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What types of care leave are there?


Do your weekly activities not only consist of activities for an employer? But do you also take care of someone close to you? Then you will have to deal with care leave! In this blog we share which types of care leave there are, in which situation they can be applied, what they entail and what is involved. 

Types of care leave

In the Netherlands there are three types of leave that you can use for the care of a loved one.

  • Emergency leave
  • Short-term care leave
  • Long-term care leave

We explain below which type of care leave applies to your situation and when you are entitled to it.

Emergency leave, for unexpected events

You often submit a request for emergency leave (or short absence leave) for unexpected events. You are entitled to emergency leave if there are very special personal or unforeseen circumstances, for which you are forced to take time off.

In the case of emergency leave, think of leave to arrange the initial care of your sick child, so that you can pick it up directly from school. If you have not been able to arrange care to take care of your sick child at home, you can submit a request for short-term care leave.

You can also use emergency leave for other things, such as burglary in your home, the birth of your partner or a death in the family. Care does not play a role in this.

What should you take into account during emergency leave?

If you cannot arrive at work or cannot arrive on time due to an emergency, you must report this to your employer as soon as possible. Even if you have to leave earlier due to an emergency, this is also expected of you. Of course you tell your employer what the situation is and how long you think you will be absent. An employer may not refuse a reasonable request for emergency leave. Your employer may, however, ask you to demonstrate afterwards why the emergency leave was necessary.

Emergency leave can last from a few hours to a few days. Of course this is completely dependent on the situation. The length of the emergency leave has no impact on your salary, your employer will continue to pay your salary. Emergency leave is really meant to take emergency measures!

Short-term care leave, for necessary care

If there is short-term care leave, you are entitled to provide the necessary care to your sick child, partner or parent. In fact, you can take short-term care leave for anyone who is in your immediate circle. So also for your brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, housemates and acquaintances.

Conditions for short-term care leave

There are conditions for taking short-term care leave.

  • You are the only one who can provide the necessary care;
  • You actually perform this care.

You usually cannot take short-term care leave for a loved one who is in hospital. The patient will then already receive care, making your care 'useless'.

What should you take into account with short-term care leave

During your short-term care leave you are entitled to a maximum of 2 times the agreed hours that you work per week per 12 months. If you work 40 hours a week, you are entitled to 12 hours of short-term care leave per 80 calendar months. The condition is therefore that the patient needs care and that you - given the concrete circumstances of the illness - are the only one who can provide the necessary care.

Are you taking short-term care leave? Therefore, take less wages into account. During short-term care leave you will receive at least 70% of your salary. If it is less than the minimum wage, you will receive the minimum wage. Other agreements may have been made about this in your collective labor agreement.

Long-term care leave, for longer periods of illness

You can take advantage of long-term care leave if someone close to you needs care in connection with a disease that is life-threatening. You can also take long-term care leave for someone close to you who is ill or in need of assistance for a longer period of time. The condition is that you are the only one who can provide this necessary care.

What should you take into account with long-term care leave

With long-term care leave, you are entitled to a maximum of 12 times the number of hours you work per week on leave per 6 months. So if you work 40 hours a week, you are entitled to 240 hours of long-term care leave per 12 months.

During a period of long-term care leave, take into account that you will not be paid a salary. You lose the right to salary with this type of care leave. Deviating agreements may be made about this in your collective labor agreement or company regulations. So always check this before taking long-term care leave.

When are you entitled to care leave?

You are entitled to care leave if someone close to you has fallen ill. Depending on the period of illness, you can request the right kind of care leave from your employer.

Does a collective labor agreement apply to your employment contract? Or does the organization have an agreement from the works council or company regulations? In that case, other agreements about these forms of special leave may be included. So always check the agreements about this before taking care leave.

Do you have questions?

Is this currently a current topic for you and do you have questions? Then contact us. We are happy to help you. We can be reached by phone on 0345 851 963, but you can also email us via

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