Currently, parents are entitled to 26 times their weekly working hours of unpaid parental leave in the first 8 years after the birth of a child.
There is no legal obligation to continue to pay wages during this leave. However, there may be an entitlement to partial wage continuation on the basis of a collective agreement.
On 2 August 2022, the Paid Parental Leave Act will enter into force. This Act implements the European Directive stipulating that a Member State must provide for two months of paid parental leave. This enables employees to better combine work and care. Families can get used to the new family situation and make a conscious choice together about the division of work and care.
What is going to change?
Based on the new law, parents will soon receive nine weeks of paid parental leave. During this period they will receive an allowance from the UWV.
This benefit amounts to 50% of their daily wage and is also capped at 50% of the established maximum daily wage. The law contains a provision on the basis of which the percentage can still be increased to 70% by royal decree before the date of entry into force.
In addition, these 9 weeks of leave must be taken in the child's first year of life in order to receive the benefit. In addition to these 9 weeks of paid leave, a parent can take 17 weeks of unpaid leave before the child reaches the age of 8. The weeks not taken in the first year can be added to the 17 weeks unpaid leave.
The paid parental leave will also apply to some parents who have had a child just before the introduction of the law. The child must be under 1 year of age at the time the law takes effect and the parent concerned must be working (an employee) at that time and not yet have taken the full right to parental leave.
The leave must be requested two months in advance. An employer will not easily find a compelling business or service interest in changing the details of the leave as desired by the employee and delay should not result in the employee being unable to take the leave in the first year. The employee shall retain the job and all rights he/she had before the leave.
The application for benefit during parental leave is made through the employer and must be requested by the employer afterwards, i.e. after taking the leave.
The paid parental leave is in addition to the normal maternity leave for the mother and the 6 weeks (additional) birth leave for the partner.
If you have any questions about the changes or would like advice, please contact us without obligation. We will be happy to assist you and keep you informed of further developments.