Expansion time-off: Parental Leave & Paternity Leave

The European Parliament is introducing more time-off.

April 22, 2019 – 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

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.The rules made by the European Parliament must be incorporated into Dutch legislation within 3 years.

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. The government is expected to present a bill to the House of Representatives in the first quarter of 2020. Anticipating the new regulation will take effect July 2022. We will keep you informed of the actual effective date.


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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