Dutch maternity leave

What maternity leave am I entitled to?

Employees are entitled to at least 16 weeks of paid zwangerschapsverlof (pregnancy leave) and bevallingsverlof (maternity leave), starting in most cases four to six weeks before the expected date of the child’s birth or due date. Please note that it is a government requirement that you must take pregnancy leave – meaning you must stop working – four weeks before the due date. After the birth of your child, you are entitled to take up to at least ten weeks of paid maternity leave, even if the baby was born after its due date. You are required to inform your employer at least three weeks prior to the beginning of your pregnancy leave .You will be required to submit a certificate, either from your doctor or midwife, to your employer in which the baby’s due date is stated.

Your employer will claim the maternity and pregnancy benefit (zwangerschaps- en bevallingsuitkering) on your behalf to the Government’s Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen – UWV). This should be done at least two weeks before the start date of your pregnancy leave, and it is usually paid to the employer. However, if it is more convenient for you to get it transferred directly (e.g. your employment contract ends during your leave), check with your employer.

This benefit will match the mother’s salary. Please note there is a maximum daily amount that is updated yearly. If your normal salary exceeds this daily allowance, then your employer may make up the difference, but this is not mandatory. Find the latest information at the UWV website (in Dutch only): www.uwv.nl/particulieren/zwanger-adoptie-pleegzorg/zwanger-met-werkgever.

Partners are entitled to five days of kraamverlof or vaderschapsverlof (paternity leave) paid in full by the employer when their partner has just given birth and maximum five weeks  unpaid leave after their child is born. These entitlements are equally applicable to married couples who already have children.

Both you and your partner may take ouderschapsverlof (additional unpaid parental leave). This is a leave entitlement that you can take in order to care for a child who is less than eight years of age. You must have been working for the same employer for at least one year. If you have more than one child, you can take parental leave for each child separately. Please note, this additional leave is not paid unless special arrangements are made between the employer and the employee. In addition both partners can take 9 weeks of parental leave in addition to the leave mentioned above. This leave will be partly paid and has to be taken within one year after the birth of the baby.

What other leaves-of-absence from work are there relating to my children?