As of August 2, 2022, employees will be eligible for a benefit when taking parental leave. As stated in the legislative proposal ‘Wet betaald ouderschapsverlof’ (Paid Parental Leave Act), the benefit will be provided by UWV (the National Institute for Employees’ Insurance and Regulations). On April 20, a majority of the lower house of the Dutch parliament voted in support of the proposal.
The legislative proposal is based on European directives aimed at improving the balance between work and private life. Employees can currently only take unpaid parental leave with a maximal duration of 26 times their weekly working hours (per child). After the implementation of the new proposal, employees will be eligible for a benefit for 9 out of those 26 weeks, provided that these 9 weeks fall within the first year of the child’s life. Employers will apply for the benefit on behalf of employees.
The benefit is only limited in amount, being 50% of an employee’s daily wages and at most 50% the maximum daily wages permitted by law. There is therefore the concern that employees on a low-income will not be able to take paid parental leave, since they won’t be able to make ends meet with the limited benefit. Outgoing minister Koolmees of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment has therefore decided to add a provision to the legislative proposal. This provision will make it possible for the new cabinet to increase the percentage to 70% before the legislation goes into effect, if the new cabinet wishes to do so a will make a budget available for this. Once the legislation has gone into effect, the percentage can only be changed through a legislative amendment submitted to and voted on by the lower house of parliament.