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

Last updated 5/6/2022
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?

Danish parental/maternity leave is a total of 50 weeks + 2 weeks for the father/co-mother in connection with the birth of the child. The birthmother is entitled to 4 weeks before the birth of the child and 14 weeks after. The parents can decide how they want to share the remaining 32 weeks of parental leave. If it is the mother who works in Denmark (and lives in Sweden), she is entitled to all 50 weeks from Denmark if the father/co-mother is not taking parental leave in Sweden during the relevant 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 parent who works in Sweden is entitled, singlehandedly, to 480 days less the number of days taken in Denmark. If the parent who works in Denmark has received compensation for 50 weeks, a total of 350 days (50 x 7 days) will be deducted, initially from the father/co-mother’s 390 days by just under 80% of the income, the so-called sickness benefit days. The father/co-mother then has 40 days left with just under 80% of the income and 90 days with SEK 180 per day. The parent who has taken leave in Denmark must obtain a certificate from Udbetaling Danmark showing how long Udbetaling Danmark paid compensation to you (or alternatively your employer).

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

In that 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.

A parent 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.

New rules with effect from 1 July 2018

Please note that new rules regarding entitlement to maternity benefits for the person taking parental leave came into effect on 1 July 2018: 

  • You must have been employed at the latest the day before or the first day of your parental leave.
  • You must have worked for at least 160 hours during the last four months before your leave.
  • You must have worked for at least 40 hours per month for at least three of the four months.

Udbetaling Danmark receives this information automatically from your employer.  


For more information contact Försäkringskassan at Øresunddirekt’s information centre in Malmoe

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