The purpose of parental benefits is to ensure income for parents in connection with the birth of a child. The law was changed on 1 July 2009 and on 1 July 2011.The length of the benefit period depends on the date of birth.
You can receive parental benefits if you have been occupationally active and have had a pensionable income for at least six of the last ten months before the benefit period commences. Your annual income must be at least half of the national insurance basic amount. Equivalent to work are also periods during which you have received:
Other circumstances may also be regarded as equivalent to working, including:
If you are employed, parental benefits are usually calculated on the basis of your income at the time your leave starts. However, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) assess each case individually.
Employees are also entitled to holiday pay based on the parental benefits. Parents may together receive holiday pay for the first 12 weeks if they choose to receive 100 percent parental benefits. If only the mother takes leave for the first 12 weeks, only she will receive holiday pay. If you have opted to receive 80 percent of your parental benefits (over a longer period of leave), you will receive holiday pay for the first 15 weeks.
If only one parent is employed, this parent will receive all the holiday pay.
If you are self-employed or freelance, parental benefits are calculated on the basis of the mean of your pensionable income for the last three years. However, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) assess each case individually.
Use our Parental benefits guide to calculate the benefits you will receive.
You will not receive benefits for the part of your income that exceeds six times the National Insurance basic amount .
It is up to you to decide whether you want to receive 100 percent of your benefits for a shorter period or 80 percent of your benefits for a longer period. Your choice will apply to the whole period and to both parents. One week is five benefit days; benefits are not paid for Saturdays and Sundays.
If the date of birth was 1 July 2011 or later, you can receive 100 percent of your parental benefits for a period of 47 weeks or 80 percent of your parental benefits for a period of 57 weeks.
If the date of birth is 1 July 2011 or later, the father may receive parental benefits for 12 weeks in cases where the mother receives disability benefits.
Please note that the overall amount you will receive for your entire period of parental leave will be slightly lower if you choose to receive 80 percent of your benefits over a longer period than if you choose to receive 100 percent parental benefits.
The benefit period may be postponed:
If the father wishes to postpone the paternal quota, he must apply for this by the last day of the joint benefit period.
Parental benefits are not paid after the child has reached the age of 3.
You can choose to receive graduated parental benefits (graderte foreldrepenger) that let you combine partial parental benefits and part-time work. The period during which you receive parental benefits is then extended as you receive less benefit per day over a longer period of time. The total amount of benefits you receive will be the same as if you had not chosen to receive graduated parental benefits.
The last three weeks before the due date and the first six weeks after the child is born are reserved for the mother. 12 weeks are reserved for the father if the date of birth is 1 July 2011 or later (paternal quota). The remaining benefit weeks can be shared between the parents (the joint period). Read more about the benefit period for parental benefits under "Relatert informasjon" ("Related information") in the menu on the right.
If the father is going to receive parental benefits beyond the paternal quota, please note that special rules apply that set requirements for the mother. Read more about parental benefits for the father in connection with birth and adoption in the menu on the right.
If you have another child before the benefit period for the first child has been used, you lose the right to receive benefits for any remaining weeks for the first child. However, you are entitled to a full period of parental benefits for the second child. The new benefit period starts three weeks before the due date.
You must submit a written application for parental benefits. This applies even if you receive full pay from your employer during the benefit period. You apply using the form "Søknad om foreldrepenger eller fedrekvote ved fødsel” ("Application for parental benefits or a paternal quota for a birth"); form NAV 14-05-06
If you apply for a postponement of the benefit period due to full-time work, or if you wish to combine graduated parental benefits with part-time work, you must submit the form ”Utsettelse eller gradert uttak av foreldrepenger (fleksibelt uttak)" ("Postponement or graduated parental benefits"); form NAV 14-16.05.
When you select a form, you are automatically taken to a guide to completing the form. Here you must indicate which enclosures and what sort of documentation you must submit with your application. A cover page will also be generated. To help the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) process your application quickly and efficiently, please submit the information given on this cover page. Please enclose the cover page at the front of your letter.
In order for the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) to be able to calculate the benefits you are entitled to, your employer must also fill in the form “Inntekts- og skatteopplysninger for arbeidstaker” ("Income and tax information for employees"); form NAV 08-30-01. If you have a deduction from earnings order and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) is going to pay parental benefits to you directly, your employer must also complete the form “Trekkopplysninger” ("Deductions"); form NAV 08-30.02.
If your employer pays your full salary during your leave and ticks the box for this on the income and tax information form and also ticks the box that he/she wants the parental benefits paid to them, this is regarded as your employer submitting a claim for reimbursement from the National Insurance Scheme. However, as the employee you must still submit a separate application for parental benefits in order for your employer to be reimbursed.
Benefits cannot be paid for more than three months prior to the date on which the claim was submitted.
Changes in your income, family situation and/or work situation may affect the payment you receive from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration. Stays abroad may also affect your payment. You must therefore immediately report any such changes to your local NAV office.
Your money will normally be in your account by the last working day of the month, see more information about payments. Some benefits are paid earlier in December.
You can also check your payments on the Your payments service.
Most of the main information about your entitlements and duties is available here in English. There are also links to other more detailed information; however, some of this information is only available in Norwegian.