Unprecedented: Dutch bank gives new fathers a month off

Brand new fathers in the Netherlands aren’t the luckiest when it comes to paternity leave. They get two days – an absolute minimum compared to other European countries. While politicians can’t seem to agree on changing that, ING bank decided to take matters into their own hands.


A full month: that’s the amount of time male employees of ING bank can stay at home right after becoming a father. ING is the first large Dutch company to offer such a long period of time off. The new arrangement applies to all 14,000 employees and includes non-biological mothers that are part of a same-sex couple.

Women benefit as well
‘This is important for the labour participation of women,’ Family sociologist Renske Keizer says. Keizer, associate professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam and professor by special appointment at University of Amsterdam (specialised in fatherhood), told newspaper the Volkskrant: ‘From Swedish research we know that a longer paternity leave goes hand in hand with a higher income for the mother. That makes it all the more disappointing that the Dutch government hasn’t managed to arrange this for all fathers.’

Hope for other Dutch men
Compared to German fathers (two months), Luxemburgish fathers (six months), and other European fathers, Dutch fathers are pretty unfortunate with their two days. A draft law exists that proposes to increase paternity leave to five days, but the voting has been postponed. There's hope though: most politicians agree, and some Dutch parties want to increase the time off even more, ranging from ten days to three months.

Rotterdam leads the way
Some good news for employees of the municipality of Rotterdam: from 2018 onwards (if all goes well), they will get three weeks off. To fully enjoy the precious time with the brand new addition to their family they will be paid 70% of their salary during this period.

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