Maternity leave

Maternity leave

If you are pregnant you have the right to a minimum of 16 weeks pre and post maternity leave. You can choose to stop working four, five or six weeks before your due date. If you stop working four weeks before the expected date of birth, you retain 12 weeks of maternity leave for the period after the birth. If you stop working six weeks before, you then retain 10 weeks of maternity leave.

Maternity leave for twins or multiple births
If you are expecting a multiple birth, you may take maternity leave earlier: between 10 and eight weeks before your due date. Your leave period must begin at least 8 weeks before your due date. Note: count the days backwards from the day after your expected due date.

You can stop working between 10 and eight weeks before your due date. This two-week period is called the flexibility period. If you continue to work during the flexibility period, you will not be able to count these days towards your maternity leave.

Requesting maternity leave

  • Notify your manager and your Human Resources (HR) department of the date you wish the leave to start. You should do this at least ten weeks before your due date.
  • You are then required to submit to your HR department a statement of pregnancy from the midwife.
  • The HR department will send you a letter confirming the starting date of your pre and post maternity leave.
  • On the first day of your leave you should report sick in the usual way.

Notifying work of the date the birth date

When you have given birth, inform your HR department of the birth date, for example by sending a greetings card.

Spreading the last weeks of maternity leave

From six weeks after giving birth, you can spread the remaining maternity leave out over 30 weeks. You should discuss the distribution of these days with your manager. You should submit the request to spread out the remaining leave to your HR Department no later than three weeks after the birth date. The total duration of the leave will not change. Your maternity leave must last at least 16 weeks. Your benefit payments and the manner of payment remain the same.

Back to work

On the day you go back to work, report yourself as no longer sick in the usual way.

Illness during pregnancy or after the birth

If you become ill due to complaints relating to your pregnancy or the birth, you should notify your HR department as soon as possible.

Illness during pregnancy before pre maternity leave has started
If you have indicated that you want the pre maternity leave to start four weeks before your due date but you become ill within the period of six weeks before the due date, the day you report sick counts as the beginning of your pre maternity leave.

What happens if you are expecting a multiple birth and you become ill before the maternity leave begins
If you become ill when your leave period should already have begun, these days count towards your maternity leave. That means that if you are ill between 10 and eight weeks before your due date, these days count as maternity leave.

Illness during pre and post maternity leave
If you become ill during your maternity leave, the leave continues as usual. Your leave will therefore not be extended by the number of days that you have been sick.
However, you should nonetheless report sick in the usual way.

Illness after your maternity leave has ended
If you are unable to work due to illness after your maternity leave has ended, you should report sick in the usual way, if you have not already done so.

Extended maternity leave for child's hospital admission

If your child is admitted to hospital for a long period during your maternity leave, the leave period can be extended for a maximum of 10 weeks. The extension of the leave period is the same length as the number of days for which the child is admitted to hospital (calculated from the 8th day of hospitalisation), up to a maximum of 10 weeks. This offers you the opportunity to care for your child at home for a number of weeks. Inform the HR Department about the hospital admission as soon as possible.

Frequently asked questions about maternity leave

I gave birth later than my due date. Does this have consequences for my maternity leave?
It depends:  If the baby is born later than expected and you have already had six weeks of maternity leave, your maternity leave will be extended by the number of days that the birth was overdue.

I gave birth earlier than the due date.Does this have consequences for my maternity leave?
If your baby is born earlier than expected this does not have any further consequences for the length of your maternity leave. You retain the right to 16 weeks of leave.

I had a multiple birth and the children were born prematurely. Will that have consequences for the length of my maternity leave?
If you give birth earlier than the expected due date and because of this your maternity leave has lasted less than six weeks, you can count the missed leave days towards your maternity leave. If, despite the premature birth, your maternity leave has already lasted longer than six weeks, you cannot count the missed days towards your maternity leave.

Last Modified: 19-05-2016