Zwangerschapsverlof, ouderschapverlof en tijdskrediet

Maternity leave, parental leave and time credit

Would you like to spend more time with your family? The good news is that you can. Because as a parent, you're entitled to maternity leave, birth leave, parental leave and time credit. How does it work exactly?


Maternity leave

What is it?

You’re entitled to 15 weeks' maternity leave (also known as pregnancy leave or birth leave). You’re entitled to 19 weeks in the case of a multiple birth. Single mothers who are independant can take 12 weeks, or 13 weeks in the case of a multiple birth.


How much does the benefit payment amount to?

 

Employees

Unemployed

Self-employed

Day 1-30

82% of your gross salary (no maximum amount)

60% of the reference salary* + 19.5% of the reference salary.

499.54 euros for full-time leave or 249.77 euros per week for half-time leave.

From day 31

75% of the capped gross salary

60% of the reference salary + 15% of the reference salary

499.54 euros for full-time leave or 249.77 euros per week for half-time leave.

*Reference salary: gross salary on which your unemployment benefit is calculated.


How can you use it?

  • You’re entitled to 15 weeks' maternity leave in total. This is 12 weeks for single mothers.
  • You may take up to 6 weeks of prenatal maternity leave. This is 3 weeks for single mothers.
  • You can take at least 9 weeks postnatal maternity leave.
  • You’re obliged to take at least 1 week of your 15 or 12 weeks’ maternity leave prior to childbirth. The remaining weeks can be taken as postnatal maternity leave.

How do you apply for it?

  • You provide your health insurance fund with a doctor's certificate specifying your expected delivery date and the date on which your maternity leave will commence. You’ll receive documents from your health insurance fund, which you need to complete and return as soon as possible.
  • After your child is born, you supply your health insurance fund with a medical certificate or a copy of the birth certificate.
  • As soon as you return to work, you provide your health insurance fund with proof of work resumption.

Good news! Pregnant employees who become sick or unemployed during pregnancy are now entitled to a full period of maternity leave. Sick days are therefore no longer deducted from your maternity leave.


Birth leave

Geboorteverlof

What is it?

Fathers or co-parents can take 10 days of leave following the birth of their child.

  • That leave must be taken within four months of the birth.
  • You don't have to take these days consecutively.

How much does the payment amount to?

You’ll be paid your full salary for the first three days, and will receive 82% of your salary for the remaining 7 days through your health insurance fund. If you’re self-employed, you will receive a benefit payment from your social insurance fund.

How do you apply for it?

  • Notify your employer about the birth of your baby. If you’re self-employed, then notify your social insurance fund.
  • Apply for your benefit payment from your health insurance fund (employees) or social insurance fund (self-employed persons).

Pregnant? Ask for your Maternity Fee or Start Amount at KidsLife.

Apply for Maternity Fee

Have you already given birth and don't yet receive any Child Benefit or Growth Package from KidsLife? KidsLife ensures that you no longer have to miss out on any benefits! 

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Breastfeeding leave

Are you breastfeeding your baby? Then you can take breastfeeding leave. This can be done in two ways:

  • If your work could be harmful to your health or that of your baby, then it’s best not to work if you are breastfeeding. Then you're entitled to ‘prophylactic breastfeeding leave'. This applies if you come into contact with certain bacteria, viruses or chemicals at work for example. In this instance you’ll receive a benefit payment from your health insurance fund.
  • You can also take breastfeeding leave in consultation with your employer. Whilst this is usually unpaid, it is paid in certain sectors. So make sure to check with your employer if this applies for you.

You’re entitled to a half-hour breastfeeding break every four hours worked up until nine months following the birth of your baby. You can take 2 breaks in a 7.5-hour working day. These breaks are reimbursed by your health insurance fund. That way you can pause your work to express your milk or breastfeed your baby without feeling guilty.


Parental leave

 

Parental leave is a flexible form of career break that can be taken from the birth of your child up to their twelfth birthday. It comprises 4 months, which can be taken full-time or part-time (1/2, 1/5 or 1/10).

Who is it for?

  • Mothers, fathers and co-parents are all entitled to parental leave.
  • You’re entitled to 4 months for every child under the age of 12 or up to the age of 21 if your child has a mental or physical incapacity of at least 66%.
  • You are also entitled to parental leave for adopted children.
  • You must have been working for your current employer for a minimum of one year.

How much does the benefit payment amount to?

 

Full-time

Half-time

1/5

1/10

<50 years (net)

765.33

352.77

119.68

59.84

>50 years (net)

765.33

475.58

179.52

89.76

Increased benefit payment (net)

1258.19

579.95

160.94

80.84


How do you apply for it?

Parental leave is an entitlement. This means that your employer cannot refuse it. Submit your application to the RVA (National Employment Office).

Tip! Are you living in Flanders? Apply for an incentive bonus from the Flemish Government.


Time credit

 

Time credit enables you to reduce your working hours in order to get some rest during the busiest periods in your life.

If you take time credit with motive, then you’ll receive a replacement income from the RVA (National Employment Office).

What are the motives?

  • Pursuing recognised training (max. 36 months)
  • Caring for your own child under 8 years of age
  • Caring for your own child or a child in your family who is seriously ill and a minor
  • Caring for a seriously ill family member or relative
  • Providing palliative care

Please note! You must have been working for your current employer for a minimum of 2 years. You can take a maximum of 51 months. Check how much your benefit payment amounts to here.


Are you pregnant? Then apply for your Starting Amount or Maternity Allowance from KidsLife!

Apply here