Living and working conditions
Leave (annual leave, parental leave etc)
The public holidays in Denmark are those that are recognised by the Church of Denmark. They are New Year’s Day (1 January), Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Day, Easter Monday, Great Prayer Day (the fourth Friday after Easter), Ascension Day, Whitsun, Whit Monday, Christmas Day (25 December) and Boxing Day (26 December).
Most agreements and contracts of employment give employees these days off, unless this is not allowed owing to the normal work schedule or a specific kind of work.
In addition to this, there are some unofficial holidays in Denmark that are also days off for many people. These include Constitution Day on 5 June and Christmas Eve (24 December). It is your workplace and any agreements in place that will determine whether you will have these days off.
As a salaried employee, you are entitled to five weeks’ paid leave from your employer, if you have worked for a whole calendar year before the year in which you are taking leave. The holiday leave that you have earned is paid either in the form of a salary during your holiday with a holiday supplement, or as holiday compensation.
If you have been employed for less than a whole calendar year, you will earn 2.08 days for every month of employment.
If you have not earned the right to five weeks’ paid holiday, you still have the right to take up to five weeks’ holiday, but it will not be paid for by your employer.
The holiday year runs from 1 May to 30 April.
Maternity leave and parental leave
All women are entitled to four weeks’ leave before giving birth and 14 weeks’ maternity leave thereafter. Men are entitled to two weeks’ paternity leave, which they can take during the first 14 weeks following the birth. Parents can receive a birth allowance for a total of 20 weeks.
After the first 14 weeks of maternity leave, both parents are entitled to take parental leave of up to 32 weeks. They are jointly entitled to an allowance for 32 weeks. The father can start his leave within the first 14 weeks following the birth. It is possible to extend this leave by eight weeks.
If this leave is extended, you can apply to your municipal authority for a reduction in the allowance during the leave period, since the maximum amount that can be paid out equates to an allowance for 32 weeks.
The same rules apply in the case of adoption.
Maternity leave offers an opportunity for flexibility. Flexible maternity leave is particularly flexible for parents who are working and want to save some leave until the child is older, or for those who want to split the leave or start working fewer hours. In most cases, this flexibility requires an agreement to have been entered into with the employer. There are different leave rules for parents in employment, self-employment and study.
You can contact the Citizen Service in your municipality if you have any doubts or questions about the rules concerning birth.
Text last edited on: 09/2015