How does parental leave in Denmark, Sweden & Finland work?

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Parental Leave in Denmark, Sweden & Finland: A comparison

Denmark, Sweden, and Finland have gained recognition for their comprehensive parental leave policies, demonstrating a commitment to supporting working parents. In this article we outline the parental leave provisions in these countries, highlighting the key differences between them.

Parental Leave in Denmark

Denmark offers an extensive parental leave system, allowing parents to take up to 52 weeks off work. Among these weeks, 18 are designated for the mother, while the remaining 32 weeks can be shared between both parents. During this period, parents receive partial pay based on their previous earnings, providing financial support while caring for their child.

Parental Leave in Sweden

Sweden is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in parental leave policies. The country provides a total of 480 days of leave, with 240 days exclusively reserved for each parent.

Additionally, there are 90 extra days that can be shared between parents. Sweden also offers a high percentage of salary replacement during parental leave, ensuring that parents can maintain a stable income while dedicating time to their child’s well-being.

Parental Leave in Finland

Finland offers a flexible parental leave system, granting a total of 320 working days. Parents can divide the leave between themselves or have one parent take the entire duration. During parental leave, a portion of the parent’s earnings is replaced, providing financial support during this significant period.

Differences in Parental Leave between Denmark, Sweden & Finland

  • Duration: Sweden provides the longest parental leave period, offering up to 480 days, followed by Denmark with 52 weeks and Finland with approximately 45 weeks.

  • Allocation: Denmark and Finland allow for shared leave between parents, while Sweden designates specific allocations for each parent, emphasizing the importance of both parents’ involvement in childcare.

  • Salary Replacement: Sweden stands out by offering a higher percentage of salary replacement during parental leave compared to Denmark and Finland, ensuring greater financial stability for parents.


Denmark, Sweden, and Finland have implemented robust parental leave policies that prioritize the well-being of working parents and the healthy development of their children. While each country has its distinct approach, they all share the common goal of providing substantial leave periods and financial support during this critical time.

Whether it is the extensive 52-week leave in Denmark, the balanced 480-day allocation in Sweden, or the flexible system in Finland, these countries demonstrate a dedication to supporting families and fostering strong bonds between parents and their children.

Still in doubt? Contact GTS Nordic today and let us guide you on your next assignment.

Experience the Nordics

Relocating to another country is a daunting task. But your local assignment should not be about paperwork, complicated processes and tedious legislation. It should be about experiencing everything Denmark, Sweden or Finland has to offer. With GTS Nordic as your local partner, relocation becomes a smooth and hassle-free process.