Kids boots parental leave - header

Having kids in The Netherlands – how does that work at work?

Many of our Emakina colleagues are mums and dads and love spending time with their family. In 2019, we’ve celebrated 8 newborns (and counting!) at Emakina. As regulation on parental, maternity and partner leave differs per country, we thought it would be a good idea to explain a bit more about how it works in The Netherlands. 

When you or your partner get pregnant, first of all: congratulations! There’s a few different types of leave when you are (becoming) a mum or dad. There’s the maternity leave, the partner leave and parental leave. It’s definitely worth reading into. Don’t use this article as your only source though, always check the website of the Dutch government for the latest details and legislation. 

Parental leave in The Netherlands

The parental leave is known as the famous papadagen and mamadagen. It’s an option many people make use of and enjoy. Each parent can take off their weekly working hours times 26. Which, when you work full time at Emakina, means you can get 1040 hours of unpaid parental leave until your child turns 8. How you want to divide this over time is up to you, your manager and HR.

Tech Lead Sven makes use of this opportunity: “I use parental leave for one day a week. Every Tuesday I spend time at home to take care of and play with my children. It’s great that I can use the parental leave according to my family’s needs and in the future I am ensured I can come back to work five days a week.”

Kid drawing - parental leave

Maternity leave in The Netherlands

What about the maternity leave? If you have a job at Emakina (or anywhere else in The Netherlands for that matter, but we definitely recommend Emakina), you are legally entitled to at least 16 weeks fully paid maternity leave. 

You are obligated to tell your boss about your pregnancy at least three weeks before you want to take your maternity leave. In The Netherlands, most women announce it at work around week 12 or 13. That gives everyone enough time to make arrangements for the time that you are on leave, and also by that time you’ve had your first echo. 

The maternity leave consists of two parts: the pregnancy leave (before the birth) and the time after the birth (the maternity part). The pregnancy leave is six weeks and the maternity leave is at least ten weeks. You can take your pregnancy leave as soon as six weeks before the due date, but not later than four weeks before. If you opt for the latter, you are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave. Also, if your baby comes early, you will still have the total of 16 weeks. If the baby comes late, your maternity leave will be prolonged. And, if you are having twins, triplets or even more, that number could go up to 10 weeks of pregnancy leave and at least 10 weeks of maternity leave. Of course, you can always use some of your paid holiday leave to stay with your newborn a bit longer.

maternity leave newborn

It’s also an option to divide the last few weeks of the maternity leave over a longer period of time. The minimum required leave after the birth is six weeks, however the remaining weeks, can be spread out over a period of 30 weeks. These are arrangements you’ll need to discuss with HR and your manager as they are very personal. 

Partner leave in The Netherlands

Partner leave in The Netherlands has changed a bit since the beginning of 2019. For the better we’d say! It used to be only two days, now it’s a full workweek of paid leave. So if you work 40 hours a week, you’ll get 40 hours off. If you work 24 hours a week, you get 24 hours off. It’s up to you if you want to take them all at once, or divide the over the first four weeks after your child is born. 

If you plan the pregnancy well ( 😉 ), and your child is born on July 1st 2020 or later, you are entitled to five extra weeks of partner leave. During those 5 weeks you will receive 70% of your normal pay (assuming that that’s within the limits of the maximum day pay). You’ll have to take the five weeks within six months after the birth and of course, you’ll need to see your manager an HR to make arrangements. 

Often new fathers and partners take some extra unpaid parental leave or use their paid holiday leave to stay home a bit longer.

Taking care of your family

As you can see, lots of things are arranged by rules and regulations that are applicable to everyone working in The Netherlands. Also for expats!

Interested in working at Emakina? Find the perfect job for you.

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