Paternity leave in the Netherlands will go up to 6 weeks (well, more or less)

After the birth of a baby in the Netherlands, the partner of the mother (old customs would dictate the term father) will receive a week’s paid leave from next year. But that’s not the complete story on paternity leave in the Netherlands.

Wait, that’s not 6 weeks DutchReview!

Minister Koolmees presented the new law on Wet Invoering Extra Geboorteverlof aka Law Extra Birth Leave (WIEG – haha), which will make this possible today at, how appropriately, the nine-months fair. Now partners get two days of leave after birth, paid by the employer. From next year on that will be a week.

5 more weeks of paternity leave in the Netherlands

Partners can also receive an additional five weeks’ leave in the first six months after the baby’s birth. In that period they receive 70 percent of their wages. The week of birth leave can be taken in the first four weeks after the ‘bevalling’ . It does not have to be immediate, but can also be done, for example, if the maternity carer (in Dutch ‘kraamverzorger) has just left.

Minister Koolmees says: “When you have a child, everything changes from one day to the next, you are immediately in the rush hour of life, and then of course it is good to have extra time with each other to be able to getting used to life with a baby, which creates a better start for mother, partner and child. The tasks in and around the house and the work are thus distributed better and fairer from the outset, and later on the fruits are reaped,” says Koolmees.

The adoption and foster care leave for parents is also extended, from four to six weeks. With his new law, Koolmees goes less far than the Social Economic Council (SER) advised earlier as to give both parents six weeks of paid leave.

How’s this all done in your country? And do you think 1 or 6 weeks-ish of paternity leave in the Netherlands are enough? Feel welcome to discuss!

Abuzer van Leeuwen πŸ‡³πŸ‡±
Abuzer van Leeuwen πŸ‡³πŸ‡±
Founded DutchReview. Rotterdammer living in Leiden. Politics, innovation and epic food-reviews are his thing. Interested in doing anything with DutchReview? Contact him at abuzer[at]


  1. In Poland woman has one year of maternity leave which she can switch with her partner after two weeks from the birth day. Once switched it cannot go back, but it gives possibilities for woman who work from home or have more demanding job to go back quicker. 6 weeks is nothing!

  2. I’m from Bulgaria and the maternity here is 2 years, paternity is a month. But if the family decides they can exchange the roles and the father can get the 2-years leave, so mother takes the month leave.

  3. I cannot find any information on this other than this article. when will this come into action. It seems that 5 days is still policy as a rule for all dutch companies.

  4. The article is not totally correct! Only the week partnerleave will be on January 1, 2019! Remember that as an employee you get your work hours per week paid, so if you work 16 hours a week that you Will get paid. The extra 5 week partnerleave not 6 but 5 extra with the week leave will start at July 1, 2020 also the extra the extended adoption and foster care leave. Ps knowing the dutch Law well doesnt mean that the Dutch goverment will change as of July 1, 2020. Let first wait and see what happend! conclusion sorry fathers/partners this sucks

  5. Is horrible….for dads maybe better…but for women?
    I had a c-section,and i must go back to work after 3 months from the operacion..Is not normal that the mother have right only to 16 pathetic …

  6. We have have an Associate taking paternity leave in the Netherlands and am trying to understand the following:
    1. What an Associate has to provide to the employer as proof
    2. What should they be paid under Netherlands paternity rules?


  7. It is highly unfair that this will be applied to only children/fathers born on 1st July or after. what about all the other families with children born just the day before or the months before? This is so stupid!!!


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