Arrangement of parental leave 

It is important that employees inform their employers in a timely manner about their parental leave, and the parties decide its arrangement since parental leave is a right to a leave of absence from paid employment. 

Organizing parental leave

  • Parents shall have the right to take the entire parental leave in one period. 
  • By agreement with their employer, the employee is though permitted to arrange the parental leave differently, for instance by dividing the leave into periods and/or taking it alongside reduced employment ratio. 
  • The employer shall endeavor to meet the employee's wishes regarding parental leave arrangements. 
  • An employer is not permitted, unless given a special permit from an employer, to take a leave for a longer period than 4 months within each 12 month period. 

Postponement or other changes in the arrangement of parental leave

  • If employers cannot accept the employees’ proposed arrangement of parental leave, they shall, after reaching an agreement on other arrangements, notify of them within one week from the receipt date of the notification. This shall be done in writing, reasons given, and if the leave will be postponed it should be stated for how long it will be postponed. 
  • Postponement is only permitted if it is necessary due to special circumstances within the company/institute’s operations. This can be the case regarding seasonal jobs, if a skilled substitute cannot be found, if a great number of employees apply for parental leave at the same time or the relevant employee plays a crucial role on a company’s or institute’s board of directors. 
  • An employer is never permitted to postpone a parental leave for longer than six months from the time the parental leave should have started according to the wishes of employees, unless it is done with their approval. 
  • It is not permitted to postpone parental leave which is taken immediately after maternity/paternity leave or if a child becomes so ill that a parent needs to be present. Postponement is also not permitted if the employer has agreed to the leave, or if the week-long deadline has passed without a response from the employer. 
  • If the employer decides to postpone the parental leave and consequently the employee is not able to complete the parental leave before the child reaches eight years of age, it is permitted to prolong the time for taking parental leave to the day the child reaches 9 years of age. 

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