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The politics of parental leave policiesChildren, parenting, gender and the labour market$
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Sheila Kamerman and Peter Moss

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420671

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420671.001.0001

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The Netherlands: bridging labour and care

The Netherlands: bridging labour and care

Chapter:
(p.175) Eleven The Netherlands: bridging labour and care
Source:
The politics of parental leave policies
Author(s):

Janneke Plantenga

Chantal Remery

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847420671.003.0011

Until recently, Dutch leave policies were very limited. The only policy available was a twelve-week pregnancy and maternity leave for married women. However, by the end of the twentieth century, as a result of the changing family reforms and labour market patterns, leave arrangements had become a major policy issue with debates concentrating on entitlement, length of leave, and income support. This chapter discusses the development of leave policies, specifically parental leave in the Netherlands. This development has involved different interpretations of the purpose of leave and the divisions of responsibilities between the government, parents, and social partners. Starting from the view point in which parental leave was seen as a way to facilitate part-time employment, the Parental Leave Act provided a basic entitlement to take part-time, unpaid leave for a short period of time. It was left to the social partners to supplement this minimum. However, over time, public responsibility for leave has increased. This was evident not only in the increasing number of leave policies, but in the growing public involvement in the provision of income support as well. During this process, the interpretation of parental leave appeared to have changed from a labour market instrument into a more complex instrument intended to facilitate parenthood and the well-being of children.

Keywords:   leave policies, pregnancy leave, maternity leave, parents, social partners, Parental Leave Act

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