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New 10% parental leave allows workers half-day off
Belgium's federal parliament has unanimously approved a new measure allowing parents to work 90% of a week and take parental leave for a half a day.
The more flexible approach to parental leave means working mothers and fathers can take a smaller salary cut and receive a small payment from employment body Onem for the 10% time off.
Until now, three forms of parental leave were possible - stopping work full-time, part-time, or working an 80% week and having a full day off.
Catherine Fonck, group leader of the cdH party in federal parliament, said: "Mums and dads would like to take Wednesdays afternoons off, for example, when children are not in school.
"Until now, it hasn't been possible to claim parental leave for just 10% of the working week."
Parental leave can be taken for taken for up to four months, any time before a child reaches the age of 12. Working parents can therefore adopt a 90% working pattern for up to 40 months.
Fonck added: "I'd like us to be able to extend parental leave in the future and make it possible for parents of children up to the age of 15."