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This time: Can you afford to go on partner leave if you have a child?

This year a lot has happened in the field of leave for partners of women who have just given birth.

Since July, partners have been entitled to six weeks of paid maternity leave, also known as partner leave or paternity leave.

This is very different from the situation a few years ago, when partners were only given two days of paid leave around the birth of a child.

"We are certainly pleased that the longer paid leave is now available - it is better than nothing", says Jessica van Ruitenburg, policy advisor at the trade association FNV.

"But for many new parents the compensation will become so low that you cannot expect that they will actually make use of the leave."

Compensation is 70 percent of the salary

Would you like to go on leave around the birth of your child, but you don't know if you will be financially able to make it?

This is what you can expect: if you are employed, you will receive full payment from your employer for the first week of leave.

The remaining five weeks of birth leave you will receive 70 percent of your salary, in the form of a benefit from the UWV.

“In most cases, pension accrual through an employer continues for an employee who goes on leave, including during the maternity leave.”

The benefit does have a maximum: you will receive a maximum of 70 percent of the so-called maximum monthly wage.

This is currently 4,845 euros gross.

Suppose you earn 5,000 euros per month, then your birth-leave benefit becomes 3,392 euros (70 percent of 4,845 euros) gross on a monthly basis.

In most cases, pension accrual through an employer continues for an employee who goes on leave, including during the maternity leave.

Self-employed mothers receive a minimum wage

The mother now receives at least sixteen weeks leave with 100 percent of the salary.

If she is self-employed, she will receive the minimum wage (1,680 euros gross) for no more than sixteen weeks.

Is your partner pregnant and are you self-employed?

Then you are not eligible for paid partner leave at all;

only employees are entitled to this.

"Employers often supplement the 70 percent of the salary that guarantees the maternity leave."

According to researchers, partner leave should actually be higher if the scheme really wants to achieve its goal: that Dutch men take on more care tasks and that women work more hours.

Many employees benefit from their collective labor agreement in this respect: employers often supplement the 70 percent of the salary that the birth leave guarantees.

An example of this is the national government, which pays extra so that civil servants receive a 100 percent salary when they go on maternity leave.

Within two 5,600 applications

The scheme for extra maternity leave has now been in place for two months and in that time more than 5,600 people have submitted an application.

The UWV is currently unable to say how large the group of all people who are entitled to the benefit is;

it seems like a complicated calculation.

It is known, however, that sixteen thousand children were born in July, while the UWV received some eighteen hundred applications for partner leave in the same month.

Applications can also be submitted afterwards.

Parents must make use of the maternity leave before the child is six months old.