Longer paternity leave for partners

In the future the partners of women who give birth will be entitled to five days of paid leave; three days more than is currently the case. The cabinet has approved a bill to this effect on the proposal of Lodewijk Asscher, Minister of Social Affairs and Employment.

The aim of the bill is to ensure that five days becomes the standard and that financial considerations do not stop partners from taking this leave. Partners will be able to apply for leave through their employer. The Employee Insurance Agency (UWV)  will then process applications automatically to ensure that they are dealt with rapidly and to keep the administrative burden as low as possible. The new scheme is scheduled to be introduced on 1 January 2019.

Partners are currently entitled to two days of paid paternity leave, followed by three days of parental leave. This parental leave is usually unpaid and, as a result, less use is made of it.

The extension of paternity leave provides a basis for partners to adapt to the presence of their newborn child, the new family structure and the care duties involved. Research has shown that partners who take leave immediately after the birth are generally more involved in the child’s upbringing.

The cabinet has agreed to submit the bill to the Council of State for an advisory opinion. The bill and the advisory opinion will be published when they are presented to the House of Representatives.