Are you entitled to leave in connection with pregnancy, maternity leave or adoption?
Women wage earners in the Faroe Islands have the right to 4 weeks’ parental leave before the expected time of birth and for 42 weeks after the childbirth. If the expectant mother is absent from work due to illness during pregnancy, she is entitled to take parental leave for up to 13 weeks before the due date of the birth.
Fathers are entitled to 4 weeks’ parental leave, but in addition they may also receive up to 28 weeks of the mother’s parental leave.
Both parents’ leave must be taken within the first 52 weeks after the birth, and the parents may take four weeks’ leave together.
In the case of adoption, both parents have the right to 4 weeks’ parental leave before receiving the child, and for up to 56 weeks after they have received the child.
Women must inform their employer within 8 weeks after the childbirth of when they will be able to start work again. Men (co-parents) must inform their employer at least 4 weeks before the start of the parental leave of when they expect to take their leave. The same rules apply in the case of adoption.
Are you entitled to parental benefit in connection with leave?
You are entitled to parental benefit if you fulfil the following conditions:
• You have permanent residence in the Faroe Islands and are taxable there.
• You are physically together with your child during the period in which you receive parental benefit.
Parental benefit is paid in connection with pregnancy, childbirth and adoption. As a mother, you are entitled to receive parental benefit for 42 weeks within the first 46 weeks after the childbirth. The father is entitled to take 4 weeks of parental leave together with you within the first 46 weeks after the childbirth. The final 28 weeks may be shared between the parents – however, you may not both be on parental leave and receiving parental benefit at the same time during this period.
The legislation on parental leave and benefits also states:
If the parents receive 2 or more children from the same pregnancy, the 28 weeks that the parents may exchange between them will be extended by a further 4 weeks.
If the child or children are born before the 32th week of pregnancy, the 28 weeks that the parents may exchange between them will be extended by a further 8 weeks.
When parental leave with parental benefit is shared, it must be for at least one whole consecutive week.
Wage earners (with income taxed at source) may receive parental leave with pay, or parental leave without pay, depending on your specific employment contract and workplace. In some cases, you may receive pay throughout your parental leave, while in others you may only receive pay for only part of your parental leave, or no pay during your parental leave.
If you are not paid during your entire parental leave, you can apply for parental benefit from the Faroese parental leave scheme Barsilsskipanin.
If you are self-employed, you can take out insurance in order to be able to receive parental allowance from Barsilsskipanin.
These conditions are otherwise:
• You have permanent residence in the Faroe Islands
• You receive an income as a self-employed person in the Faroe Islands, alone or with others
• Your self-employment is your main source of income.
A student grant is not regarded as as A-income (income taxed at source) and you are not therefore entitled to parental benefit if you take parental leave as a student. As a student, you are entitled to parental support from the Faroese education grant fund ‘Studni’.
In the other Nordic countries, student grants are paid out as A-income. If you move to the Faroe Islands from a Nordic country and your student grant is used as the basis for calculation, you cannot continue to receive this grant, as it is in this case regarded as A-income. A student grant is not taxable income when you live in the Faroe Islands.
You can learn more about parental leave for students from the Faroese education grant fund Studni.
If you are unemployed, it is the ALS (the unemployment insurance fund) that is your employer, and you will continue to receive the same unemployment benefits you received as an unemployed person.
You can find out more about parental leave if you are unemployed from the unemployment insurance fund ALS.
If you have been on the labour market for a period of less than 12 months immediately before you take parental leave, your parental benefit will be calculated on the basis of this shorter period.
A recent graduate is someone who within the past 12 months:
• Has completed a course of education and begun work.
• Has completed a course of education and is registered with ALS (the Faroese unemployment insurance fund) as unemployed.
• Is on the labour market for the first time.
In these cases your average income during the months in which you have been on the labour market will be used as the basis for calculating your parental benefit.
If, for example, if you have been on the labour market for 4 months prior to taking your parental leave, it will be your average income for the past 4 months, and not the past 12 months, that will be used as the basis for calculating your parental benefit.
How do I apply for parental benefit?
You can apply for maternity benefit from the Faroese parental leave scheme ‘Barsilsskipanin’. Your application will be processed when your parental leave begins. Barsilsskipanin must receive your application within one year after the birth, and your parental benefit will expire if the deadline is not observed.
How is parental benefit paid out?
Parental benefit is calculated on the basis of your average income for the 12 months before you take parental leave. However, there is a ceiling of DKK 25,000, which means you will not receive more than DKK 25,000 per month, even if you have earned more than that on average.
As a wage earner, you continue to earn a pension during your parental leave in the Faroe Islands.
What happens if you move to another Nordic country before or during your period of parental leave?
Can you receive Faroese parental benefit if you move to the Faroe Islands before your leave begins?
If you move to the Faroe Islands from a Nordic country, you can apply to Barsilsskipanin for parental benefit. In order to calculate your parental benefit, Barsilsskipanin must see your salary information for the 12-month period before the start of your parental leave.
If you are entitled to unemployment benefit or another form of allowance for lost income from a Nordic country, even though you have moved to the Faroe Islands, you may not receive parental benefit from Barsilsskipanin for the same period.
Barsilsskipanin must have written confirmation from the municipality from which you have moved that you are not entitled to receive parental benefit from the country in question.
Can you take your Faroese parental benefit with you if you move to another Nordic country after your parental leave has begun?
If you move from the Faroe Islands to another Nordic country after you have been granted parental benefit, you can continue to receive parental benefit from the Faroe Islands. You cannot continue to receive parental benefit from the Faroe Islands if you move to a non-Nordic country.
Under the Nordic Convention on Social Security, if you move to another Nordic country, it is possible that you will not pay tax on your parental benefit in the Faroe Islands, but in your country of residence. In this case, you should ensure that the Faroese tax authority, TAKS, is informed of this from the country of residence as soon as possible.
Who should I contact, if I have questions?
You can find out more about parental leave in the Faroe Islands by contacting the Faroese parental leave scheme: Barsilsskipanin.
Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.
NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.