As the Netherlands finalises proposals for enhanced paid parental leave, this article sets out details of the new benefits for parents.
In an earlier update , we announced the introduction of (partially) paid parental leave. The final legislative proposal for this was published last week.
Currently, parents are entitled to 26 weeks unpaid parental leave per person. The Dutch legislator is obliged to amend the current rules, pursuant to European legislation that aims to increase women's participation in the labour market and a more balanced distribution of care tasks between men and women. The amendments must be implemented by 2 August 2022. In order to ensure that Dutch law complies with European standards from that date, Minister Koolmees proposes a number of amendments, the most important of which are set out below.
- Paid parental leave
Employees will be entitled to nine weeks of (partially) paid parental leave. During this period the employee will be entitled to a benefit amounting to 50% of his or her daily wage, up to a maximum of 50% of the maximum daily wage. The maximum daily wage is currently set at EUR 222.78 gross per day, which amounts to EUR 4,845.47 gross per month. On the basis of the current maximum daily wage, an employee will therefore receive a maximum benefit of EUR 2,422.74 per month. This means that, including maternity leave, parents have at least 34 weeks (seven months) of paid leave together after the birth.
- Adaptation of the Flexible Work Act
In addition to the introduction of (partially) paid parental leave, the Flexible Work Act will be amended. Under this Act, employees can submit a request for (temporary) adjustment of their working hours, working time or workplace. Currently, only employees of an employer with at least ten employees can submit such a request. Under the bill, it will also be possible for employees of an employer with fewer than ten employees to apply, if they either have a child under the age of eight or are a caregiver. The current possibility to derogate from the Flexible Work Act in the event of a collective labour agreement to the detriment of the employee will also be eliminated in relation to these employees.
The bill still has to be passed by the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament. Minister Koolmees has asked for the bill to be dealt with swiftly so that the new law can be introduced in good time.
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