Everything you need to know about paternity leave for the self-employed

A baby on the way? You must be over the moon! You will likely want to spend as much time with your family as possible; to be there for your new child and enjoy those first precious moments to the full. Yet, you cannot simply abandon your business. Paternity leave for the self-employed provides additional flexibility in precisely these circumstances. It enables you to achieve the perfect balance.

Kinderen geboren voor 2019

As of 1 May 2019, the self-employed are entitled to the same 10 days of paternity leave as employed persons, in the first 4 months following the birth of their child. You can request this from your social insurance fund, by the last day of the quarter following the birth of your child at the latest. You are, of course, expected to have paid all applicable social contributions. The self-employed receive €81.62 of paternity benefit per day.

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How many days of paternity leave are the self-employed entitled to?

The self-employed decide for themselves how and when to take their paternity leave. You’re the boss. That means if you wish to take 10 days of consecutive leave, you can. However, not all self-employed persons can simply ‘shut up shop.’ Some require a more creative solution. The options include:

  • 10 full days
  • 20 half-days
  • Alternating full days and half-days
  • Half a day per week
  • A full day once every two weeks
  • 8 full days + 15 free service vouchers

It’s important to plan your paternity leave in consultation with your partner, and perhaps even family or friends. This will enable you to make the most of those first precious weeks and simultaneously keep your business up and running.

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Are all self-employed persons entitled to paternity leave?

All persons who are self-employed in a main occupation or assisting spouses are entitled to paternity leave.
Are you self-employed in a secondary occupation, or a self-employed student? Or have you reached retirement age, but are still working? You might also be eligible under extremely specific criteria.

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