Birth leave to be applied in case of posting
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Each worker, regardless of the work arrangements under which they are employed (full-time or part-time), is entitled, for births taking place on or after 1 January 2023, to 20 days of absence from work within the four-month period following the date of birth on the occasion of the birth of a child whose parentage is established in their regard (NB. For births that took place before 1 January 2023, this right was fixed at fifteen days of absence, under the same conditions.).
In the case of the birth of twins or multiple births, the entitlement to the birth leave is recognised only once.
During the first three days of birth leave, the worker retains full pay at the employer's expense.
Principle: the child's father or co-parent
The right to birth leave applies to a worker, other than the mother who gave birth to the child, who has a legal parent-child relationship with the child, according to the provisions of the former Civil Code. In other words, birth leave can be taken by the (legal) father or co-parent of the child.
Second order: the co-parent without a parent-child relationship
If there is no (legal) father or co-parent, birth leave can be taken by the co-parent who has no legal parent-child relationship with their partner's child, provided that the following conditions are met:
- The child should only have a legal parent-child relationship with the mother. If there is also a legal parent-child relationship with the father or co-parent, then there will only be an entitlement to birth leave in respect of that father or co-parent and the co-parent who has no legal parent-child relationship with the child will not be entitled to birth leave.
- At the time of birth, the worker (co-parent) must:
- either legally cohabit with the person in respect of whom parentage is established (i.e. the child's mother) and with whom the child has their principal residence (the condition concerning the child's principal residence does not apply if the child is stillborn), and not have any family relationship entailing a marriage prohibition from which they cannot be exempted by the King;
- or for an uninterrupted period of three years preceding the birth, have been permanently and affectively cohabiting with the person in respect of whom parentage is established (i.e. the child's mother) and with whom the child has their principal residence (the condition concerning the child's principal residence does not apply if the child is stillborn), and not have any family relationship entailing a marriage prohibition from which they cannot be exempted by the King. The proof of cohabitation and principal residence is provided by means of an extract from the population register.
Only one worker is entitled to birth leave and workers in the various categories listed above have successive priority over each other.
Where applicable, the birth leave taken will be deducted from the adoption leave, if the co-parent ends up adopting the child concerned. The right to birth leave for the co-parent does not give rise to any other civil, social or economic rights either.
Time period for taking the leave
The days of birth leave may be taken, at the worker's choice, within four months from the day of the birth. These days do not have to be taken all at once, but can be spread over the four-month period after the birth. The day of the birth counts as the first day of this four-month period.
Prior notice to the employer
A worker who wishes to use birth leave must give prior notice to the employer. This notice can be given orally or in writing, but it is advisable to inform the employer in writing (e.g. by e-mail with acknowledgement of receipt or by handing over a written document signed for receipt by the employer) in order to avoid any problems of proof.
Prior notice means that the worker must inform the employer that they will be taking the day of birth leave at the latest before the start of the working day.
The necessary proof must be provided (e.g. extract from the birth certificate of the child for whom the birth leave is taken, ...).