Expansion time-off: Parental Leave & Partner Leave

The European Parliament is introducing more time-off.

The European Parliament has adopted the Directive introducing expanding time off in regard to Parental Leave and Paternity Leave. It is a new Directive on work-life balance for parents and carers. A number of new or higher standards are set with the right to request flexible working arrangements.

Paternity Leave / Partner Leave: 1 July 2020

As of 1 July 2020, fathers as well as mothers in same-sex couples will receive 5 weeks’ Paternity Leave in the first 6 months after the baby’s birth. For the period of 5 weeks, the partner will receive 70 percent of their wages.

This 5 weeks’ Paternity Leave is in addition to the current ruling WIEG [Wet Invoering Extra Geboorteverlof] entered into force per 1 January 2019. Currently the partner, of a woman who gives birth, is entitled to paid Paternity Leave for the amount of hours working per week (5 days on full time basis)


Parental Leave: 1 August 2022

The European Parliament has adopted also in the same directive introducing 2 months of paid Parental Leave for both parents.

In the Netherlands, Parental Leave is currently unpaid leave and the duration of this leave type is 26 times the weekly working hours.

It is up to the country to determine the compensation for Parental Leave, but it is required to be aligned at an “adequate level”. Families must be able to maintain the “decent living standard”. Who will be responsible for the costs of this compensation is up to the decision by the country.

As of August 2022, the government will introduce nine weeks of Parental Leave. Parents can already take 26 weeks of unpaid Parental Leave. Per 2022, the government will pay the first 9 of the 26 weeks of Parental Leave. Parents will receive this allowance from the UWV equal to 50% of their daily wages, up to 50% of the maximum daily wages. An important element of paid leave is also that it must be taken up in the child's first year of life. The remaining 17 weeks of leave remain unpaid by law and can still be taken up to the child's 8th birthday.

The government is responding to the proposals from the Interdepartmental Policy Research (IBO). The paper shows that part-time work has become the norm in The Netherlands. Women usually work part-time and also take care of their children or parents, while men are more likely to work full-time and spend less time looking after children, other family members or friends on average. This is partly caused by how society and the economy are organised, taxes and allowances are designed and how childcare is arranged. The government would like to make it possible for families to choose how they plan their lives and how they want to combine work and care.

For more information on all the rules and regulations on Leaves of Absence types, please click below.


In the Netherlands, employees can make use of various statutory leave schemes including, sickness, holiday leave. In addition organisations have also company specifics regarding Special Leave. Read more about the paid and unpaid types.

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