Netherlands parents can now take paid parental leave
From Tuesday, parents in the Netherlands can take paid parental leave. In the first year of their child’s life, they can take nine weeks of leave, during which they’ll receive 70 percent of their salary. Some employers will top that up to 100 percent.
The new leave is in addition to the existing leave arrangements, such as partner leave and maternity leave. Bas van Weegberg, director of trade union FNV, is happy with the new arrangement. He believes it will create “more equality between men and women” and “a better work-life balance.”
The trade union leader does see problems for lower-income families, however. “They often cannot get by with 30 percent less. We call on employers to supplement the leave to 100 percent.” He would prefer the Cabinet adjust the leave scheme so that every parent gets paid 100 percent while on parental leave.
In total, parents are now entitled to 26 weeks of parental leave, nine of which are paid. The paid weeks apply to the child’s first year. If not used, they will be added to the remaining unpaid weeks.
Reporting by ANP