The total term of the maternity leave you are entitled to is at least 16 weeks. At your request, your employment contract is extended with the amount of maternity leave taken. A distinction is made between pre- and post-natal maternity leave. Prenatal maternity leave starts between 6 and 4 weeks before the day after your due date (the so-called flexibility period).
After the birth, you are entitled to postnatal maternity leave and childbirth benefit. Be aware that under the Dutch Work and Care Act (Wet arbeid en zorg), you are obliged to cooperate in the application for benefits at the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). The benefit is then deducted from the amount you are entitled to.
You are obliged to take at least six consecutive weeks of maternity leave after childbirth. The rest of your maternity leave can be taken flexibly over a period of 30 weeks, in consultation with your employer. For example, you can start working again one or more days a week. Or you can start working full-time again for a number of weeks and then take the rest of the leave flexibly.
No later than three weeks after the start of your maternity leave, you have to discuss with your employer how you are going to take the rest of the leave. Your request may only be rejected if your employer has a ‘compelling business interest’. The criteria for this interest are not easily met. Your response must be answered within two weeks after you have submitted your request.