On October 12, 2021, the Dutch Senate approved the Paid Parental Leave Act (in Dutch: Wet betaald ouderschapsverlof, the "Act"), which will enter into force on August 2, 2022. The purpose of the Act is to offer working parents more opportunities to better divide work and care responsibilities. By doing so, the Act aims to promote equality between men and women and to create a better work-life balance.
Currently, parents are already entitled to 26 weeks of parental leave per parent during the first eight years of the child's life. After the Act comes into force, both parents will be partially paid for nine weeks during the child's first year of life. Parents who want to make use of this arrangement can apply to the Dutch Labor Office (UWV) for a benefit amounting to 50% of their daily wage (up to 50% of the maximum daily wage).
The additional nine weeks' paid leave under the Act comes on top of the already existing 16 weeks of paid maternity leave for the mother and six weeks of paid birth leave for the partner.
Parents who have a child before August 2, 2022 can also make use of this new paid parental leave. The condition is that on August 2, 2022:
- the child is younger than one year old;
- both parents are employees; and
- the parents have not yet taken the full right to parental leave (26 times the working hours per week).
The bill for the Act and the Explanatory Memorandum (in Dutch) can be viewed here.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.