From August 2, 2022, the rules for parental leave will change due to a new European directive.
From August 2, 2022, the rules for parental leave will change due to a new European directive.

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New parental leave rules, what will change for you

New rules for parental leave will apply from 2 August: throughout the Netherlands, both parents get nine weeks off in the first year of their child's life at 70 percent of the UWV maximum wage. In almost all education collective agreements, the regulations are better than this new European directive. Check the agreements in your sector.

In the new collective labor agreements, all education sectors, with the exception of higher professional education, have new agreements about parental leave. In many cases, the percentage that employees receive when they take leave has increased. The cabinet wants to encourage parents to take leave in the first year of life of the child, this is often taken into account in the new collective labor agreements.

Primary education: Higher percentage of salary continued

All employees are entitled to a total of 1040 hours of parental leave until the child is 8 years old. Part of this, 415 hours (this is more than 10 weeks), has been paid. The paid part was therefore already 'greater' than the new law now offers and that will not change. The negotiators were able to add to the paid part: first, employees were paid 55 percent of their wages if they took parental leave. This percentage has been increased to 75 percent, subject to the condition that employees take the leave during the child's first year of life. AObsector director Anton Bodegraven: “If you do not include all the paid 415 hours in the first year of life, you can use the remaining part until your child is 4 years old. Only then will the old percentage of 55 percent apply again. This is in line with the new law, because it wants parents to take leave especially in the first year of life because research shows that this is beneficial in the division of tasks. Employees who have previously taken part of paid parental leave can also receive 75 percent from August if their child is still in the first year of life.

Secondary education: 'An even better arrangement'

“The arrangement was already nice, but we have further improved parental leave in our sector,” says AObsector director Herman Molleman who sits at the negotiating table. In total, all teachers and support staff in secondary education are entitled to 830 hours of parental leave per child. Half of this part, 415 hours (about 11 weeks) has been paid. In this sector too, the 'spirit of the law' and therefore explicitly the first year of life of the child has been included in the new agreements. All employees who take the paid part in the first year of life no longer receive 55 percent, but 75 percent of their own wages. “That's a plus,” says Molleman. Do not you want that? In that case, the paid leave can always be taken until the child is 4 years old, but then the old rule applies: the employer then continues to pay 55 percent of the wage. You can withdraw the unpaid part until your child is 8 years old.

Secondary vocational education: Many options

“In our sector, the conditions of the law have been adopted and employees receive a higher percentage on parental leave. There are also many options that allow employees to receive paid parental leave over a longer period of time,” says AObsector manager Hélène Jansen.
In MBO, employees are entitled to a maximum of 830 hours of paid parental leave, this will not change. They can include this under certain conditions. The new law ensures that employees – we assume someone with a full-time job – can take 360 ​​hours (the 9 weeks) in the first year of the child's life, against 70 percent of the wage up to the maximum of the UWV daily wage. In MBO this wage is equal to the end of an LB salary scale. The remaining part, which is 470 hours (830-360 hours), you can bet at your choice. Jansen: “You can choose to take 415 hours against 55 percent of your salary and this leave must start when your child is zero, one or two years old. This is as stated in the collective agreement. You can also start at a different age up to eight years, but this is only possible in consultation with your employer. But if you want to bet the entire 470 paid hours, you can do that too. Only the percentage is then lower and about 48 percent. This percentage is calculated using a special formula. All this applies pro rata to part-timers. I advise you to be well informed about the conditions, in MBO the scheme is quite complicated, but there are many options and customization for the employee possible. AObmembers can call the union for advice and then make a good plan.”

Higher vocational education: Agreements per university college

In higher professional education no collective agreements have been made about parental leave. Universities of applied sciences arrange this themselves. Schemes are often available on the intranet, so look them up or ask your HR colleagues. They can explain which regulations apply at your university of applied sciences. AObsector director Roelf van der Ploeg: “At almost all universities of applied sciences there are supplementary regulations. These are paid from the resources for decentralized employment conditions at universities of applied sciences. The collective labor agreement states that universities of applied sciences must agree on additional employment conditions. 1,41 percent of the total wage bill is available for this. In consultation with the trade unions, schools can make choices about how they spend this money. Parental leave is almost always a spending goal.”

University education: Parental leave percentage increased 

Employees at universities are entitled to parental leave for a total of 26 weeks. Half of this, 13 weeks, has been paid. “Employees could record this until their child is 8 years old. They would then continue to receive 62,5 percent of their wages,” says AObsector director Donald Pechler. Under the new law, the percentage will increase to 70 percent of the employee's own salary and therefore not of the UWV maximum wage. However, employees must take it in the first year of their child's life. Pechler: “If you don't want to take it up in the first year of life, you can use the old scheme or take out a remainder under the old conditions. In consultation with the employer you can see how you want to use the leave. You can split it up or smear it or record it continuously.” Employees at research institutes have their own collective labor agreement. This is currently still under negotiation.

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