed vocational training lasting at least 18 months during the month before giving birth if you are the mother, or during the last month before your parental leave if you are the child's other parent. It must be a study programme that qualifies you directly for a job.
    • You finish your study programme after you have given birth, but within 46 weeks of it. You must also be registered unemployed with your unemployment insurance fund, available for work and be entitled to unemployment benefit. Read more under “If you are unemployed”.

    Please note that you cannot take leave after the child has reached 46 weeks.

    How to apply

    If you are not yet a member of an unemployment insurance fund, you should contact Udbetaling Danmark to obtain an application form for parental benefit.

    Complete the form and return it along with the necessary documentation to Udbetaling Danmark by Digital Post.

    If you are a member of an unemployment insurance fund and have the right to unemployment benefit, you must notify the fund that you are going on parental leave. You must remember to register as unemployed with your unemployment insurance fund and register yourself available for work at your job centre.

    The unemployment insurance fund will notify Udbetaling Danmark, which will send you an e-mail via Digital Post. You will then confirm digitally that the information provided by your unemployment insurance fund is correct and, at the same time, send the necessary documentation to Udbetaling Danmark.

    You must send a copy of either your examination certificate or pre-approval from your supervisor to Udbetaling Danmark, which must state the date on which you completed, or expect to complete, your studies.

    You can read more at borger.dk.

    If you move to Denmark before your leave begins

    As a citizen of another EU or EEA country, you have the right to Danish parental benefit if you meet the following three conditions:

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

    You also need to be with your child every day, i.e. be physically present and spend time with it.

    Udbetaling Danmark automatically receives information about your employment appointment and the number of hours you work in Denmark when your employer reports your salary.

    If you move to Denmark when there is less than four full months until your leave, you can use the hours that you worked before you moved if you worked in another EU/EEA country. You must submit documentation to Udbetaling Danmark detailing your employment, work and salary abroad, for example, your employment contract and pay slips.

      If you were not in work before your leave, you must have the right to payment from a Danish unemployment insurance fund to be eligible for Danish parental benefit.

      You can read more at borger.dk.

        If you move to another Nordic country during your leave

        You can receive parental benefit abroad if you:

        • Travel or move abroad during your leave and continue your leave without interrupting it
        • Work in Denmark but live in another EU or EEA country, are covered by Danish social security and you are entitled to parental benefit under the Danish parental benefit rules.

        You must have a NemKonto in Denmark and provide Udbetaling Danmark with your address, and ideally also your phone number, so that they can contact you abroad.

        You cannot receive parental benefit if you live in Denmark but work abroad. The legislation of the country where you are working determines the rules for parental benefit.

        Tell appropriate agencies if you move abroad

        If you move abroad with your child during your leave and receive benefits other than your parental benefit, you should notify the appropriate authorities, for example, the Office for International Social Security at Udbetaling Danmark, or your local municipality.

        Even if you can still receive parental benefit when you move abroad, your right to access other support such as family benefits may be affected (e.g. child allowance, child benefit, payments in advance). Moving abroad can also affect your access to other forms of support, for example, health insurance, sickness benefit and occupational injury benefits.

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