Self-employed workers get 5 extra days of paternity leave from 2021
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Self-employed workers get 5 extra days of paternity leave from 2021

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Self-employed fathers will be able to take 15 days of paternity and birth leave from next year, Self-Employed Minister David Clarinval announced on Tuesday.

Self-employed workers have had the right to up to 10 days of paternity leave since May 2019 and a maximum of €83.26 per day, or to an allowance for a maximum of eight days of interruption and a one-off bonus of €135 to compensate for expenses within the framework of a recognised system of household help.

A new law will make it possible to increase this leave from 10 days (or 20 half days) to 15 days (or 30 half days) from 1 January 2021.

In January 2023, these 15 days will again be increased to 20 (or 40 half days), as provided for in the government agreement.

A calculation by the Belgian Court of Auditors in February determined that increasing paternity leave to 20 days would cost up to €74.82 million a year.

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The new measure “allows for a more balanced distribution between men and women in the context of childcare, in a modern and equitable conception of the family that is well in tune with our times,” commented Clarinval.

The measure was approved by the Council of Ministers last Friday and is part of the 2021 programme law, which will shortly be submitted to Parliament, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

The programme law also includes an increase of the minimum pension for the self-employed, raising it from €1,291.69 to €1,325.92 for a full career for a single person, and from €1,614.10 to €1,656.98 for the head of a household.

Additionally, the correction coefficient for pensions of the self-employed will be abolished for any career year after 31 December 2020, allowing for self-employed people with an annual income of €30,000 to receive €127.35 in additional pension rights per year.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times