Paid Parental Leave

A Dutch employee is entitled to parental leave of up to 26 times the number of hours worked each week.1 This leave is currently unpaid, unless other agreements have been made, for example in a collective labour agreement.

However, this is about to change: on 12 October 2021, the Paid Parental Leave Act (Wet betaald ouderschapsverlof) was passed by the Senate (the ''Act''). This Act provides for paid parental leave under certain conditions and will enter into force on 2 August 2022. Under the Act, an employee2 is entitled to a maximum of nine weeks' benefit during parental leave in the first year of life of his or her child. 3 If an employee has more than one child, the entitlement exists for each of those children during their first year of life. The benefit will not be paid while the employee is entitled to benefit in connection with pregnancy, childbirth, adoption, foster care or additional birth leave. 

The amount of the benefit is equal to 50% of the daily wage, albeit capped at 50% of the so-called maximum daily wage (i.e. EUR 112.79 gross per day). The Senate has now adopted a motion to increase the benefit to 70%. However, this does not mean that the payment percentage will actually be increased: it is merely a political signal. The Act also provides the possibility to change the percentage of 50% to a percentage of 70% by royal decree before the date of entry into force.4

The benefit must be applied for by the employer after the leave has been taken using an application form that will be made available by the UWV. The benefit shall be paid to the employer within six weeks of the application.

Questions about leave around the birth of children? Please feel free to contact us.


[1] If the number of hours per week is not fixed, it should be calculated how many hours the employee has worked on average during the past three months, or a longer period if the three-month period is not representative. In any case, the guaranteed hours apply to a min-max contract.
[2] The right exists not only for the legal parents of the child, but also for the employee who lives at the same address as the child and has taken on the daily care and upbringing of the child as his/her own.
[3] Article 6:3 WAZO (new).
[4] Article 6:10a WAZO (new).

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