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Belgian freelancers get right to take paternity leave

A proposed law that would grant freelancers paternity leave was unanimously approved on Thursday, according to reports. The proposed bill concerned was submitted by the opposition (Ecolo MP Gilles Vanden Burre). 

The bill rapidly gained the government’s support, including freelance minster Willy Borsus and Denis Ducarme. It was rewritten as a co-signed bill, inspired by other Parliamentary initiatives.  

He wants to help freelancers balance their work and home lives and allow salaried employees, freelancers and co-parents to be treated the same. 

The ten-day paternity leave allowance (divisible into half-days) can be taken voluntarily in the four months following the birth of a child.

The proposed bill also takes co-parenting into consideration. It also lets freelancers choose between temporarily pausing their business for a maximum of eight days or receiving 15 free service vouchers. 

Mr Ducarme is very pleased about the vote. “It’s important progress for freelancers and liberal professions. Another step towards a better balance between work and home life”, he said. 

The cost of the measure is estimated to be 11 million euros a year. 

The Brussels Times