Partner leave in the Netherlands to increase next year
Following plans presented this January, during a recent debate virtually the whole House of Representatives backed a proposal to increase partner leave from the current two days to five next year. Several parties, however, would have liked for partner leave to have been increased further still.
Extra partner leave in the Netherlands
Next year, partners of new mothers will be able to take five days off at full salary. In 2020, partner leave will be expanded further still and partners will be able to take five weeks off at 70% of their salary in the first six months after the newborn’s birth.
Minister of Social Affairs and Employment Wouter Koolmees is happy with the extension of partner leave, calling the development a “great leap forward”. He feels that the Legislation for the Implementation of Extra Partner Leave (WIEG) is good for the bond between the parents and child, and for the position of women on the labour market.
Critical comments from the opposition
Not all parties are pleased with the extension of partner leave to five weeks in 2020. Christian party SPG in particular feels that five weeks is a little too much of a good thing. SPG would much rather have a week of compassionate leave be implemented for employees.
Chris Stoffer an MP for SPG reasoned, “The death of a loved one has a great impact. Your head is just not in the right place for you to continue working”. He also goes on to assert “if you focus too much on leave for nice things, there is no more room financially for leave arrangements for one to come to terms with a death.”
Stoffer suggests extending partner leave to two weeks, which is the European average. This would then allow for an additional extension of compassionate leave.