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Leave in Denmark

Holiday Leave in Denmark

Denmark rolled out a new holiday act on September 1, 2020, changing the holiday year to run from September 1 to August 31. Employees are entitled to 5 weeks' paid leave (25 days), of which three can be used consecutively between May 1 and September 30. Employees earn 2.08 paid holidays for every month worked and can spend them in the same holiday year or no later than December 30 in the following year.

Regardless of how many paid vacation days someone has accrued, everyone has the right to take up to 5 weeks' holiday per holiday year.

Public holidays

Denmark Public Holiday Calendar 2022

1/1/2022SaturdayNew Year's Day
14/4/2022ThursdayMaundy Thursday
15/4/2022FridayGood Friday
18/4/2022MondayEaster Monday
13/5/2022FridayGeneral Prayer Day
26/5/2022ThursdayAscension Day
27/5/2022FridayBank Holiday
5/6/2022SundayPentecost Sunday
5/6/2022SundayConstitution Day*
6/6/2022MondayWhit Monday
24/12/2022SaturdayChristmas Eve**
25/12/2022SundayChristmas Day
26/12/2022MondaySecond Day of Christmas

*Observance. Government holiday, optional for the private sector.
**Not a public holiday, but most private companies understand it as a public holiday.

Holidays falling on the weekend do not transfer to the next working day.

Types of Leave in Denmark

Sick leave

Employees are entitled to full salary during sickness from the employer without limitations.

After 30 days of sickness, the employer can be reimbursed by the municipality, if the employee is entitled to sickness benefits. To be eligible, the employee must:

  • have been continuously employed by the employer for the last eight weeks
  • worked at least 74 hours in that time

Sickness benefits are calculated based on the employee's salary. The maximum amount of sickness benefits is currently (2022) DKK 4,465 a week or DKK 120.68 an hour.

Maternity leave

Women are entitled to 4 weeks' leave before giving birth, and 14 weeks' after (of which the first two weeks are mandatory). Mothers are entitled to 50% of their salary during that whole time.

Paternity leave

Men are entitled to 2 weeks' paternity leave, which they must take during the first 14 weeks following the birth or adoption. The father is entitled to maternity pay from the municipality during the paternity leave.

Adoption leave

Adoptive parents are entitled a 4-week leave before the child is put under their care. The leave can be extended with extra four weeks if there is a delay, which is not due to the adoptive parents' circumstances. After the receipt of the child, the parents are entitled to two weeks leave together with the child.

After that, the parents are entitled to 14 weeks leave in total, which they have to take one at a time.

Throughout the leave, the parents are entitled to maternity pay.

After the 14 weeks, the parents are entitled to parental leave (and pay) as described below.   

Parental leave

As long as both parents are working in Denmark, they are entitled to 32 weeks paid parental leave. It is possible to extend the leave by an additional eight or 14 weeks, however, the pay remains the same and will be spread to cover the extra weeks, decreasing the weekly amount. 

Employed parents have the right to postpone 8-13 weeks of the parental leave, which only one parent at a time can do. The postponed parental leave must be taken in one continuous period before the child turns nine years old.

Employed parents can also agree with their employer to postpone the entire parental leave, which again needs to be taken before the child turns nine years old.

Bereavement leave

There's no statutory bereavement leave. Any pay or leave is at the employer's discretion.

Force majeure leave

Employees are entitled to unpaid leave as a result of a relative's illness or accident.

Carer's leave

Employees have the right to time off to care for a close relative who is dying, is seriously ill or disabled. The government is responsible for carer's leave pay during such leave.

If employers have already paid the employee's salary for the month, they can be reimbursed by the government equivalent to the allowance.

This page was last updated on 
22 September, 2022,
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