Childcare leave

Following a period of parental leave, parents are entitled to take childcare leave and still keep their job. An employee is entitled to two full-time periods of childcare leave to look after a child under the age of three. 

The entitlement to childcare leave of the parent of an adopted child continues for at least two years following adoption, but not beyond the time when the child starts school. The minimum period for childcare leave is a month.

An employer and employee may, however, agree on a period of childcare leave lasting more than two months or less than a month. Childcare leave may only be taken by one of the parents or guardians of a child at a time. One of the parents may nevertheless take one period of childcare leave at the same time as the other is taking maternity or parental leave.

Partial childcare leave may be taken up until the end of the second school year (July), or, if the child has to start school one year earlier than normal, until the end of the third school year. For parents of children who are disabled or chronically ill and who are in need of special care and treatment, entitlement continues until the child is 18 years old.

An employee is entitled to a period of time off lasting a maximum of four working days to look after a child under the age of 10 residing in the same household who has suddenly become ill (temporary childcare leave). A child’s ’absent’ parent has the same entitlement.

An employee is also entitled to take time off from work for a short period of time if his or her immediate presence is necessary for any unforeseen and compelling family reason owing to illness or accident (absence for a compelling family reason).

If it is necessary for an employee to be absent so that he/she may provide special care for his or her family member or someone else close to him or her, the employer must try to arrange the work so that the employee may be absent from work for a fixed period. No maximum or minimum period is set.

Return to work in the middle of the above agreed leave must be agreed on between the employer and the employee. If agreement cannot be reached, the employee may discontinue his/her leave for a justifiable reason by informing the employer of his/her return no later than one month before the date of return to work. On request, the employee must present the employer with proof of the grounds for absence and for its discontinuation.