Finance

Senate wants higher benefit: 9 weeks parental leave, 70 percent salary

According to the Senate, paid leave must be increased, so that it becomes more attractive for lower incomes to take advantage of it. A motion by GroenLinks about the increase received a majority of the votes on Tuesday.

The cabinet wanted to make 9 weeks of partly paid leave possible from August next year: at a 50 percent daily wage. There is a maximum to that daily wage. As of 1 July of this year, for example, it is 225.57 euros, or a monthly salary of about 4900 euros for a full-time job.

26 weeks

That should now be 70 percent. Parents must include the nine weeks in the child’s first year of life. The benefit is paid through the UWV.

Parents can now take 26 weeks of parental leave in the first eight years of their child’s life. This is unpaid, but employers and employees can also make agreements about this in the company or in the sector. Only a third of parents take parental leave because of these obstacles.

FNV is happy, but wants more

The FNV union is happy with the move. “It is good that the Senate has adjusted the payment level. We will nevertheless continue to ensure that not all income groups will take the leave,” said Vice-President Kitty Jong.

The union says it already notes that especially people with lower incomes do not take the leave. They can’t just miss almost a third of their salary, says Jong. The union therefore advocates a compensation of 80 percent.

Outgoing minister Koolmees (Social Affairs) said earlier that with a 50 percent compensation, approximately 200,000 parents should be better able to have a job and at the same time spend more time at home.

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