Netherlands: Birth Leave for Partners Extended
On November 13, 2018, the Netherlands senate adopted the Act on the Introduction of Extra Birth Leave (WIEG). The WIEG will extend the two-day paid paternity/partner leave that partners have under the current entitlement to up to five days paid (to be taken within four weeks of the childbirth). In addition, the amount of adoption leave is extended from four to six weeks. The WIEG also details future increases in the entitlement to paternity/partner leave to be implemented in 2020.
The aim of the WIEG is to encourage better participation of partners in the care and upbringing of children, to promote the participation of women in the labor market, and to achieve a more even distribution of work and care tasks between partners.
Effective January 1, 2019, partners have the following leave entitlements (based on full-time employment, with part time employment prorated):
- Emergency leave: One day on the day(s) of the birth, with full salary payment;
- Birth leave: One week, to be taken within four weeks of birth, with full salary payment. The scheduling of the birth leave is entirely according to the wishes of the employee;
- Parental leave: 26 weeks, to be taken until the eighth birthday of the child. Parental leave is legally unpaid, but on the basis of (collective) agreements partial wage payment may be required. The unconditional right to three days of unpaid parental leave within four weeks after the child's arrival no longer applies.
- Adoption and foster care leave: Increases to six weeks, to be taken between four weeks before the first day of the actual adoption until 22 weeks thereafter. This leave is without pay, but employees can claim a benefit of 100 percent of the maximum daily wage.
Effective July 1, 2020, the following will be added:
- Supplementary birth-leave: Five weeks, to be taken within six months of childbirth, with the right to a benefit of 70 percent of the maximum daily wage, though collective agreements may enhance this payment. This leave is available on the condition that the “ordinary” birth leave detailed above is taken first. The employer has some flexibility in the scheduling of this additional leave to accomodate important business or service interests, though this must be in consultation with the employee.