Great news for families in the Netherlands: An extension of parental leave for partners

This story was authored by Kate van de Krol, Advocacy Officer, Rutgers.

Beginning on July 1, 2020, parental leave for partners has been extended in the Netherlands by five weeks. Up until 2019, partners and fathers only had two days of paid leave. Today, partners that are officially employed will be able to take a maximum of six weeks of parental leave to spend time with their families and children.

This extension has been a great step in securing and promoting the equal sharing of care work at home and more equal opportunities in the labor market. However, this leave only covers 70% of the individual’s salary, which means that some families might not be able to take the leave. In the coming years it will be important that the government makes sure that 100% of the salary is covered under parental leave.

Many reputable Dutch news and media outlets highlighted this extension of parental leave and what it would mean for families, employers, and society at large. There were sections and articles that interviewed fathers-to-be and almost all were happy that they could be home instead of at their job.

Rutgers, an active member of MenEngage Europe & Global and MenCare: A Global Fatherhood Campaign, was also interviewed for the evening news. Rutgers, the Dutch Centre of Expertise on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), explained that this extension is a real milestone for equal parenting and caring responsibilities and that the new law will hopefully reduce the pregnancy discrimination women still face in the Netherlands.

Rutgers, together with multiple other women’s rights organizations, has been advocating for the extension of parental leave since 2015. One of their strategies has been translating and using The MenCare Parental Leave Platform booklet for their campaign.