In the Netherlands, in the near future, the partner’s right to paternity leave will probably be extended from two days to six weeks of paid leave.

Currently the spouse, registered partner, unmarried cohabitee or the person that officially acknowledges the child as his/her own (hereinafter: the partner) is entitled to two days of paid paternity leave. These days can be taken during a period of four weeks starting from the first day that the child actually lives at the same address as the mother. Paternity leave can be extended with a maximum of three days of unpaid parental leave.

The duration of paternity leave has been a topic of discussion in the Netherlands for a long time. Research has shown that partners who take up days of leave immediately after the birth of the child, are generally more involved in parenting later. The early involvement of the partner also contributes to the development of the child. That is why the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment recently presented a draft Bill on the extension of paternity leave. The proposed law will entitle the partner to a period of one workweek of paid paternity leave (i.e. five days for a full time employee). These days can be taken during a period of four weeks starting from the day the child is born. The paternity leave can be extended up to a period of five weeks. These five weeks can be taken during a period of six months starting from the day after the child was born. During these five weeks, the employee is entitled to an allowance from the Employees’ Insurance Agency (UWV) equal to 70% of the last earned salary, capped at 70% of the maximum daily wage (for social security purposes). The maximum daily wage in 2018 is EUR 209.26.

It is envisaged that the right to one workweek of paid paternity leave will enter into force as per 1 January 2019 and the right to five additional weeks of (partially) paid paternity leave as per 1 July 2020.