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Birth leave will be extended by five weeks with effect from 1 July 2020

Employees whose partner gives birth on or after 1 July 2020 are entitled to an additional birth leave of up to five weeks.

Currently, the employee whose partner gives birth is entitled to five days’ leave if he or she works five days a week. The employee is entitled to the number of hours of leave he or she works per week. The employer pays the salary in full during that period. The number of hours of leave must be taken within four weeks after the first day of childbirth.

From 1 July 2020, this leave shall be extended by a maximum of five weeks. The additional birth leave amounts to a minimum of one and a maximum of five times the number of working hours per week and must be taken within six months after the birth of the child.

The spouse, the registered partner, the person with whom the employee cohabits unmarried or the person whose child the employee has acknowledged shall be considered a partner in the sense of the birth leave.

For the purposes of the birth leave, unmarried cohabitation applies if two unmarried persons run a joint household. A joint household is deemed to exist if the persons concerned have their main residence in the same building and demonstrate to take care of each other by making a contribution towards the costs of the household or otherwise providing each other with care.

The employer is not obliged to continue to pay the salary for the additional birth leave. If an employee wishes to make use of the additional birth leave, the employee must apply to the UWV with the intervention of the employer.

The UWV will provide the employer with a payment of 70% of the employee’s daily wage, subject to a maximum of 70% of the statutory maximum daily wage. The employer pays this to the employee. The employer does not have to supplement this, unless the employer is obliged to do so on the basis of a CLA or personnel handbook. If the employee falls below 70%, of the social minimum a supplement can be applied for at the UWV, which the UWV pays to the employer and the employer passes on to the employee.

The additional birth leave must be requested from the employer four weeks prior to the time the employee wants the leave to commence. The employer can change the leave up to two weeks prior to taking the (additional) birth leave on the grounds of important business or service interests.

The application to the UWV can be submitted by the employer to the UWV from four weeks before the first day on which the leave is taken until four weeks after the last day on which the leave is taken.

The right to birth leave is expressly dependent on the birth. Even if a child is born dead or dies shortly afterwards, the employee is entitled to birth leave. The number of hours of leave is not linked to the number of childs that are born either. The number of hours of leave is linked to the number of hours worked in a week.

About the author
Ilma van Aalst started working as a Dutch employment law attorney at the beginning of 2000 and thus works as a Dutch employment law attorney for more than 19 years now. Ilma first worked as a Dutch employment law attorney for more than ten years at Poelmann van den Broek in Nijmegen and Eversheds Sutherland in Rotterdam. In 2010, Ilma started 7 Laws of Persuasion. Since 2007, Ilma has been a member of the Dutch Employment Attorneys Association (Vereniging Arbeidsrecht Advocaten Nederland, VAAN), the association that received the quality mark logo for employment law specialists from the Dutch Bar Association. Since the beginning of 2016, she has been an intervision moderator recognised by the VAAN. She is also a member of the Rotterdam Employment Attorneys Association. In addition to her work as a Dutch employment law attorney, Ilma has also been working as a Dutch employment law lecturer since 2008.
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