Trade unions and employers plan to boost parental leave

Man with baby

Denmark’s social partners have together proposed measures to extend workers’ rights to maternity and paternity leave, which have been agreed by the government.

The new provision goes further than the EU’s 2019 Leave Directive – due to be implemented by this summer - extending Denmark’s existing maximum 32 weeks of paid leave shared between the parents. From August, each parent will have the right to a total of 24 weeks.

This includes 11 weeks of “earmarked” leave per parent, to encourage fathers to take a role in childcare; eight weeks of transferable maternity and paternity leave for each parent to be used before the child’s first birthday; and five weeks of transferable parental leave available until the child’s ninth birthday. Mothers also have the right to four weeks of pregnancy leave before the birth. LGBT+ families will get new rights allowing them to share leave.

“It is a very positive day for Denmark now that parental leave will be divided evenly between parents. That will benefit mums, dads and especially children,” said Employment Minister Peter Hummelgaard .

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