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Belgium extends paternity leave to 15 days

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Paternity leave in Belgium will be extended to 15 days from next year, the government announced in a press conference on Friday.

Deputy PM and Work Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne said the government had bumped up paid paternity leave by five days, up from the current ten, for all new parents whose partners had just given birth, defined as co-parents.

The extension will benefit employees, the self-employed and civil servants alike for each new child born. The 15 days can be taken separately or in a row as well as split up to up to 30 half-days.

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Dermagne said that Belgium would seek to extend the paternity leave scheme to 25 days by 2023 and said that the extension was an important step towards gender equality in the country.

“Equality between men and women also concerns participation in the education of children,” the minister said.

By contrast, maternity leave in Belgium lasts 15 weeks and can be extended to 17 or 19 weeks, depending on the situation.

The extension by Belgium comes as the French government in September announced that the country would double paternity leave, bumping it up from 14 to 28 days from 2021.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times