Parental Leave in NL

Parental leave, a legal right in The Netherlands

In The Netherlands, parental leave makes it possible for an employee to temporarily work less in order to care for his or her child or children. Both parents are entitled to parental leave, but be aware of the specifics of this legal right. Below we summerized for you the most important aspects of it.

An employee may apply for parental leave for children up to the age of eight. Parental leave can be applied for each child separately. It also applies to an adopted child, o foster child or stepchild residing at the employee’s home.

Duration of the parental leave
As from 1 January 2015 the mother’s partner is entitled to 3 days of unpaid parental leave at the time of birth (with a period of four weeks). The employer cannot refuse these 3 days. The employee is entitled to parental leave of, at most, 26x the length of his working week. For example, in case of a 32 hours working week, the employee is entitles to a total of 32 x 26 = 832 hours of parental leave.

Salary during parental leave
Parental leave is unpaid leave, with the exception of 3 days at the time of birth as mentioned above.

Parental leave in the event of termination of employment
In case of termination of employment the parental leave ends at the termination date. Upon request the employer must provide the employee with a statement, mentioning the unused part of the parental leave.

Parental leave and other schemes
Illness: parental leave is not suspended in case of illness or incapacity for work. The employee will receive the same payment as during parental leave.
Holidays: the employee does not accrue any holidays during the parental leave.

Applying for parental leave
The application for parental leave must be submitted to the employer in writing at least two months before the intended starting date of the leave. The application must contain the following information:

  • The period of the leave
  • The number of hours of leave per week
  • The distribution of the leave hours across the week

Parental leave as such cannot be refused. However, up to four weeks prior to the start of the leave an in consultation with the employee, the employer may change the distribution of the hours across the week or the requested splitting of the periods. In that case, the employer must give compelling reasons that are demonstrably in the interest of the work.

We hope the above is useful for you. In case of questions do not hesitate to contact us. We would be pleased to furnish you with additional information.

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