Fathers guaranteed leave if partner dies in childbirth

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Fathers will be able to take the maternity leave of their child's mother in the case that the mother dies during childbirth. This is the Cabinet's way of making sure that the baby will be able to count on paternal care in the first months of its life.

At this time, mothers have a right to a maximum of 12 months maternity leave once their baby is born. At least ten weeks of this leave will be transferred to the father in the case of her death in this new plan from minister Lodewijk Asscher.

After a minister's council meeting, minister Asscher said that he met a father at the start of the year who lost his partner during labor, and "nobody could do something for him."

These kinds of tragedies happen more than 25 times a year, the minister states. That does not, however, mean that nothing should be arranged for these men. "We all, I think, want that such a father can take care of his child for a few weeks without worry."

Asshcer already revealed other parts of the law amendment earlier. Paternity leave, for example, will be extended from two to five days, the three extra days unpaid.

People who want to care for a sick friend or acquaintance will also get the right to take long-term unpaid leave. For now, this only applies to people with a sick family member or parent and only with life-threating illnesses.

With the law amendments, the Cabinet wants to avoid people calling in sick or quitting because they can't combine work and care.

The Cabinet states that it is especially women who give up their economic independence when they become volunteer carers.