Thursday 13 May 2021

Dutch unions welcome Brussel’s plans for paid paternity leave


European Commission plans to bring in 10 days paid paternity leave for new fathers have been welcomed by Dutch unions but are unlikely to find much favour among employers.

Currently Dutch dads are entitled to just two days paid leave when a baby is born, putting the Netherlands well down the father friendly league table.

‘The new cabinet must adopt the [Commission’s] standard,’ Catelene Passchier, deputy chairman of the FNV trade union federation said. ‘The Netherlands is at the bottom when it comes to paternity leave.’

The outgoing government had planned to extend the amount of paternity leave for new fathers but the proposal was put on ice earlier this month. It will now be up to the next administration to decide to increase paid leave from two to five days from 2019

Traditionally, work on politically sensitive issues is halted while a new cabinet is put together following an election.

The decision to put the plan on hold was supported by the D66 Liberals, left-wing green GroenLinks and Christian Democrats, all of whom are in talks with the VVD on forming a new government. All three parties are in favour of more generous schemes than a three-day increase.

Fathers in the Netherlands are able to take unpaid leave, spread out over several months, to take care of their offspring but currently only around one in four do so.

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