Parents are entitled to paid leave when they have a child, adopt a child or permanently foster a child. Parents receive either leave payments or birth grants from the Maternity and Paternity Leave Fund. The amount paid depends on their status on the labour market. It is also possible to take parental leave, unpaid leave which parents can take until their child reaches the age of eight.

  • You can obtain guidance and forms at service offices of the Directorate of Labour throughout Iceland.
  • Applications for maternity/paternity leave must be submitted at least six weeks before the expected date of birth and applications for birth grants at least three weeks before.
  • The employer must be notified of maternity/paternity leave at least eight weeks before the expected date of birth.

Pregnant women and employees on maternity/paternity leave and/or parental leave may not be dismissed from their job unless there are valid and justified reasons to do so.

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