Rights in connection with pregnancy, birth and adoption
Employees and self-employed persons are entitled to several rights and benefits in connection with pregnancy, birth, adoption and childcare.
Rules on leave
The right to leave in case of pregnancy, birth, adoption and care for young children follows from the Working Environment Act, while the rules on benefits linked to this are found in the National Insurance Act.
Pregnant employees are entitled to paid time-off in connection with pregnancy check-ups.
Healthy, pregnant women who are unable to work during their pregnancy because of a possible risk of harm to the unborn child are entitled to pregnancy benefit. It is a requirement that alternative or adjusted tasks are not available and /or possible.
Leave in connection with birth
In connection with the birth of a child, the father, co-mother or other person who assists the mother during the pregnancy is entitled to two weeks' leave. Whether or not the leave is paid will depend on the agreements that apply.
Employees who do not receive salary these two weeks, can choose to take out parental benefits. These two weeks (10 days, since parental benefits are provided Monday-Friday) will be deducted from the total period of parental benefits.
Who is entitled to parental benefit?
Employees can receive parental benefit if they have been working for at least six of the past ten months before the parental benefit period commences. Self-employed persons are also entitled to parental benefit.
Calculating parental benefit
For employees, parental benefit is generally calculated based on a stipulated monthly income based on the average income reported through the A-melding for the three months preceding the commencement of the leave. If you are self-employed, the parental benefit will generally be calculated on the basis of your average pensionable income during the past three years for which you have received a tax assessment. NAV will not cover parental benefit for yearly income in excess of six times the National Insurance basic amount (6G). Some employers cover the exceeding amount for those earning more than 6G. This is not mandatory but can be agreed upon between the employer and employee.
The parental benefit period
The total period during which parental benefit is paid in connection with birth is 49 weeks with 100 percent coverage or 59 weeks with 80 percent coverage. The corresponding periods for adoption are 46 (100 percent coverage) and 56 (80 percent coverage) weeks. Parental benefit in connection with adoption commences when the parents become responsible for caring for the child. For twin births or adoption of two children at the same time, the parents are given either 17 additional weeks with 100 percent coverage or 21 additional weeks with 80 percent coverage. In connection with birth or adoption of three or more children, the parents are given either 46 additional weeks with 100 percent coverage or 56 additional weeks with 80 percent coverage. In case of premature birth before pregnancy week 33 the benefit period is extended with the number of days from giving birth up to and including the term date.
When you can take parental leave
The mother is entitled to start her leave within twelve weeks before the due date. The parental benefit period in connection with birth must commence no later than three weeks before the due date.
Distribution of the parental benefit period
The parental benefit period consists of a maternal quota of 15 weeks (the first six weeks must be taken immediately following the birth), a paternal quota of 15 weeks, a period of three weeks before the due date for the mother and a joint period of 16 weeks (a total of 49 weeks).
If you have chosen 80 percent cover (lower rate), the parental benefit period consists of a maternal quota of 19 weeks (the first six weeks must be taken immediately following the birth), a paternal quota of 19 weeks, a period of three weeks before the due date for the mother and a joint period of 18 weeks (a total of 59 weeks). If the birth takes place after the due date, the period from the due date through to the birth is deducted from the joint period. The rest of the joint period can be allocated freely.
The father can choose to take out up to 10 days of parental benefit (two weeks) in connection with the birth.
If only the father or co-mother is entitled to parental leave benefits
If only the father or co-mother is entitled to parental leave, he or she receives the full parental benefit period, except the total of nine weeks reserved for the mother before and after giving birth. This applies to both birth and adoption. The father or co-mother can commence the benefit period as of week seven after the birth In the event of adoption, the parental benefit period commences with the takeover of care.
If the father or co-mother postpones taking out the parental period, he/she will have fewer weeks covered by NAV. In order for the father or co-mother to be entitled to parental benefits in these situations, the mother must either be in work, in approved full-time education, have confirmation from a doctor that she is completely dependent on help in order to care for the child or participating in an introductory programme or qualification programme. Regardless, the father/co-mother are entitled to benefits for a period of 8 weeks with no requirement that the mother is involved in a relevant activity.
Parental leave can be deferred or taken as partial leave. You cannot receive parental benefit more than three years after the birth or the takeover of care in the case of adoption.
Each parent is entitled to additional leave of up to twelve months. There is no entitlement to parental benefit when taking additional leave.
Notification of employer
Employees are obliged to notify their employer (not apply) for parental leave as soon as possible. In the case of longer periods of leave, several weeks' notice must be given. The need to take such leave must be documented if necessary.
Applying for parental benefit/refunds of parental benefit
Self-employed persons must apply to NAV for parental benefit. Employers can apply for refunds from the National Insurance scheme if they pay the employee full salary during the period of leave. In order to apply for refunds, the employer must give notice of this through the income report. The employee must submit a separate application for parental leave regardless of whether or not the employer pays parental benefit directly to the employee.