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Parental rules for employers - get an overview here

Parental rules

When your employees have to go on parental leave, they have a number of rights due to §1 of the Parental Act, which ensures parents have the right to absence in connection with pregnancy, birth and adoption. In addition, the Parental Act also clarifies, due to §2, that parents who are connected to the labour market are entitled to parental allowance.

However, employees also have obligations towards their workplace. It is, for example, a requirement due §15 of the Parental Act that female employees must notify you of their pregnancy and the expected time of birth no later than 3 months before the birth. In addition, they must inform you about when they want to start their leave before the birth.

In this article, we will therefore make you more knowledgeable about the following topics regarding parental situations:

  • What should you do when an employee goes on parental leave?
  • Are your employees entitled to pay during parental leave?
  • Can parental leave be extended?
  • What happens if an employee falls ill during parental leave?

What should be done when an employee goes on parental leave?

When an employee goes on parental leave – and this applies to both mother and father or co-mother or co-father– you must report the leave. You can report leave on the employee's first day of leave at the earliest. If your workplace pays salary to the employee during the leave, you must report when the salary ends.

It is worth mentioning that you can apply for a refund if you pay wages to the employee during the leave. It does, however, require that the employee fulfils the conditions due to Parental Act §27, which outlines which employment requirements the person must meet. If your company does not pay wages to the employee, the employee can apply for parental pay.

If your workplace wants to apply for a refund, you must submit a request via Nemrefusion to Udbetaling Danmark no later than 8 weeks after the employee's leave period has ended. In the event that you have not paid salary during the total leave period, you must submit the request no later than 8 weeks after the end of the salary, even if your employee continues their leave with parental pay after the end of the salary.

In addition, it can also be a good idea to publish a job advertisement that offers a temporary parental leave while your employee is on parental leave, especially if it is a position where it is difficult to do without the employee's labour.

Finally, it is also worth noting that new rules apply in the parental area for parents of children born after 2 August 2022. An example of this is that all Danish fathers have the right to spend 11 weeks earmarked parental leave with their child.

Are employees entitled to pay during parental leave?

Your employees are entitled to pay during parental leave if this is stated in their collective agreement or employment contract. If the employee is not entitled to pay during parental leave, the employee may, on the other hand, be entitled to parental pay.

In this connection, it is important that you still report leave, otherwise your employee cannot apply for parental pay. You can report leave from the first day of absence, which is often 4 weeks before the expected term.

Can parental leave be extended?

Your employee can extend the leave by either 8 or 14 weeks without them having to agree with you as an employer. The employees who choose to extend the leave can still be paid parental pay equivalent to 32 weeks.

In addition, it should be noted that your employees lose their right to postpone the leave if they extend it.

parental rules for employers

What does the Danish Salary Act say regarding parental leave?

The Danish Salary Act defines a number of provisions regarding the right to pay during leave. However, the provisions only apply to the mother. Here, theDanish Salary Act clarifies that the mother is entitled to half pay from a minimum of four weeks before the expected birth to 14 weeks after the birth.

If your employee gives birth before the due date, the leave with pay will be shortened. On the other hand, the leave with pay is extended if the child is born after the due date.

We have prepared an article about the Danish Salary Act and what it means to be a civil servant. You can read this article here.

What happens if an employee falls ill during parental leave?

As a rule, your employee's parental leave will not be interrupted if the person falls ill. In the event that the mother becomes ill, and thus is unable to take care of the child, the right to daily allowance during leave within the first 10 weeks after the birth can be transferred to the father or co-mother. However, this should not affect the workplace.

Finally, we would like to emphasise that this article is indicative and it is recommended at all times to contact legal assistance if you want advice on how to handle employee parental leave.

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