Half expectant fathers are not familiar with upcoming birth leave scheme

Half expectant fathers are not familiar with upcoming birth leave scheme

In less than 9 months, expectant fathers will get additional birth leave. From a study by IPSOS commissioned by Rutgers, knowledge center for sexuality and 24baby.As it turns out, only half of the men and women who want to have children know about this.

The new regulations for additional birth leave

Currently, partners of women who have given birth are entitled to 5 days of birth leave at 100% of salary. From July 1, 2020, they may take an additional 5 weeks of additional birth leave in the first six months. At 70% of the salary.

The new leave policy not only allows fathers to be with their newborn child longer, but also to schedule that leave period themselves. Together with 24baby.nl, the platform for expectant and young parents, Rutgers had IPSOS* survey whether this new scheme is known and whether it will be used.

The arrangement is unknown

Almost half of men and women aged 18 to 55 with a desire to have children did not yet know about the scheme. The additional leave will apply to couples who now discover they are expecting. They can plan the leave together now to get the best start with their newborn baby.

Solo care best for family

Furthermore, the IPSOS survey shows that 98% of respondents want to use the additional birth leave scheme. Also asked when men and women expect to schedule partner leave. 41% see some merit in spreading the leave over the first six months, 40% are thinking of taking the leave after the birth and 6% of partners want to take it immediately after the mother’s maternity leave.

While multiple studies show that the latter option actually provides the most benefits for the whole family.

Positive effects of this new birth leave scheme

‘By taking care of the baby alone as a partner, you are no longer the mother’s assistant, and then in the long run the benefits of this leave will really become visible, within families and in the workplace,’ says Ilze Smit, Project Leader Fatherhood at Rutgers. In fact, if the father is the primary caregiver for a while, this also has long-term positive effects:

  • Fathers get the space to be fathers. When they find that they can take care of their child very well on their own, it increases their self-confidence in their fatherhood.
  • Mothers can return to work with peace of mind when their baby is in the safe and loving hands of the partner at home. She gets space to put time and energy back into her work, which can ultimately make for better career opportunities.
  • Fathers who chose solo care report that the bond with their child is strengthened as a result.
  • Children with an involved father in the first months after birth seem to develop better social-emotionally.
  • The division of roles between fathers and mothers (men and women) occurs at the birth of the baby. Research shows that when fathers choose solo care, they also feel more responsible for doing the housework. This also leads to a more equal division of roles within the relationship in subsequent years.

Planning together with Leave Planner

In less than 9 months, the first fathers will use the new leave scheme. The Leave Planner from 24baby.nl and Rutgers helps expectant parents think about sharing care and scheduling birth leave.

Do you already know this birth leave scheme?

photo pixabay/text press release

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*Research firm IPSOS was commissioned by Rutgers to investigate the extent to which the Dutch are familiar with this extension of paternity leave. IPSOS did this by conducting an online questionnaire among their panelists with three questions about birth leave. A representative sample of 1019 Dutch completed this questionnaire.