The act introducing one-tenth parental leave now published

28 Sep 2018

On 26 September 2018, the Act of 2 September 2018, which introduces a new form of parental leave at the rate of one-tenth, was published in the Belgian State Gazette.

This act will enter into force on the tenth day following its publication in the Belgian State Gazette.

At present, parental leave can only be taken in the form of a full-time performance reduction for four months, a half-time reduction for eight months or a one-fifth reduction for 20 months.

In order to meet a growing need for work-life balance, the legislator has introduced the additional possibility for the employee to agree with his employer to reduce his working hours, within the framework of parental leave, by one-tenth of the normal number of working hours in a full-time working regime.

The specific details of this new performance reduction (length of parental leave, form of performance reduction (one day every two weeks or half a day per week), etc.) still need to be determined by Royal Decree. 

Although the principle of the National Employment Office granting an interruption allowance to the employee benefiting from such a performance reduction is enshrined in the new regulation, the Royal Decree determining the details of the granting and the amount of this allowance still needs to be amended in order to take into account this new form of performance reduction.

The new legislation also provides that the employee and the employer may agree to a more flexible distribution of leave for palliative care, part-time parental leave and leave for assistance or care to a seriously ill member of the household or family.

Other amendments to extend the duration of adoption leave and parental leave in the case of long-term foster care were also introduced by an Act of 6 September 2018. These amendments will enter into force on 1 January 2019.

> Key message

The right to one-tenth parental leave will become effective within the next few days. The specific details of this new form of performance reduction, as well as the conditions for granting it and the amount of the interruption allowance to which the employee will be entitled, still need to be determined.