Wammen said he would be off work between June 5th and August 13th, with Morten Bødskov, the country’s business minister standing in for him in his absence.
“On June 5th I will go on parental leave with Frederik, and I am really looking forward to spending time with the little boy,” Wammen said in the post announcing his decision, alongside a photograph of himself together with his son, who was born in November.
Denmark’s government last March brought in a new law bringing in 11 weeks’ use-it-or-lose-it parental leave for each parent in the hope of encouraging more men to take longer parental leave. Wammen is taking 9 weeks and 6 days over the summer.
The new law means that Denmark has met the deadline for complying with an EU directive requiring member states earmark nine weeks of statutory parental leave for fathers.
This is the second time Bødskov has substituted for Wammen, with the minister standing in for him as acting Minister of Taxation between December 2020 and February 2021.
“My parental leave with Christian was quite simply one of the best decisions in my life and I’m looking forward to having the same experience with Frederik,” Wammen wrote on Facebook in November alongside a picture of him together with his son.
Male politicians in Denmark have tended to take considerably shorter periods of parental leave than their female colleagues.
Minister of Employment and Minister for Equality Peter Hummelgaard went on parental leave for 8 weeks and 6 days in 2021. Mattias Tesfaye took one and a half months away from his position as Denmark’s immigration minister in 2020. Troels Lund Poulsen – now acting defence minister – took three weeks away from the parliament took look after his new child in 2020. Education minister Morten Østergaard took two weeks off in 2012.