On 12 October 2021, the Dutch Senate (in Dutch: Eerste Kamer) introduced the Paid Parental Leave Act. The Paid Parental Leave Act entitles every parent to nine weeks of partially paid parental leave and 17 weeks of unpaid parental leave. Parents can currently only take 26 weeks of unpaid parental leave. The Act will enter into force on 2 August 2022.
The Paid Parental Leave Act amends the Work and Care Act and the Flexible Work Act, which sets out the rules for parental leave. With this Act, the government wants to give parents more time to get used to the new family situation and, as a result, make conscious choices about the division of work and care.
Paid Parental Leave Act
Currently, (both) parents are entitled to 26 weeks of unpaid parental leave in the first eight years of the child’s life. As of 2 August 2022, parents are entitled to 9 weeks of partly paid parental leave and 17 weeks of unpaid parental leave.
The first 9 weeks of parental leave are (partly) paid if taken in the first year of the child’s life. Parental leave not taken in the first year can be added to the 17 weeks of unpaid parental leave, which can be taken in the child’s first eight years of life.
In the case of adoptive or foster parenthood, paid parental leave can be taken in the first year after the child’s inclusion in the family, as long as the child is under the age of eight.
The partially paid parental leave is in addition to the 16 weeks of pregnancy- and maternity leave for the mother and the six weeks of post-birth leave for the partner.
During the 9 weeks of parental leave, parents are entitled to a UWV (Dutch Employee Insurance Agency) allowance equal to 70% of their daily wage (to a maximum of 70% of the maximum daily wage). The employer has to apply for the benefit at the UWV. The payment of the benefit relates to parental leave already taken at the time of the application.
During the discussion in the Dutch Senate, a motion was submitted to increase the wage percentage to 70%. It is up to the next cabinet to decide on this.
Children born before 2 August 2022
Parents who have had a child before 2 August 2022 are also entitled to 9 weeks paid parental leave. Conditions are that they have not yet taken the full parental leave (the 26 weeks) and the child is younger than one year, or – in case of adoptive or foster parenthood – when less than a year has passed since the child was adopted into the family.
The employee has a 6-month-old child on 2 August 2022. He or she has meanwhile taken 20 weeks of (unpaid) parental leave. From 2 August 2022, the employee is entitled to take 6 weeks paid parental leave for the next 6 months – until the child is 1 year old.
If you have any questions about parental leave, please contact one of our lawyers.