Entitlement to pregnancy or maternity leave
In the Netherlands, employees are entitled to pregnancy or maternity leave from four to six weeks before the expected delivery date.
Female self-employed workers are entitled to maternity leave and maternity benefit for a minimum period of 16 weeks. The cash benefit is granted up to a maximum of the statutory minimum wage in the Netherlands (â‚¬ 1,725 from July 2022).
There is an entitlement to pregnancy or maternity leave of at least 16 weeks. This also applies in the case of multiple births. However, the total duration depends on the actual day of delivery.
Pregnancy leave can be taken at the earliest from the sixth week before the presumed date of confinement. Work is prohibited from the fourth week before the expected date of confinement.
After the actual date of confinement, there is an entitlement to at least ten weeksâ€™ maternity leave.
The child is born earlier
If the child is born before the presumed delivery date, please note the following:
Example: Your maternity leave starts six weeks before the presumed delivery date. However, the child is born one week earlier. In this case, you would only have five weeks of pregnancy leave, but 11 weeks of maternity leave. In total, you would still have 16 weeks in this case.
The child is born later
If the child is born after the presumed delivery date, the following applies:
Example: Your maternity leave starts six weeks before the presumed delivery date. However, the child is born two weeks later. In this case, you would have eight weeks of pregnancy leave and ten weeks of maternity leave. In total, the leave in this situation is 18 weeks.
Another example: You started your maternity leave only four weeks before the presumed delivery date. However, the child is born two weeks later. In this situation, you would have six weeks of pregnancy leave and 12 weeks of maternity leave.
You may not start work again until 42 days after the actual date of childbirth at the earliest. Until then, the employment ban applies.
Since 1 January 2015, you can take the last period of maternity leave in parts. It is about the leave that remains 6 weeks after the delivery date. You can take this part of the maternity leave spread over a maximum period of 30 weeks in agreement with your employer. This does not change the total duration of your maternity leave. Your allowance and the way it is paid also remain the same. UWV will pay the allowance as if you had taken your maternity leave in one continuous period.
Do you want to take your maternity leave in parts during the last period? Then apply for this to your employer no later than 3 weeks after the start of your maternity leave. Your employer must approve your request within 2 weeks. They may only refuse it if it causes serious problems for the company.
You apply for pregnancy and maternity leave with your employer. The application must be made at least three weeks before the start of the pregnancy leave. You submit a medical certificate to your employer showing the presumed date of delivery.
During the period of pregnancy and maternity leave, you will receive a benefit equal to your wage/salary. There is a maximum limit of â‚¬ 4108.08 per month for this benefit. If you had a high salary, it is possible that there will be a loss of income during this period. UWV is the implementing authority that pays this benefit. Most of the time, the employer continues to pay the salary and gets the benefit paid by UWV.
You will continue to accrue leave during your pregnancy and maternity leave. The employer is not allowed to offset pregnancy and maternity leave against your leave entitlement.
If your pregnancy or maternity leave falls during the period of company holidays (such as school holidays for teachers or in the construction industry), there are no legal regulations in these cases. Ask your employer how this situation is regulated.
In case of illness/incapacity to work during pregnancy or maternity leave, this may affect the start of the pregnancy or maternity leave, contrary to previous agreements with your employer. If you become incapacitated for work before the start of the six-week pregnancy leave, the pregnancy leave will start six weeks before the presumed date of delivery. Agreements with your employer about a different start of your pregnancy leave are then invalid.
Pay/income during periods of illness or incapacity for work
If you become unfit for work before the start of your pregnancy leave and the illness is not due to your pregnancy, you are entitled to continued payment of at least 70% of your wage/salary.
If you become unfit for work before or after your pregnancy or maternity leave and the illness/incapacity for work is related to your pregnancy, you are entitled to sickness benefit equal to your wage/salary.
You may not be terminated during your pregnancy. This also applies during your pregnancy and maternity leave and for six weeks after your maternity leave. You may only be dismissed in special cases.
Employment contract is not renewed
If your employer does not extend a fixed-term employment contract, you can ask him to give the reasons. Pregnancy is not admissible as a reason.
Your partner is entitled to one work weekâ€™s maternity leave after giving birth. It does not matter whether you work full-time or part-time. Birth leave is also called maternity leave (kraamverlof), partner leave (partnerverlof) or paternity leave (vaderschapsverlof).
One work week of leave for partners
Since 1 January 2019, partners have been granted one work week of partner leave. For example, does your partner work 6 hours a day for 5 days? Then he will receive 30 hours of partner leave: 5 x 6 working hours. The employer pays for this leave.
These are the working hours agreed in the employment contract. If you take parental leave, these hours are not deducted.
You are employed and have a contract of 40 hours per week. Each week you take 12 hours of parental leave. Therefore, you only work 28 hours per week. Nevertheless, you are entitled to 40 hours of partner leave.
The film below explains what the rules are if you live in Germany and work in the Netherlands and have a child.