GroenLinks: Working parents should receive paid coronavirus leave

GroenLinks: Working parents should receive paid coronavirus leave

Political party GroenLinks has proposed that working parents who have been required to homeschool their children throughout the coronavirus pandemic should be eligible to receive paid leave from work in order to prevent a potential burnout. 

Coronavirus lockdown closes schools across the Netherlands

The ongoing coronavirus crisis has seen schools across the Netherlands close a number of times since the virus’ outbreak in spring 2020. The pandemic has also forced people across the country to work from home instead of going into an office. Government advice and travel bans have resulted in the cancellation of holidays, and many have been cut off from family and friends for months on end. 

Combined, all these factors mean many are concerned about the future mental health backlash the pandemic - and measures put in place by the Dutch government to limit the virus’ spread - could have on the country, with many experts predicting a high rise in the number of burnouts over the coming months. 

Left-leaning political party GroenLinks have proposed a solution to this, however, and have asked for working parents to be eligible to book paid “coronavirus leave” off work in order to avoid them having to use up holidays and to prevent burnout. In addition to protecting the mental health of parents across the country, GroenLinks hopes the leave could help alleviate the pressure on childcare facilities

Coronaverlof: Paid coronavirus leave for parents

Paul Smeulders, an MP for GroenLinks, told RTLnieuws that the second wave and second lockdown is pushing parents over the edge: “We receive a lot of signals from parents that they are no longer able to cope with it. That caring for their children and doing your work normally cannot be combined."

GroenLinks' proposal has been supported by the AWVN employers' association, who announced on Monday that talks between unions, employers and government officials would be taking place throughout the week to come up with a new form of leave. The AWVN would also like the leave to be available for workers who are unable to go into work because they have to quarantine. 

AWVN would like to see the introduction of a new kind of paid leave, while Smeulders suggests it might be more practical to extend the existing emergency leave that parents can make use of if their child is sick, with the government footing the bill.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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