In the Netherlands, every pregnant woman with a job or benefit is entitled to a maximum of 6 weeks' maternity leave. After the birth of your child you are also entitled to maternity leave of at least 10 weeks. In total you are therefore entitled to at least 16 weeks' leave. After the birth you can spread the weeks of leave over 30 weeks. In this blog you can read how to do the maternity leave or maternity benefit you can apply for what you are entitled to, and whether you will receive longer leave with a multiple birth.
Request maternity leave
If you have a job, you can apply for maternity leave and maternity leave with your employer. Your maternity leave starts at least 4 weeks before your due date, but some women choose to go on leave 6 weeks before this date. You must leave at least 3 weeks before you actually apply for leave. So if you want to go on leave 4 weeks before your due date, you apply for maternity leave 7 weeks before this date.
Do you want to keep your employer as a friend and meet some requirements? Request your leave earlier so that your employer can arrange a replacement on time.
What do you need? To request your leave, you need a statement from your doctor or midwife, stating when your due date is.
Maternity leave: the most frequently asked questions
Below you will find the most frequently asked questions and answers about maternity leave and maternity leave.
Can an employer refuse maternity leave?
In no case may your employer refuse your maternity leave. If you run into problems with your employer, please contact the employers 'council or your employees' advisory board.
What is maternity benefit and how do you apply for it?
If you are sitting out in the last weeks of your pregnancy, you will continue to be paid. This is possible because of the maternity benefit. You do not have to apply for this yourself, this task lies with your employer. Your employer receives the benefit through the UWV and simply pays you your usual wage (ie 100%).
Maternity benefit while you already have a benefit
Are you pregnant and do you have an unemployment benefit, wage-related WGA benefit or are you covered by the sickness benefits law? Even then you are entitled to one maternity benefit. This then takes the place of your usual benefit. You must apply for the benefit yourself at the UWV at least 8 weeks before your due date.
Right to maternity benefit as a self-employed person?
Are you an independent entrepreneur? In that case it may be possible that you are eligible for a ZEZ benefit (Independent and Pregnant). You are then entitled to 16 weeks of pregnancy and maternity leave with benefit. You can apply for the benefit at the UWV. Check first if you are eligible for the ZEZ benefit.
Are you entitled to longer maternity leave if your baby is admitted to hospital?
For mothers whose baby has been admitted to the hospital for at least a week, there is the incubator scheme. This means that you can extend your maternity leave to a maximum of 10 weeks. You can apply for this extension with your employer or in the case of a benefit at the UWV.
Longer maternity leave if you get a multiple birth?
If you expect twins or more children, you can get maternity leave for 2 to 4 weeks longer. In total you are therefore entitled to 8 to 10 weeks of maternity leave. You must apply for leave at least 8 weeks before your due date at your employer or at the UWV (if you already had a benefit). After your birth you are entitled to at least 10 weeks of maternity leave.
Calculate maternity leave
Your maternity leave lasts up to and including the day that you gave birth to your child. So in principle until the day after your birth. If you want to calculate your leave you count 6 weeks back from the day after your due date. If you opt for 4 weeks of maternity leave then you count 4 weeks back.
In total you are entitled to 16 weeks of leave, this is your maternity leave plus your maternity leave. If for example you have 4 weeks of maternity leave instead of 6 weeks, then you count the weeks that you keep from the 6 weeks at the weeks of your maternity leave. So 4 weeks of maternity leave is 12 weeks of maternity leave.
If you prefer your child rather than the due date, you may add the days that you supposedly have left over to your payment leave. For example: you like 3 days before your due date, then you have 3 days of extra maternity leave.
Calculate maternity leave
This leave starts on the day after you have given birth. This leave lasts at least 10 weeks, but can be longer if your maternity leave has been shorter than 6 weeks. You are therefore always entitled to 16 weeks' leave in total. This also applies to the case that your child was born prematurely, so you will get a longer time to enjoy the first months.
Has your baby been born too late?
If your baby is born too late, for example 2 weeks after the due date, you add these days to the total leave of 16 weeks. In this example, this means that you have a total of 18 weeks' leave.
Include maternity leave in parts
After your birth you have to go on maternity leave for 6 weeks. And you will certainly need that. On average, 4 weeks of leave remain after those 6 weeks. These last weeks you can spread staggered over a period of up to 30 weeks. Of course in consultation with your employer or the UWV.
During your maternity leave, you often have more time for yourself and it can be wonderful to have some extra books in the house to enjoy reading.