Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Denmark - Maternity benefit

Here you can get information on who is entitled to maternity/paternity benefit, how much can be paid, and how to apply for maternity/paternity benefit.

In what situation can I claim?

As a parent you can claim maternity benefit for pregnancy, childbirth and adoption if you have had a connection to the labour market. This means that you are either a salary earner, self-employed or unemployed and are a member of an unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse).

You are entitled to receive maternity benefit, which is a basic benefit paid by the State, when you leave work for maternity leave. However, certain conditions must be met. In addition, you are entitled to full or partial pay during maternity leave, if this is stated in your contract of employment or is agreed in some other way with your employer.

If you are in doubt, contact your employer or unemployment insurance fund.

What conditions do I need to meet?

To receive maternity benefit, you must fulfil the following conditions on employment:

  • As a salary earner you must have been in employment the day before or on the first day of the maternity leave. Furthermore, you must have been employed for at least 160 hours within the last 4 completed calendar months prior to maternity leave, and 40 hours each month in at least 3 of these months. Read more about maternity leave for prospective parents;
  • As a self-employed person you must have worked for the last month and for at least 6 months within the last year before going on maternity leave. You must have worked for at least half (18.5 hours) of the ordinary contractual weekly hours (37 hours) for at least 6 months during the past 12 months. Please note that you can count work as a salary earner if you have been working as a self-employed for less than 6 months. Read more about maternity leave for self-employed persons;
  • As an unemployed person who receives unemployment benefit from the unemployment insurance fund (a-kasse), you can also receive maternity benefit. Please note that you cannot receive maternity benefit if you are on social assistance (kontanthjælp), but you can continue to be paid social assistance during your maternity leave. Read more about maternity rules for unemployed persons;
  • It may be possible for you to receive maternity benefit as a student with a job or recent graduate on maternity leave. Read more about maternity rules for students;
  • Note that there are individual variations in the rules for maternity benefit and maternity leave in the case of adoption. Read more about maternity rules for adopters.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

How long are you entitled to maternity benefit?

As parents you have a combined entitlement to maternity/paternity benefit for 52 weeks. For the first few weeks there is a fixed distribution between the mother and father in the case of childbirth, but you will yourself or yourselves have the option to arrange the last 32 weeks of leave. In the case of adoption you can arrange most of your leave yourself or yourselves. Note, however, that the leave has to be taken before your child reaches the age of 9 years.

Entitlement to benefit in the case of childbirth

Mother

Father

4 weeks before expected birth

Pregnancy leave

-

2 weeks after birth (must be taken within the first 14 weeks after the birth)

-

Paternity leave

14 weeks after birth

Maternity leave

-

32 weeks shared between mother and father

(Parental leave)

(Parental leave)

Entitlement to benefit in the case of adoption

Mother

Father

4 weeks before you expect to receive the child (in special cases up 8 weeks) if your child is adopted abroad

1 week before you expect to receive the child (in special cases up to 2 weeks) if your child is adopted in Denmark

Maternity leave

Maternity leave

2 weeks after you receive the child, for one of the parents in the first 14 weeks

(Maternity leave)

(Paternity leave)

14 weeks after you receive the child, for one of the parents

(Maternity leave)

(Paternity leave)

32 weeks shared between mother and father

(Parental leave)

(Parental leave)

Please note that you are both entitled to take 32 weeks of parental leave (a total of 64 weeks), but that you are only entitled to benefit for 32 of these weeks.

How much can you be paid in maternity benefit?

The amount you can receive in maternity benefit depends on your situation. However, you can receive a maximum of DKK 4,405 per week before tax (2020).

As wage/salary earner: the amount depends on whether you receive full pay during the whole or part of your maternity leave. You can read this in your contract of employment or ask for information from your trade union. If you receive a salary during the leave, your employer will be paid your maternity benefit as reimbursement. When/if salary payment stops, you will receive money from Udbetaling Danmark by application.

Read more about how maternity benefit is calculated:

  • As a self-employed person: the amount is calculated on the basis of the profit in your business, any income transferred to a co-working spouse, and your own sickness and maternity benefits. Read more about how maternity benefit as a self-employed person is calculated.
  • As an unemployed person and member of an unemployment insurance fund: you are entitled to the same amount as you receive in unemployment benefit.
  • Please note that it may be possible for you to receive maternity benefit as a student with a job or recent graduate on maternity leave. Get more information about your rights as a recently graduated student or student with a job.
  • You can also read about child benefits in the event of multiple births if you are expecting more than one child.

It is Udbetaling Danmark that pays your maternity benefit.

You can appeal against a decision on maternity benefit within 4 weeks after receiving the decision.

Jargon busters

  • A-kasse is an abbreviation of arbejdsløshedskasse (unemployment insurance fund). If you pay a fixed amount to an unemployment insurance fund every month you are insured in the event of unemployment. This means that you can be paid money if you become unemployed and otherwise fulfil the conditions for entitlement to unemployment benefit;
  • Unemployment benefit: Paid to unemployed persons who are members of an unemployment insurance fund and at the same time are unemployed, and who are available to the labour market. Read more about unemployment benefits;
  • Job centre: Here unemployed persons can obtain assistance in finding a job, and the case offices and employment advisers at the job centre can help businesses find new staff. See which job centre you belong to.

Forms you may need to fill in

Self-service at borger.dk: obtain an overview of and search on maternity benefit.

Know your rights

At the links below you can get information about your legal rights. They do not refer to European Commission websites and therefore do not represent the views of the Commission:

European Commission publications and website:

Who do you need to contact?

Udbetaling Danmark
Kongens Vænge 8
3400 Hillerød
DENMARK

Tel. +45 70 11 12 13
E-mail: udbetalingdanmark@atp.dk

Beskæftigelsesministeriet (Ministry of Employment)

Holmens Kanal 20
1060 København K
DENMARK
Tel. +45 72205000
Fax +45 33121378
E-mail: bm@bm.dk

See relevant information at borger.dk about maternity leave and benefits. You can also obtain assistance with self-service at borger.dk by phoning 1881 or +45 70101881.

If it is not possible for you to use the online self-service facility you can obtain assistance from the local authority's Citizen Service. Find the contact details for the Citizen Service here.

Find your job centre.

See list of unemployment funds.

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