Many expats move to Denmark with their spouses or partners, and sometimes it happens that they welcome their child into the world right after the big move. For some, who have lived here for a while now, it can be that they are expecting their first child and have never had to deal with the Danish system of parental leave.
However that may be, we would like to clarify as much as possible what is changing and what stays the same, as well as the rules for parental leave in general.
If your child is born on or after Tuesday 2nd of August 2022, you and your partner are subject to the new parental leave rules.
With the new rules, a total of 48 weeks of parental leave allowance will be equally distributed between the parents. For full-time employees, 11 of those weeks are designated for each parent. Concretely, this means that fathers will get nine more weeks of designated maternity leave than before. These weeks of parental leave allowance cannot be transferred to the other parent and will be lost if that person does not keep them. It is thus no longer possible to hand over virtually the entire parental leave to the mother, as it has been the case up until now.
It is important to note that these new rules apply mainly in the case of full-time employees. In case the father is self-employed the designated 9 weeks are added to the 13 weeks that can be shared. Therefore, the father has the right to take 22 weeks of parental leave which he can also completely transfer to the mother. When the father is self-employed, the 2 weeks designated after birth are still regulated and need to be taken before the child turns 1 year old.
If the mother is self-employed and the father is working full-time, the situation will be the same as with a self-employed father. The mother will be entitled to 22 weeks of parental leave allowance, while the father will be bound to take the 9 weeks which are designated for each parent, plus having the possibility of taking another 13 weeks or more, depending on how the mother will share her 22 weeks of shareable parental leave.
If both parents are self-employed, then the new rules will not have any effect on them. They will each have to take the designated 2 weeks in connection with the birth of the child, and afterward, they each have the right to 22 weeks of parental leave that they can share between themselves as they wish.
From the 1st of January 2024, LGBT+ families will also be able to share the parental leave and they will be given more options than they have now.