Parental leave Paid or unpaid?

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Parental leave Paid or unpaid?

Employees with a child under age 8 are entitled to 26 weeks of unpaid parental leave. In some cases, this leave may also be paid, namely when agreed upon in the employment contract or the relevant collective bargaining agreement. Employers can apply for benefits from the UWV for the employee’s parental leave for up to 9 weeks.

What does this mean for the employer?

As an employer, you can apply for WAZO benefits from the UWV for 9 of the employee’s 26 weeks of parental leave. The WAZO benefit is 70% of the daily wage up to a maximum of 70% of the maximum daily wage. The employer may obtain WAZO benefits for its employee’s paid parental leave if:

  • The employee is the legal parent; or
  • the employee has acknowledged the child; or
  • The employee lives with, cares for and raises the child; or
  • the employee is the child’s foster or adoptive parent.

The employee may also choose to take only the paid parental leave, i.e., only 9 weeks. Employers should note, however, that the employee must take the leave before the child’s first birthday. On the paid portion of parental leave, the employee accrues statutory vacation days and vacation pay.

Parental leave Paid or unpaid?, SER opinion

It could just be that changes are coming to the leave structure. Indeed, in January 2024, the SER issued an opinion to the “new” cabinet. In that opinion, they indicate the importance of giving employers a greater say in how parental leave is taken. They want leave to be simple and manageable in the future so that it also saves the employer from the administrative burden that often accompanies it.

Do you have questions about parental (paid) leave? Please feel free to contact our employment lawyers.

Martina Benard