Labour MP pushes six-month parental leave in Netherlands

PvdA (Labour) MP Keklik Yücel wants to extend paid parental leave in the Netherlands to six months after the birth of a baby, of which two months would be allocated for the child's father. Yücel will raise the issue in Wednesday's parliamentary debate with Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher.

Asscher, also from the Labour party, serves in the cabinet as the Minister of Social Affairs. The cabinet approved plans to increase paternal leave from two days to five days while keeping in place the sixteen weeks of guaranteed paid leave for new mothers.

It's a good first step, Yücel told the Telegraaf, but not nearly good enough. The majority of men would like to spend more time caring for their children. A move towards an end goal of the Swedish model, which allows six months paid leave from the birth of the child, is in the best interests of society, he added.

If approved, the paid leave would not to be introduced immediately, but in stages. Affiliated costs could be divided by the government, the employer and the parents themselves.

Yücel suggests starting with longer leave, but at a reduced salary, and gradually boosting the maximum amount paid to new parents.

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