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Self-employed dads in Belgium to get more paternity leave

A father plays with his baby (Free Licence/Negative Space)
08:34 13/06/2022

From 1 January 2023, paternity leave for self-employed fathers in Belgium will be extended to 20 days (or 40 half days), RTBF reports. The federal minister for the self-employed David Clarinval revealed last week that fathers and co-parents will see an increase on the current amount of 15 days.

“Over a period of four years, the number of days of paternity leave for self-employed dads will double. In 2019, self-employed fathers were entitled to 10 days of paternity leave, from 2021 those were increased to 15, and from 2023 it will be 20,” Clarinval said. He added that these days can be taken separately or consecutively, as well as split into 40 half-days.

“It will give dads extra time to spend with their new-borns, which I can only encourage,” said Clarinval.

Self-employed fathers are entitled to paternity allowance (and co-parents to birth allowance), set at €91.03 for a whole day and at €45.52 for a half-day during the paternity or birth leave – according to the current index.

Between January and March 2022, 2,219 self-employed people in Belgium claimed this benefit, which is paid by the social insurance fund of the self-employed.

For self-employed mothers, birth leave is split into two parts: an obligatory period of three weeks, and an optional additional period of nine weeks (or ten, in case of multiple birth), which can be taken before or after birth.