What types of leave are there?

As an employee, you can take statutory leave such as holidays or parental leave. Statutory leave is regulated by the Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen – UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). Other types of leave are specified in your collectieve arbeidsovereenkomst – CAO (collective labour agreement) or arbeidsovereenkomst (employment contract) and are regulated by your employer. This is called bijzonder (special) leave. For example, leave for a wedding or moving house.

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Statutory leave

The following leave arrangements are regulated in the Wet arbeid en zorg (Work and Care Act). Your CAO or employment contract may contain arrangements that supplement or deviate from the statutory leave arrangements:

Leave arrangements around birth and care of children 

Type of leave Who Weeks To be taken Payment
Pregnancy leave Birth mother 4-6 weeks* (in case of twins or multiple births 8-10 weeks)
From 6 weeks before the day after the due date, at least 4 weeks before the day after the
due date* (in the case of twins or multiple births.
From 10 weeks before the day after the due date, at least 8 weeks)
100% salary**
Maternity leave Birth mother 10-12 weeks* (with child hospitalisation up to 10 weeks extra) Minimum of 6 weeks following childbirth,
thereafter 4-6 weeks within 30 weeks after the end of first 6 weeks* (in case of prolonged
hospitalisation of the child may be entitled
to additional maternity leave, also called couveuseverlof (incubator) leave)
100% salary**
Emergency leave Partner n/a On the day of childbirth 100% of salary paid through
Paternity/partner leave Partner 6 weeks 1 week to be taken within 4 weeks of birth, then 5 weeks  to be taken within 6 months after birth 100% of salary on full pay in first week, 70% of salary** for 5 additional weeks
Adoption and foster care leave Parent/carer 6 weeks 6 weeks to be taken from 6 weeks before arrival of child and up to 22 weeks after arrival of child 100% of salary**
Parental leave Parent/carer 26 weeks per child 26 weeks per child to be taken within 8 years of birth, 9 of the 26 weeks are paid if they are taken within 1 year of birth 70% salary**
for 9 weeks, remaining weeks unpaid

* A birth mother is entitled to a total of 16 weeks of pregnancy leave and maternity leave. Any pregnancy leave not taken is added to the maternity leave.

** Of the daily wage (how much you earn per working day). Up to the maximum daily wage.

Please note: The table above describes the legal minimum per leave form for employees. Not all situations are included in the table, for more information go to: Ik krijg een kind (in Dutch) on the UWV website. Or contact the UWV. Check in your CAO or employment contract whether there are additional benefits paid by your employer.

Special leave

Your CAO or employment contract specifies the situations for which you can take special leave (in Dutch) and for how long, and whether your salary continues during the leave. Your employer or HR department can inform you about this.

Unpaid leave

During parental leave and long-term care leave, your employer is not bound by law to pay your salary. Your CAO or employment contract may contain agreements on (partial) continued payment of your salary.

You can take unpaid special leave to go on a long trip or to study, for example.

Taking unpaid leave can have consequences (in Dutch) for e.g. benefits, pension and holidays.