Parents in the Netherlands and all across Europe, rejoice! Employment committee members negotiated today with EU ministers and the EU Parliament will make much-needed increases to parental leave entitlements.

These changes should alleviate some of the burdens of parenting while managing a work-life balance. This is an indication that the EU parliament is aware of societal changes and the way people live. New fathers can also take time for their families with a paid allowance, balancing the scales of parenting responsibility and give women a fair go in the labor market.

The EU Parliament added a full two months of non-transferrable and paid leave entitlements. The new legislation ensures that their level of pay allows for quality living standards, encouraging both parents to take leave.

Parental leave entitlements in the EU

  • Up to ten working days of paternity leave paid at the full rate of sick pay
  • Two months of non-transferable paid parental leave
  • Five days of annual carers’ leave
  • Flexible working patterns, including remote working

A clause in the bill stipulates that 65% of the parent’s total net salary must be paid out over six months in the form of a salary or allowance for each parent, in order to properly expand parental leave entitlements. David Casa, the lead negotiator in parliament has said triumphantly: “What we have achieved today will have a concrete, positive impact on the lives of citizens across the EU”.

Negotiators made clear that that the take-up of parental leave often results in a loss of income for the family. In addition to the changes in parental leave, the EU parliament added 5 days of care-leave for sick relatives or close ones in need, because they care.

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