Living and working conditions

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Denmark


Working conditions

Leave (annual leave, parental leave etc)

Public holidays
New Year’s Day (1 January), Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Common Prayer Day (the fourth Friday after Easter), Ascension Day, Whit Sunday, Whit Monday, Christmas Day (25 December), Boxing Day (26 December).
 
In addition to the official public holidays, many people also have other days off, e.g. Constitution Day on 5 June and Christmas Eve on 24 December. Your collective agreement determines whether you may or may not have these days off.
 
The question of whether or not employees are expected to work on such days is governed either by collective agreements or by an individual agreement between the employee and the employer.
 
Most collective agreements entitle employees to the religious holidays recognised by the Danish state church (Folkekirken) (see below), unless the normal operation of the enterprise or a specific type of work does not permit this.
 
Holiday
An employee is entitled to five weeks of paid holiday from their employer, provided that the employee has worked a whole calendar year in the year preceding the leave year, either in the form of pay during the holiday and holiday supplements or as holiday compensation.
Employees who have been employed for a shorter period are entitled to 2.08 days per month of employment.
If the employee has not earned the right to five weeks of paid holiday, the employee will still have the right to take up to five weeks of holiday, but this will not be paid by the employer. The holiday year is from 1 May to 30 April.
 
Maternity and parental leave
All women are entitled to four weeks’ leave before the birth of a child and 14 weeks’ maternity leave after the birth. Men are entitled to two weeks parental leave, which they must take within the first 14 weeks after the birth. During this total of 20 weeks the parents may receive maternity benefit.
After the first 14 weeks of maternity leave, each of the parents is entitled to parental leave of up to 32 weeks. Together they are entitled to benefits for 32 weeks. The father may start the leave within the first 14 weeks after the birth. It is possible to extend the leave by eight weeks.

Both parents are entitled to extend their parental leave.
If you extend your leave, you can apply to the municipality for your benefit to be reduced during the leave period because the maximum amount which can be paid is a sum corresponding to benefit for 32 weeks.
 
The same rules apply in the case of adoption.
The maternity leave system allows for flexibility. Flexible maternity leave is especially beneficial for working parents wanting to return to work after six or eight months’ leave, for example, and save the rest for when the child is a bit older, or for those who wish to share the leave or to reduce their working hours and thus extend the leave. In most cases, such flexibility requires an agreement with the employer. There are different rules on leave for parents who are in work, self-employed or studying.
 
You can also, for example, contact your municipality (Borgerservice, citizen services) if you are unsure or have questions about the maternity and parental leave rules.
 
There are also other types of leave, including:
Leave of absence for family reasons
If a close relative suffers an accident or becomes ill, you will, in some cases, be entitled to leave from your job. This does, however, require that ‘your immediate presence is an urgent necessity for serious family reasons’.
 
Leave of absence without pay
The rules for leave of absence depend on the type of job you have. As a general rule, the leave is unpaid.
 
Time off for civic duties
Civic duties are duties which you are ordered to perform by the authorities and which you are obliged to do, e.g. serving on a jury or as mayor.

Text last edited on: 08/2013

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