Paternity Leave in Denmark

In Denmark more fathers than before has 3 to 12 months of paternity leave. In a new survey approx. 2,000 fathers have been asked about their experience and challenges related to paternity leave. A paternity leave that facilitates equal opportunities for men and women in society and a new work-life balance.  

Paternity leave might today be one of the best investments we can make in the global society. It creates love and care for children by fathers and mothers increasing the mental health and well being of children thoughout their lives. It facilitates shared parenting, equal opportunities and a free choice for men and women in a work-life balance.

In a new Danish survey approx. 2.000 fathers with an almost equal distribution of fathers with less than a month and more than a month paternity leave, has been asked about there experiences.

The fathers has answered a number of questions about the paternity leave period, whether the entire paternity leave was officially registered, how the family financed the paternity leave, as well as what the best and greatest challenge was of the paternity leave. The fathers was also asked whether they would like more paternity leave.

This is some of the key answers from the fathers:  

• 45% of the fathers had paid paternity leave in there work agreement
• 42% of the fathers had paid paternity leave with public allowance
• 20% of the fathers stated the full leave period was not registered or paid
• Desire, rights and family economy are the cause of the paternity leave period
• The best about the paternity leave is the love and relation between father and child
• The shortcoming is legal rights, financing and information in prioritized order
• 45% stated they were not aware that the leave can be held until the child is 9 years old
• More than 70% of the fathers in the survey stated they would like a longer period
• An extension or earmarked paternity leave model is preferred by the respondents in the survey
• More than 70% state they both parents do not receive the same public information about the child although they are entitled to be law
• Nearly 50% state there is a lack of children and father groups The survey was done throughout Denmark by the Danish Fathers Association using advertising as well as fathers paternity and parenting groups among fathers with children under the age of 10 in all family forms.

Read more: Download the survey

The survey cannot be regarded as representative for all fathers in Denmark, but it seems that the fathers that has answered the survey has a very clear understanding and experience related to paternity leave.

We believe it is important to just listen to the fathers, as we have done in the survey, because this can be the first sign of some of the benefits and challenges related to paternity leave in most countries in the future.

For further information about the survey that is exploratory, please contact  

The Danish Fathers Association was founded in 1977, as one of the first children and father organisations in the world. The Association provides knowledge and experiences about shared parenting and fathers involvement on a practical level for media, researchers and government institutions in Denmark.