Thursday, 12 December 2013 - 20:37
Paid Leave for Carers of Sick Friends
Employees who care for a sick friend or acquaintance are entitled to a leave of absence for that purpose, writes the government in a letter to the Lower House.Until now, an employer was only required to grant a "care" leave to people who care for a sick parent, partner or child. In modern Netherlands a sick member of your inner circle could be 'your best friend, who you want to assist in his end of days,' said Minister Asscher in an explanation. The letter states there are more and more patients who have no family that can care for them, resulting in more and more employees who become care givers. The right to long-term care leave will apply to all forms of care, and not only to care for people with life-threatening illness. Asscher wants to prevents people having to call in sick, because they can no longer combine their care responsibilities with their jobs. The government also wants to extend paternity leave. Now, fathers are entitled to two paid days off after the birth of their child. Three days of unpaid leave will be added to that. This measure is to make sure that men and women can distribute the burden more evenly and that it doesn't come down on the women alone. It has been that men who take a leave immediately after birth, show more commitment to their child later on, and take on more care responsibilities, according to Asscher. In the time ahead, the government wants to engage in negotiations with the social partners about care and paternity leave arrangements. Employers organization, MKB Netherlands, has already announced to be furious about the extension of paternity leave.