Maternity/paternity leave and parental leave

The parents of a child are entitled to paid leave at childbirth, when adopting a child and when becoming a permanent foster parent. They receive holiday allowance or childbirth allowance, depending on their situation in the labour market

Applications

  • Payments during maternity/paternity leave must be applied for at the Maternity/paternity Leave Fund at the Directorate of Labour.
  • Applications for maternity/paternity leave must be submitted no later than six weeks before the anticipated birth of the child.
  • Applications for maternity/paternity allowance must be submitted no later than three weeks before the anticipated birth of the child.
  • The employer must be notified of the schedule for maternity/paternity leave no later than eight weeks before the anticipated birth of the child.
  • If there is a dispute concerning maternity/paternity leave and parental leave (for instance, between the employer and the employee, or because of the processing by the Directorate of Labour), a complaint can be sent to the Maternity/Paternity and Parental Leave Appeal Committee.

Length of holiday or leave

  • Both parents have the independent and non-transferable right to receive payments during maternity/paternity leave for three months. This means that neither parent can have his/her rights transferred to the other. In addition, parents are entitled to a joint right of three additional months; this may be taken by one parent or divided between them.
  • Under special circumstances, the maternity/paternity leave and allowance entitlements may be transferred from one parent to the other, because of death or disease, or because one of the parents is serving a prison sentence.
  • Students and other parents outside the labour market or working less than 0.25 FTE (full-time equivalent) are both, provided certain conditions are met, entitled to receive childbirth allowance for up to three months. In addition to this, there is a three-month joint entitlement, which they can divide between themselves or which one of the parents can use in full.
  • There is flexibility with respect to maternity/paternity leave, although if you wish to divide it into several periods or spread it over a longer period in combination with reduced working hours, you should consult with your employer. Those who receive maternity/paternity allowance must, however, take uninterrupted holiday leave.
  • Maternity/paternity leave and allowance entitlements are cancelled when the child is 18 months old.
  • Maternity/paternity leave and allowance entitlements for foster parents and adoptive parents are cancelled 18 months after the child is brought home.

Payments

  • It is expected that those who accept payments from the Maternity/Paternity Leave Fund will not be engaged in work for the duration of the payments.
  • Payments amount to 80% of the average of the parent's total wages during a specific period before the birth of the child. The payments can, however, never go below or above certain limits, which are determined from time to time.
  • Parents who are members of the trade union of public employees may be entitled to a contribution from the family and support fund of their union, if the payments from the maternity/paternity leave fund are lower than they would have been according to older rules.

  • If allocations from the family and support fund take place, the payer needs to notify the fund with respect to the employee's terms of employment on a special form.

Parental leave

  • Parental leave is unpaid leave from work, which either parent may take for up to 13 weeks in order to care for the child. This entitlement is attached to each child up to 8 years of age.
  • Parental leave may be taken in one session, it may be divided up into shorter periods, or it may be taken with a reduced FT/PT ratio.
  • Parental leave is not accompanied by payments from the Maternity/Paternity Leave Fund.
  • Parents cannot transfer the right to parental leave to each other.
  • The employer must be notified of the schedule for taking maternity/paternity leave no later than six weeks before the first day of leave.

Professional qualifications

  • An expecting mother or employees taking maternity/paternity leave and parental leave may not be laid off from their job, unless there are valid and well founded reasons for doing so.

Maternity/paternity leave

  • During maternity/paternity leave the parents accrue work-related rights and leave-taking entitlements. Government employees also accrue holiday-allowance rights for their summer holidays, which employees on the labour market do not.

Parental leave

  • Parents taking parental leave do not accrue summer-holiday entitlements or earn other work-related entitlements during their leave, but they keep the entitlements they have already earned.

Links of interest

Laws and regulations