De Unie, in your interest
0345 851 851

Parental leave

to school, maybe even for the first time? Perhaps now is a good time to check whether you are still entitled to parental leave and how you want to use this.

What exactly does parental leave mean?

Parental leave is a scheme whereby you temporarily work less in order to spend more time with your child (ren). You are entitled to parental leave for every child up to the age of 8, so with twins you are entitled to parental leave twice. You are entitled to parental leave for 26 times the number of hours you work per week. Both parents are entitled to parental leave. Parental leave is a form of unpaid leave.

You do not have to take parental leave for one child before starting the leave for another child. You can take parental leave for your child, adopted child or recognized child. You can also take parental leave for your foster child, stepchild, or would-be adopted child. In that case, the child must live with you according to the Municipal Personal Records Database.

When do you apply for parental leave and how can you organize it?

You can apply for parental leave as soon as you are employed by an employer. You must submit your application to your employer at least two months before the desired commencement date of the leave. You are entitled to a number of hours of parental leave. You can decide how and when you take these hours. Indicate in the application to your employer how and when you want to take up parenthood. This could, for example, be a consecutive period during which you are not working, but it is also possible, for example, to take 1 day of parental leave every week until all hours of parental leave are up.

In principle, your employer may not refuse an application for parental leave. This is only possible if the leave would cause serious problems for the company. In that case, agree on a different division of the leave hours in consultation with your employer.

Do you become unemployed? Then parental leave ends on the first day of unemployment.

Partner leave: form of parental leave when the child is born

A special form of parental leave is 3 days of parental leave after your partner gives birth, this is also called partner leave. Your employer may not refuse this leave and the way in which you want to take it. These 3 days of leave are added to the 2 days of paternity leave to which you are entitled.

You can take this leave immediately after the maternity leave, but this is also allowed up to 4 weeks after the baby has returned home or 4 weeks after the baby is born at home. Note: if you take this leave, it will be deducted from the parental leave credit.

Parental leave and holidays

Parental leave is unpaid. You therefore do not accrue vacation over these hours. Some employers (partly) continue to pay for parental leave. Is this the case with your employer? Check your employment contract, collective labor agreement or company regulations to see whether your employer has a scheme for this. You can also make individual agreements when you apply for parental leave. You do accrue holidays on parental leave hours that are paid.

If you continue to work partially, you will of course also accrue holidays over the hours you work. Parental leave may not be deducted from your vacation days.

Is parental leave on a public holiday? In that case, this day is considered parental leave and you are not entitled to compensation for that day. You can make different arrangements with your employer about this.

New employer?

Do you have a new job and have parental leave left? Then you can take this leave with your new employer. Your new employer can ask whether you have already taken parental leave with a previous employer. Therefore always ask for a statement from your (former) employer showing how many hours of parental leave you are still entitled to. Since 1 January 2015, an employer is obliged to provide such a statement if you request it.

Parental leave during reintegration

It is possible to take parental leave if you are (partially) incapacitated for work. But the leave can cause problems with your reintegration. You have to work with your employer to ensure that you can get back to work as soon as possible, you have to cooperate in this. Ask the company doctor whether taking parental leave can hinder reintegration.


Do you have any questions? Then contact us. We are happy to help you. We can be reached by telephone on 0345 - 851 963, but you can also email us via