FAQ – parental leave if one parent works in Sweden and the other in Denmark

Last updated 2/1/2023
Frequent questions and answers about parental leave. What are the rules if one parent works in Denmark and the other in Sweden?
What are the rules if the birthmother works in Denmark and the father/co-mother works in Sweden?

The Danish parental leave is a total of 52 weeks.

The mother has the right to 4 weeks before the child's birth and 14 weeks after. The father/co-mother has the right to 2 weeks in connection with the child's birth. The parents distribute the remaining 32 weeks of parental leave between themselves.

The mother who is socially insured in Denmark is entitled to 50 weeks from Denmark if the father/co-mother is not on parental leave in Sweden during the parental leave period.

Certain workplaces have an agreement that for a certain number of weeks of the parental leave, your employer pays you a salary and in turn receives the maternity benefits, which you would otherwise receive from Udbetaling Danmark. At the end of the period with a salary, Udbetaling Danmark takes over paying maternity benefits.

The father/co-mother who is socially insured in Sweden has the sole right to 480 days, including the days taken in Denmark. If the working mother in Denmark has received compensation for 50 weeks, 350 days (50 x 7 days) will be deducted from the Swedish parental allowance, those which are based on just under 80% of the sick pay qualifying income. The father/co-mother then has 40 days left with sickness benefit level and 90 days with the minimum level of SEK 180/day.

What are the rules if the father/co-mother works in Denmark and the mother works in Sweden?

In this case, the mother is entitled to all 480 days with Swedish maternity benefits. As the father/co-mother is not covered by social insurance in Sweden, he/she is not entitled to “his/her” 240 days and instead receives Danish maternity benefits.

The father/co-mother working in Denmark may be entitled to a salary for a certain period of time during which the employer receives the maternity benefits from Udbetaling Danmark. As you are the only person covered by social insurance in Denmark, you are entitled to 16 weeks of parental leave with a salary or maternity benefits. 

There are, however, two important conditions for obtaining maternity benefits in Denmark as a father/co-mother:

  • You must have started working in Denmark at the latest during the 30th week after the birth of the child. If, for example, you only start working in Denmark 40 weeks after the birth of the child, you are only entitled to 6 weeks with maternity benefits, and if you start 46 weeks after the birth of the child, you are not entitled to any Danish maternity benefits.

  • You must comply with the “employment requirement”. This means that you must have been employed in the Danish labour market for at least 13 weeks, and during that period you must have worked for at least 120 hours. Time worked in Sweden may be taken into account if you have not managed to work for a total of 13 weeks in Denmark, but it is important to note that there must not be a gap of a single day between your Swedish and Danish employment (except for weekends).


If, on the other hand, the parent who works in Sweden is claiming parental benefits after one of the parents has taken parental leave in Denmark, the days taken in Denmark (e.g. 16 weeks x 7 days = 112 days) will be deducted from the days remaining in Sweden.

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