Your rights during pregnancy and maternity leave depend on whether you are employed in the public sector, are a pharmacist or are employed in the private sector. Furthermore, your rights depend on whether you are covered by a collective agreement or not.
If you have any questions regarding your employment-rights during pregnancy and childbirth, please do not hesitate to contact Pharmadanmark´s Legal Department.
Right of absence
As a pregnant female employee, you are entitled to leave 4 weeks prior to the expected due date, also called “pregnancy leave”. Some employees are entitled to go on leave earlier than 4 weeks prior to the expected due date. This depends on whether your employment is covered by a collective agreement or not. Please contact us if you have any question in relation to the pregnancy leave.
When the child is born the “maternity leave” commences for the mother. It is mandatory to take at least 2 weeks of maternity leave, and you are entitled to hold a total of 14 weeks of maternity leave. After the end of the 14 weeks, you are entitled to “parental leave” for 32 weeks.
Please note, that the “parental leave” can be extended by 8 or 14 weeks. Thus, you can be entitled to be on parental leave for a total of 46 weeks. Please note that an extension can have an effect on the maternity benefits. Please contact us if you have any questions in relation to maternity- or parental leave.
Right of absence
As a female employee, you have at least the right to freedom for four weeks before the expected due date, this leave is called maternity leave. In some cases, you have the right to take leave at an earlier stage, but this depends on whether your employment is covered by a collective agreement or not.
Once you have given birth, your maternity leave begins. It is mandatory to take at least 2 weeks of maternity leave, and you have the right to take a total of 14 weeks of maternity leave. After the 14 weeks, you are entitled to parental leave for 32 weeks. However, there is a possibility that parental leave can be extended by 8 or 14 weeks, so that you can hold a total of up to 46 weeks of parental leave. Be aware, however, that an extension of parental leave will affect the right to unemployment benefits.
Father / co-mother
As a father or co-mother, you are entitled to “paternity leave” for 2 weeks within the first 14 weeks after childbirth.
In addition to the right to paternity leave, you are entitled to 32 weeks of “parental leave”. Please note, that the “parental leave” can be extended by 8 or 14 weeks. Thus, you can be entitled to be on parental leave for a total of 46 weeks. Parental leave can be planned to commence within the first 14 weeks after childbirth. However, it is not a requirement.
According to the act on leave in accordance with childbirth (the “Maternity leave act”), as a pregnant female employee, you must inform your employer of the expected due date no later than 3 months prior to this date.
If you, as a female employee, exercise your right to maternity leave and / or parental leave, you are obligated, within 8 weeks after the birth, to inform your employer of when you expect that your leave ends.
Father / co-mother
As a father or co-mother you are obligated to no later than 4 weeks before the expected start of paternity leave to inform your employer of the expected time of the commencement of your paternity leave and whether you intend to take 2 weeks as you are entitled to.
If you exercise your right to parental leave you are obligated, within 8 weeks after the birth, to inform your employer when you plan to be on parental leave.
It is different how much paid leave you can take as a parent, and it will always depend on your employment. Employments in the public sector are covered by collective agreements, this also appears to employments at the pharmacies. Further, many employments in the private sector are covered by better terms than the minimum according to the Salaried Employees Act. You should therefore always check the terms and conditions that apply to your employment before you start planning your maternity/paternity/parental leave.
However, as a pregnant female salaried employee you are at least entitled to receive half pay during your pregnancy leave and your maternity leave 4 weeks before the expected due date and 14 weeks after the birth.
As a father or co-mother, you have no statutory right to pay during paternity leave.
If you do not receive pay from your employer during your leave, you are entitled to maternity benefits. If, on the other hand, you receive full or partial salary from your employer, the employer will instead receive the maternity benefits as a refund for the salary payment. Salary from the employer often presupposes that you are entitled to full maternity benefits.
When a child is born, a total of 52 weeks' benefit is set aside. As a mother, you are entitled to benefits during pregnancy leave and maternity leave. As a father or co-mother, you are entitled to benefits for the 2 weeks you are on paternity leave. In addition, as parents you are entitled to 32 weeks maternity benefits for sharing.
If you wish to extend your leave, the maternity benefits can be distributed over the total 40 or 46 weeks instead of 32
Other things to pay attention to
Maternity leave is a so-called holiday obstacle. This means that you cannot take a legal holiday while you are on leave. Your holiday can be postponed to the next holiday period if you are unable to take a holiday after your leave.
If you become seriously ill during your leave, your partner will be able to step into your right to leave. However, common short-term illness will not affect the parent’s right to leave of absence.
You can get help to plan your maternity leave using the maternity calculator at borger.dk
As a member of Pharmadanmark, you are always welcome to contact us for further advice on maternity/paternity or parental leave.
If you become ill, it is important that you report sick as soon as possible and follow the procedure that applies to you when reporting sick. See what you need to be aware of when you report sick.
Contact Pharmadanmark’s Legal Department if you have questions about sick leave.
If you become ill - what are your obligations?
When you are unable to attend work due to illness, it is important that you report sick and follow the applicable procedure for reporting sick at your workplace.
The usual procedure will require, that you report sickness before office hours begin, for example by calling your nearest manager. You can only report sick via SMS or email if it is an agreed procedure at your workplace. You should therefore familiarize yourself with the procedure for reporting sick that must be followed at your workplace.
The procedure will typically be described in a staff/employee handbook or stated directly in your contract. A correct procedure is a prerequisite for receiving pay during illness. If you do not report sick in a timely manner - and in the correct way - you are at risk of being dismissed by your employer with immediate effect.
When you report sick, you are not obliged to inform your employer which health issues you are experiencing, but only give an estimate in relation to when you expect to return. You will also be required to inform your employer of upcoming deadlines and other matters that your employer should be aware of.
After this, it is important that you agree with your employer - depending on how long your absence will last - how you best communicate during the absence. It is a good idea to activate an autoreply on your email as soon as possible with further instructions for those who are trying to contact you during your illness.
As a person on sick leave, you may not work during your sick leave.
However, you are obliged to help your employer find the necessary information if it is needed in connection with solving specific tasks. It can be a good idea to agree that the initial inquiry is made by SMS to a private mobile, so that you, as a person on sick leave, do not have to keep an eye on your work email on an ongoing basis. You can then agree to speak by phone.
As a person on sick leave, you are obliged to respond if your employer contacts you.
Sick leave interview
As a person on sick leave, you are obliged to participate in your employer's follow-up - for example if you are called to a sick leave interview.
Your employer must hold a sick leave interview no later than four weeks from the first day of absence. The purpose of the sick leave interview is to find out when and how you can return to work. You are entitled to a 'reasonable notice' before the meeting takes place - without this being further defined. A few days will typically be a reasonable notice.
You are not required to attend if you, due to your sickness, are unable to do so. The interview can instead be settled over the phone. If you have somebody beside you during the interview listening-in on the conversation, you should state this at the beginning of the interview.
Typically, the following will be discussed during a sick leave interview:
- Possibility of gradual return to work
- Need for special care considerations
- Changed work tasks for a period of time
- Need of rest/breaks during the day
- Whether some of your work be done from home?
You will also be required to participate in the ongoing follow-up by your employer. This may, for example, be an information about expected absence after a consultation with your own doctor.
Participation in follow-up on sick leave from the public
After 30 days of sick leave (employer period), your municipality of residence will initiate a sickness benefit case.
This is due to the fact that during your continued absence, your employer may reimburse your sickness benefits in connection with the payment of salary to you.
When your employer applies for reimbursement, your municipality of residence will contact you, typically in e-Boks, to ask you to confirm the information your employer has provided to the municipality about your sick leave.
It is very important that you respond to inquiries from your municipality and check that the information provided is correct within the set deadline. Ittt is your responsibility to continue to open your mail and e-boks.
In the event of prolonged sick leave, you will typically be in an ongoing dialogue with your doctor. However, you must only submit medical certificates when your employer asks you to document your sick leave.
It is your employer who has to pay the doctor to write the various statements. Typically, after a period of illness, your employer will ask you to obtain a medical certificate / certificate of exemption. In that case, you must make an appointment for a consultation with your doctor.
It is a good idea to keep your employer informed about when you can get time for a consultation with the doctor, as it can sometimes take some time before you can get a doctor's appointment. You will typically have to pay for the certificate yourself in connection with the consultation. Afterwards you send the bill to your employer for you to be reimbursed.
If your absence due to illness continues, your employer may ask you to obtain a duration declaration (varighedserklæring), in which your doctor provides a medical assessment of the duration of your absence.
You might also be asked to obtain a statement of opportunity (mulighedserklæring). Here, together with your employer, you must describe which tasks you can carry out and which measures must be implemented in order for you to start working again.
Your doctor must subsequently relate to the specific measures that you have described. It could be reduced time for a period, a concrete escalation plan or the purchase of assistive devices etc.
It is your responsibility, as an employee, that the various types of statements reach your employer. You should therefore ask for confirmation that the employer has received the statements.
What can you do when you are on sick leave?
When you are on sick leave, you are not obliged to lie in your bed all the time. You are also not obliged to stay in your own home during the sick leave. It is okay to, for example, go to a cottage house, grocery shopping or to a fitness center if said activities do not worsen your condition.
You need to be very careful that you do not do anything that worsens your condition. For example, if you are on sick leave with a bad back, do not move heavy objects as this may aggravate your situation. However, in many situations, for example when on sick leave due to stress, exercise can be beneficial and promote recovery. As mentioned, it is okay to shop for groceries and pick up and bring children, but do not leave the country without prior legal advice.
In the event of long-term illness, you should be aware of whether a special agreement on termination has been entered into in connection with your employment or in a supplement to your contract in the event of long-term sick leave.
The 120-day rule means that you can be terminated with one month's notice (current month plus one month) if you have received pay during illness for 120 days within the last 12 months.
The rule can only be applied after the end of the 120th day and termination must take place while the employee is still ill. There are some very special rules for counting the 120 days.
Therefore, we recommend that you contact Pharmadanmark's Legal Department for help in counting your sick leave in the event of prolonged sickness.
Holidays and sick leave
Illness prevents you from using your holiday allowance. In some situations, you may have a desire to take an actual vacation by, for example, going abroad on vacation with your family.
However, this presupposes that your doctor agrees that you will not worsen your recovery during this travel activity. You also need to be 'technically recovered' (teknisk raskmeldt ) in your municipality of residence. You must therefore contact your doctor, your municipality and your employer if you want to take a holiday during your sick leave.
Read more about holiday rules
In many collective agreements and in most of the private sector, it is normal to have the right to paid leave on a child's first day of illness. Freedom is granted in case of acute illness when it is not possible to find other care for the child. The freedom is thus not given when, for example you participate in planned consultations or examinations of your child at the hospital. Here you must take time off or use your holidays or otherwise come to an agreement with your employer.