Modernisation Parental leave and care leave
As of 1 January 2015 the Modernisation of Leave and Working Hours Regulations Bill entered into force. As a result of this, the statutory parental leave and care leave arrangements are amended as follows.
Until 1 January 2015 it was necessary for the employee to work for the same employer during at least one year in order to qualify for parental leave. Furthermore the employee was obligated to take the parental leave in a consecutive period of twelve months, whereas the reduction of his working hours as a result of the parental leave did not exceed 50% of his weekly working hours. As from 1 January 2015 the aforementioned requirements are extinguished. Under current law the employer can only object to the way in which the parental leave is taken if there are compelling business interests. The Modernisation of Leave and Working Hours Regulations Bill also creates a new entitlement for partners. In addition to the current two days of paid paternity leave, partners are entitled to three days of unpaid partner leave. This partner leave is unconditional and should be deducted from the entitlement to parental leave.
Short-term care leave
As from 1 July 2015 the possibilities to take short-term care leave are no longer limited to care for a parent, partner or child (including foster and adopted children), but also for brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren and household members or other persons who are socially related to the employee.
Long-term care leave
The statutory limitations on taking long-term care leave have also been withdrawn. Currently an employee is solely entitled to long-term care leave in the event of taking care of a person who suffers from a life-threatening disease. As of 1 July 2015 long-term care leave may also be taken to provide essential care in the event of sickness or a person in need of care.