Starting on June 1, workers will be able to take one half-day parental leave a week or one whole day’s every fortnight. The royal order providing for this was published last Wednesday in the Moniteur Belge.
Currently, parental leave may only be taken full time, part-time or one day per week. Starting on June 1, it will therefore also be possible to take it by the half-day or whole day every two weeks.
Another innovation is the flexibility concerning full or part-time parental leave and compassionate leave. From now on, time off will be able to be taken by the week, whereas that was only previously possible for a minimum of one month. A worker wishing to continue on a part-time basis will be able to take this thematic leave by the month, as opposed to a two-month minimum previously.
The Federation of Belgian companies (FEB) welcomed the possibility of being able to take a half-day parental leave, because that offered more flexibility to parents and would perhaps enable more men to make use of it.
Employers are conversely less enthusiastic regarding the possibility of dividing full time and part time parental leave into weeks or months. The FEB considered that to be “problematic” because of the organisational problems to which such a division could give rise within companies.