Partners excited about additional birth leave, but what exactly does it entail?
From July 1, partners can take 5 weeks of additional birth leave. Almost all partners want to take advantage of this arrangement. Yet many expectant fathers and co-mothers have not yet applied for this leave.
Why not and what exactly does this leave entail?
What is additional birth leave?
Since Jan. 1, 2019, partners will receive once the number of working hours per week in birth leave. As of July 1, 2020, partners can take up to 5 weeks (5 times the number of work hours per week) of additional birth leave. During the leave, the partner does not receive salary, but a benefit from the UWV.
When are partners entitled to additional birth leave?
- Partners are entitled to additional birth leave if the child is born on or after July 1, 2020.
- They must take the additional birth leave within 6 months of the child’s birth.
- They must first have taken the 1-week birth leave.
Fathers and co-mothers want to use this leave
From research by 24Baby.nl reveals that many expectant fathers and co-mothers have not yet applied for this leave. As many as 96% of the partners of pregnant women want to make use of the new scheme. However, only 18% have already applied for extra leave.
Why is birth leave so little requested?
What is the reason the leave is not applied for??
- Many find it difficult to discuss the leave with their employer.
- Others are held back by the loss of income.
Unjustified fear among partners of employer reaction
How will my employer react to this? The possible reaction of the employer leads to doubts to request the extra birth leave. However 93% of partners who have already requested this leave indicate that their employer’s response was neutral or even positive.
So this concern seems unwarranted in most cases.
Extra time to get used to parenthood
Many partners of pregnant women are excited about the possibility of taking more leave. What are now the main reasons for taking the extra birth leave?
- Extra time to get used to their new role as a parent.
- Being together as a family.
- Partners would like an equal division of caring responsibilities.
- Supporting the partner.
Being able to spread leave
It does appear that many partners would like to take the leave on a staggered basis. So any concerns such as workload and loss of income can be better addressed. To plan this in the best possible way, expectant parents can use the Leave Planner. Herein, it is possible to accurately schedule maternity, delivery and birth leave.
This can remove a lot of uncertainty and doubt.
Fear of losing income
The survey clearly showed that there is a fear of loss of income. During the leave the UWV reimburses 70% of the (maximum) daily wage. Of the small group who do not want to use the leave, 6 out of 10 participants indicate that missing out on pay is an important reason for continuing to work.
A positive arrangement
That the new arrangement is positive also endorses Rutgers, knowledge center sexuality. Ilze Smit, project leader ‘involved fatherhood’, says:
“This leave is good for everyone. Five weeks of birth leave is a good step toward equal parenting. We recommend that partners take the leave after the mother’s maternity leave, and then only take care of the baby. This solo care gives both parents the chance to get familiar with the baby.”
A good development
I think it is good that the possibility is there. When I look back at the difficult time after I gave birth, not only the new role that my husband and I found ourselves in, but also our children’s illnesses, hospitalizations and surgeries, it would have been very good for us if this arrangement had existed at that time.