More Dutch companies offering longer paid paternity leave
The Dutch government presented plans to increase paternity leave from two to five days in 2019, and further increase this to five weeks of paid leave at 70 percent of the new father’s salary in 2020. However, some companies in the Netherlands are taking their own initiative and offering more than the statutory paternity leave.
Increasing numbers of Dutch businesses are offering greater amounts of paid paternity leave to new fathers. Dutch bank ING recently introduced one month of paid paternity leave. At ING Bank, new dads are also allowed to take an additional three months of unpaid leave.
The school community Xpect Primair in Tilburg also announced a month of paid leave for all staff members whose partner had given birth.
Consulting company &Samhoud is amongst the companies who offer more paid paternity leave as well. &Samhoud made the decision to offer employees two months of paid paternity leave 10 years ago. Jeroen Geelhoud, partner at &Samhoud, feels that offering this amount of paternity leave makes the company an attractive employer and leads to employees who stay longer at the company and are more involved and loyal too.
Commonplace in the Netherlands
According to Gerard van Hees from the FNV trade union, research shows that the bond between the partner, usually the father, and child is often better if they are around the child after the birth and he feels that it is only a matter of time before a longer paid paternity leave is commonplace in the Netherlands.
Van Hees foresees longer paid paternity leave rippling and spreading out across the Netherlands, and he’s not the only one. Professor of fatherhood at the University of Amsterdam and the Erasmus University, Renske Keizer, agrees with Van Hees’ expectation.
The involvement of the father when it comes to the upbringing of children is becoming increasingly important and according to Keizer, a longer paternity leave doesn’t just benefit men. Swedish research shows that for every month a father takes paternity leave women’s income increases by seven percent.
However, Van Hees does acknowledge that not all businesses may be able to offer more than the statutory paternity leave, small businesses especially. He thinks that these businesses will need to be backed up by legislation in some way.