Paternity leave: birth leave for fathers and co-parents-to-be.

A baby on the way? As a father or co-parent-to-be, you’ll naturally want to spend as much time with your newborn baby as possible. Paternity leave enables you take some time off work following the birth. Read here all you need to know about paternity leave.

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How many days of paternity leave can you take? Additional birth leave days from 2023.

If you become a father or co-parent in 2023, then you’re entitled to 20 days of birth leave. This is 5 more days than in 2022. You can consequently enjoy a longer period of paternity leave.

Both employees and the self-employed alike are entitled to these additional days of leave. Civil servants are entitled to 10 days of paternity leave or birth leave.

When can you apply for and take your paternity leave?

You’re free to plan your paternity leave or birth leave as you see fit, providing you take it within 4 months of your child’s birth. You needn’t take your paternity leave consecutively, you can split it into a number of different days instead of taking 4 weeks at once.

Self-employed? Then you can also take your paternity leave on a part-time basis. In this case, you’re entitled to 40 half days of birth leave. Please contact your Social Insurance Fund for Paternity Leave conditions for the self-employed.

In addition to the various types of leave, there are a number of other benefits for parents(-to-be). KidsLife ensures that you never miss out on any of these benefits! Request your Starting Amount from KidsLife and we’ll do the rest!

Apply for the Starting Amount (the new Maternity Allowance)

Will I still be paid during my birth leave or paternity leave period?

You’ll continue to receive your normal pay from your employer during the first 3 days of your birth leave. You’ll receive a benefit payment from your health insurance provider from the 4th day onwards.  The amount of sickness benefit that you receive invariably equates to 82% of your gross salary, with a ceiling of €139,97 per day.

We recommend contacting your health insurance provider, who’ll be happy to furnish you with the exact amounts.

What’s the difference between paternity leave and parental leave?

You’re entitled to paternity leave or birth leave upon the birth of your child. You’re entitled to parental leave up until your child’s 12th birthday.

You can view the differences below:

Paternity Leave/Birth Leave

Parental Leave

20 days

4 months

Can be taken up to a max. of 4 months following the birth of your child

Can be taken up until your child’s 12th birthday.

You’re free to plan the 20 full days as you see fit. (The self-employed can also opt to take half days)

Full-time = 4 months

Half-time = 8 months
1/5 Parental Leave = You work 4/5 for 20 months

You can also combine these options.

3 days of full pay, followed by payments from your health insurance provider.

You receive a replacement income from the government.

You request this from your employer or Social Insurance Fund.

You request this from your employer or Social Insurance Fund and the government.

Converting maternity leave into paternity leave

Want to convert maternity leave into paternity leave? This is permitted in 2 exceptional circumstances:

  • Has the mother been admitted to hospital for a lengthy period of time? Then the paternity leave period can be extended accordingly.
  • In the event of the mother’s death, any remaining maternity leave balance can be converted into birth leave for the father or co-parent, although we hope that you need never make use of this exception.

Are there any other types of leave other than Birth Leave/Paternal Leave?

Yes, there are other types of leave that can be taken instead of annual leave. You’ve probably already heard of Parental Leave and/or Time Credit? If this type of leave isn’t an option, then you can always consider working part-time on a voluntary basis. Discuss the various options with your employer (or Social Insurance Fund if you’re self-employed). They’ll be happy to provide further assistance!

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