Maternity and Parental Leave

Information about parental leave entitlement in the Netherlands...

At least ten weeks have to be taken after the delivery, for example if the employee stopped six weeks before the birth and the birth is two weeks late, two weeks will be added to the ten remaining weeks. If the mother is ill at the end of her maternity leave she is entitled to 100 percent of daily pay. According to the Adjustment of Hours Law people in the Netherlands are entitled to work full time or part time according to their needs. Mothers who wish to spend time with their babies and children are allowed to work part-time (four hours per day) returning later to full-time employment. If a mother returning to work applies to return only part time, it is only in exceptional circumstances that an employer may refuse her request. The Netherlands has the world's highest rate of part-time working parents.

Although maternity and paternity leave are paid to the parents by the employer, the government reimburses 100% of costs to the employer, ensuring that no added financial burden is experienced by employers.

Paternity leave

Fathers are entitled to a paternity leave of two days plus the day of the child's birth. These three days paid in full by the employer. These entitlements also apply to people adopting a child and to families with more than one child.

Both parents are entitled to unpaid parental leave. Unpaid leave entitlement is 26 times the normal weekly working hours (6 months of leave for a full-time employee). Many fathers in the Netherlands choose to take this leave as a single day a week, reducing working hours to a 4-day week. This day off is commonly called the Daddy Day (Papa dag).