In Northern Europe they already know how to do it. There is longer, better paid, and gender-equal leave for all parents. In the Netherlands we are lagging behind in this. That should change, many people think. It is time for the 21st century leave in the Netherlands and that is why a petition has been started.
The Belly Collective
Eline Leijten is co-initiator of the Petition 21-eeuwsverlof.nl and entrepreneur and chairman of the Het Buiken Collectief foundation, a national client organization of pregnant women in Dutch maternity care. She thinks it is also time for the Netherlands to implement systematic changes regarding leave. Roanne van Voorst, a Dutch anthropologist, asks for extra attention for this petition on Instagram.
Drop in income
‘After the birth of a child, the income of Dutch women drops by no less than 46 percent. The father’s income hardly decreases. Men can take leave after birth, but are paid much less than the normal salary. Moreover, in the Netherlands you are not entitled to leave after a miscarriage before the 24 weeks of pregnancy. And during the first period, 8 out of 10 pregnant women suffer from ailments such as nausea, but they are expected to continue working at full capacity. All things that need to change’, says Roanne.
Read also – Parental leave 2022: what are you entitled to?’ >
There are many inspiring examples in Scandinavia. There we see longer paid leave for both parents and more respect and space for parenting and all the care that comes with it. The Netherlands is well on its way with expanding the leave scheme, but things could be done a bit faster if we want gender equality, the women say.
21st century leave
That is why the 21st century leave petition has been created. In this way, a group of men and women are trying to draw attention to this situation and to call on the Dutch government to really introduce a modern leave scheme. What exactly are they asking for? Equal rights to leave after the birth of a child for both parents, financial compensation for both during these weeks, longer entitlement to paid parental leave, entitlement to leave after miscarriage and stillbirth before 24 weeks and extending the Working Hours Act to allow pregnant women more entitled to work breaks.
Do you also believe that this should be different in the Netherlands? Do you want to read more about it? Find here the 21st century leave petition with a detailed explanation and the chance to sign it.
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