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Denmark Leave Laws & Holidays

Paid Time Off, Vacation, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Denmark

Last updated on January 1, 2024.

Vacation (Holiday) Leave Quota

25 days

Both part-time and full-time employees generally accrue 25 days (5 full weeks) of paid vacation leave per year. Employees have the option to choose whether they want a paid vacation or a vacation allowance.

The vacation leave policy in Denmark is more complicated than in most European countries, which have a fixed number of vacation days.


2.08 days per month

The Danish Holiday Act, which was implemented in 2020, brought significant changes to the leave policy. This act defines how many vacation days employees are entitled to. The concurrent holiday scheme is introduced, and it implies that employees accrue and use vacation days on an ongoing basis.

Employees earn 2.08 days per month during the accrual period, which is from September 1 to August 31. The accrual period (or a qualifying year) is a specific timeframe during which vacation benefits are accumulated. In other words, employees earn vacation benefits during 12 months of the accrual period, and then they have 16 months (until December 31 of the following year) to take their earned vacation days.

Employees can take their accrued vacation days at the earliest in the following month. For example, vacation accrued in April can be taken in May.

Part-time employees accrue vacation days at the same rate as full-time employees, but the duration of their leave is prorated according to the number of working days they have per week.

Carry Over

Up to December 31 of the year following accrual.

Employees are allowed to roll over unused days, but only until December 31 following the qualifying year (period) when vacation days are accrued.


Full or partial salary

Employees are entitled to receive their salary while on their 25 days of vacation. The vacation payment is distributed to employees through various funds, or it can be paid directly by the employer. Some companies pay employees their entire salary while on vacation, while others offer only partial compensation.

If you want to know all about the rules concerning holiday leave. Also, you can read more about how an employee can claim a holiday allowance online.

Payout of Unused Vacation Days at the Termination

The employer is obliged to pay for all accrued but unused days when an employee stops working permanently.

Sick Leave in Denmark

Unlimited paid sick leave

Employees in Denmark are entitled to their full salary during sick leave without a limited time period.

To be eligible for sick leave, an employee must have the following:

  • Continuously working for the same company for at least 2 months

  • Working at a minimum of 74 hours during this period


The sick leave benefits are calculated by an employee’s regular salary and job position.

The employer pays during the first 30 days of sick leave. The employer will continue to pay even after those 30 days, but they shall be compensated by the local authority municipality.

Maternity, Paternity, and Parental Leave

Maternity Leave in Denmark

14 weeks

Pregnant employees in Denmark are entitled to 14 weeks of partially paid maternity leave. Four weeks of this leave (prenatal) may be taken before the birth of the child, and then 10 weeks after the birth (postnatal). The first two weeks of postnatal leave are mandatory so a mother can spend more time with their newborn.

Basic maternity leave in Denmark is significantly shorter than maternity leave in the United Kingdom.


During maternity leave, new mothers receive at least 50% of their standard salary.

Maternity Leave Benefits

The Act concerning maternity leave benefits was amended for any child born after August 1, 2022. All mothers with a child born after August 2, 2022, can now have maternity leave benefits for 24 weeks. These benefits are government-funded and come as compensation for the shortage of earnings during maternity leave.

Paternity Leave in Denmark

2 weeks

Employees in Denmark are entitled to 2 weeks of partially paid paternity leave. This leave must be taken during the first 14 weeks after the birth of a child.


During paternity leave, fathers are paid at the same rate as mothers. They receive no less than 50% of their regular salary.

Parental Leave in Denmark

32 weeks

After maternity or paternity leave, either parent can take parental leave, which can last up to 32 weeks. The father and the mother can share this leave. An extended parental leave can last up to 46 weeks.

Bereavement Leave in Denmark

Not required by law.

Unlike the leave laws of most countries, for example, leave laws in France or any other country in Europe, Denmark does not have bereavement leave required by law.

Jury Duty Leave in Denmark

Jury duty leave is not specified by law.

Military Leave in Denmark

Required by law.

Workers from 18 to 30 years old may be selected through a lottery system for mandatory military service or civil service, although both men and women have the option to volunteer for this service. The usual duration of this service is 4 months. Military leave in Denmark is job-protected.

Voting Leave in Denmark

Voting leave is not specified by law.

Public Holidays in Denmark in 2024

10 official holidays (with 4 additional holidays)

There are 10 official, non-working holidays in Denmark. The Day of the Constitution, International Workers’ Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve are not official holidays, but many employers provide paid leave during them.

A complete list of official holidays celebrated in Denmark:
Date Holiday
January 1, Moday New Year’s Day
March 28, Thursday Maundy Thursday
March 29, Friday Good Friday
March 31, Sunday Easter
April 1, Monday Easter Monday
May 9, Thursday Ascension Day (40th day after Easter)
May 19, Sunday Whit Sunday (Pentecost)
May 20, Monday Whit Monday (7th Monday after Easter)
December 25, Wednesday Christmas Day
December 26, Thursday Boxing Day (Second Day of Christmas)
Additional non-official holidays:
Date Holiday
May 1, Wednesday Labor Day
June 5, Wednesday The Day of the Constitution
December 24, Tuesday Christmas Eve
December 31, Tuesday New Year’s Eve 2025


  1. Rights & Rules of Employees , https://finansforbundet.dk/en/rights-and-rules/

  2. Denmark - Sickness benefit, https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1107&intPageId=4489&langId=en

  3. Maternity, paternity, and parental leave in Denmark, https://lifeindenmark.borger.dk/working/work-rights/leave-of-absence/maternity-and-parental-leave

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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