Towards greater social flexibility: the corona parental leave

share this publication

The National Security Council's communication of Wednesday 6 May shows that working from home remains the norm, but is no longer an obligation. However, if working from home is possible for employees in certain functions, this is still recommended. As combining their work and private life is not always easy for employees, and certainly not when they have to work from home, the Federal Council of Ministers approved the 'corona parental leave' last week.

 

Employees who are parents of one or more children under the age of 12 may take additional parental leave between 1 May and 30 June, provided their employer agrees. The aim of this measure is to enable parents to strike a better balance between their work life and taking care of their children, who in most cases are not yet able to go to childcare or to school (full-time), due to the corona measures.

 

 

Who is eligible?

Any employee who has one or more children under the age of 12 or who is the parent of a disabled child may apply for corona parental leave if this employee has at least one month's seniority working for their employer. Adoptive and foster parents can also apply for this leave. Employers must approve the leave.

 

The corona parental leave is not deducted from the credits for ordinary parental leave that employees receive for each child. This scheme therefore constitutes an additional parental leave.

 

 

How do you take up this leave?

Corona parental leave can only be taken up part-time (i.e. not full-time):

  • either by a 1/5th reduction in performance (if the employee works full time);
  • or by a reduction in performance to a half-time job (if the employee works at least 75% of a full-time job).

This leave can be taken up flexibly until 30 June, while this measure is in force, i.e. in a continuous period, but also in weeks or months, consecutively or otherwise.

 

 

How to apply for this parental leave?

The application procedure is shorter than for ordinary parental leave. Employees must inform their employer 3 working days in advance. However, if both the employer and the employee agree, this leave can also start at shorter notice.

 

 

What do you get paid?

Employees who take corona parental leave receive a benefit from the NEO that is 25% higher than the benefits they get for regular parental leave. The following amounts are paid as corona parental leave allowance, per month, calculated for a parent of a two-parent family:

  • in case of half-time leave, approximately EUR 532 gross, i.e. approximately EUR 440 net after deduction of withholding tax on earned income;
  • in case of 1/5 leave, approximately EUR 180 gross, i.e. approximately EUR 150 net after deduction of withholding tax on earned income.

These amounts are subject to publication. For a single parent whose child is domiciled at their address, higher amounts will apply.

 

If you have any questions about this scheme, or if you have any other questions about work and employment in times of Corona, please feel free to contact our social law lawyers at sociaal@titeca.be