Legislation regarding parental leave is not going to change without a struggle. The new bill comes with a lot of extra costs, and not all employers agree with that. Nonetheless, the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment is uncompromising in his decision: the way parental leave – or birth leave – is stated in the bill, will not be amended.

WIEG: higher expenses for employers

The proposed Dutch Additional Birth Leave Act [Wet Invoering Extra Geboorteverlof] means a higher financial burden for employers. The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), a Dutch Employers’ organisation, states that employers will spend an extra 215 million Euros a year as a result of the bill. Employers will not only have (more) paid leave days, they also have to pay a higher contribution to the Incapacity for Work Fund (Aof-premie). Continued payment of this fund ensures that the payment from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) during the additional birth leave can be financed. Particularly smaller companies will experience some hindrance in this case.

Combination versus connection

The Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) has advised, among other suggestions, to combine paternal leave and parental leave into one. This can be financed through public funds. The VNO-NCW wants the minister to comply with this proposal.

The minister has decided, however, not to comply with the request of the VNO-NCW. He does not want to change the bill. In his opinion, the proposal should be viewed in connection with the other measures that were supported in the coalition agreement. In it, agreements have been made which will ease the burdens of employers. These provide a certain balance so that the added costs can be viewed in a different light.

Tight rules, tight leave registration system

In short: significant changes with regard to paternal leave are approaching. Which means that it is all the more important to keep a tight registration overview. The solution: a user-friendly, cloud-based leave registration system. Use it to view all leave usage at a single glance, and to maintain your leave registration accurately!

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