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Maternity and parental leave



I am a bit confused about maternity leave and parental leave in Belgium. I have been doing some research, but still cannot find answers to my questions. In Belgium, how long a woman can stay at home to look after the baby and receive a full salary? Is it 4 months? What happens after 4 months, can a woman still stay at home and receive full salary? If I understand correctly, maternity leave is 4 months (with full salary). Afterwards, if one decides not to return to work, she can take parental leave, but salary decreases?


@ Isabella - you disgust me. And that takes quite some doing.

@ mx - Ask your employer / HR department - they ought to be fully up-to-date on the latest legislation w.r.t. just about everything, and if they're not, they will be able to point you in the direction of your social secretariat, who will be able to answer your questions.

Dec 1, 2013 02:31

Assuming that you are an employee on a Belgian contract on a private sector:
Maternity leave is 15 weeks long (19 weeks in case of multiple birth). 9 weeks of this has to be taken after the baby is born and 4 weeks can be taken either before or after the birth.

1 week of the maternity leave has to be taken before the birth of the baby. If the baby is born before you have been on maternity leave for 1 week you will loose one week and the maternity leave will be only 14 weeks long.

Technically any sick leave during the last 60 days before the presumed due date will count as maternity leave (is discounted from the 15 weeks), although some employers in practice do not follow this rule (report the days as normal sickness leave).
During the first 30 days of the maternity leave you will be paid an allowance equivalent to 82% of your gross monthly salary. During the rest of the maternity leave the allowance is 75% of the gross salary. The allowance is however capped, so you can get a maximum of 98,70EUR gross per day. The maternity leave allowance is taxable and it is paid by your mutuelle.
After maternity leave you can stay home on parental leave for maximum 4 months. The parental leave can be taken either on full time, on 80% or on 50% working time.

The maximum length is 4 months, if you choose the part time regimes you can be 4x 5months on 80%, or 4x 2months on 50%. You can also combine different regimes, for example one month on full time and then 3 x 5months on 80%.

In order to be entitled to parental leave you have to have been working for your current employer a minimum of 12 months during the last 15 months and on minimum 75% working time. The parental leave can be taken at any time until the child is 12 years old. You have to request it from your employer in written at latest 2 months before you want to start. Your employer can not refuse the leave, but can ask you to postpone it based on production reasons.

During the parental leave you get a monthly allowance of about 785EUR gross (+/-700 net, pro rata if you have a part time contract) when on full time, 390EUR gross on 50% and 130EUR gross on 80%. There are some small supplements for single parents.
After parental leave you might have a possibility to stay home for another year on credit time (sans motif). The credit time 'sans motif' is unpaid. The conditions and more details in here:
You should check with your HR for details. If you are on the public sector, the basics are the same, but there are some variations. If you are independent the rules are different and you should check directly with your caisse d'allocation familiale. If you work for the EU institutions, check directly with them.

More info on maternity leave in here:

And on parental leave here:

Dec 1, 2013 10:34

Hi AO,

Thanks a lot for useful info! About parental leave - is it 4 months per child or each parent can take 4 months: 4 months for a mother and 4 months for a father?

Dec 1, 2013 12:50

The parental leave is 4 months per child per parent, so in total you have 8 months.

Dec 1, 2013 21:15

Hi MX,

You can find more info on parental leave here:

But basically, for each child, both the mother and father (as long as they are employees in the Belgian system) are entitled to take 4 months leave each.

Dec 1, 2013 21:15