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Netherlands

More than 120,000 parents use new system of paid parental leave

About 124,000 parents have taken paid parental leave within a year, making use of the new system introduced in August 2022. Under the new rules, parents are allowed to stay with their baby for another 9 weeks after the first 6 weeks of maternity leave and receive 70% of their salary during that time, Het Parool reports.

According to the benefits agency UWV, parental leave can be taken up to the child’s eighth birthday and lasts a maximum of 26 working weeks. If parents meet the appropriate criteria, 9 of those 26 weeks can be taken as paid parental leave, also known as “betaald ouderschapsverlofā€¯ (BOV). In addition, parents are free to choose whether to take the leave all at once or spread it out over a longer period of time.

The measure is meeting with great demand. Two-thirds of mothers and one-third of fathers take advantage of the extra weeks of parental leave. According to the UWV, the extended parental leave has so far cost over 400 million euros.

Paid parental leave aims to give new parents time to get used to their new life situation and to think about the distribution of parental tasks and care. This should also create a better work-life balance for Dutch families in the future.

However, with 124,000 applications for the BOV, the number of parents taking extended parental leave is down 15 percent. According to Het Parool, this could indicate that it is mainly parents with well-paid jobs who make use of the application, as they are better able to manage with 30 percent less income for the time provided than parents with less or little income.

https://nltimes.nl/2023/08/27/120000-parents-use-new-system-paid-parental-leave More than 120,000 parents use new system of paid parental leave

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