How is the salary arranged during maternity leave?

If you are pregnant, you are legally entitled to maternity leave before and after giving birth. This means that you do not have to work, but you are entitled to wages. Your salary will be paid in accordance with the employment contract. However, the salary is not paid by the employer, but a benefit is used through the employer. If you are pregnant, you are entitled to benefits! From what moment can you go on leave and how is the salary during maternity leave arranged?

Salary during maternity leave

  • Pregnant and now?
  • What happens to your salary?
  • How long and when leave?
  • Applying for a salary benefit during maternity leave
  • Illness after leave
  • Pregnancy and discharge


Pregnant and now?

If you become pregnant during your working life, you are entitled to sickness benefit for pregnant women. You have some room to decide for yourself how and when you will use your benefit. That of course depends on the possibilities within your own job in combination with how you feel. In addition, during your work you may come into contact with substances or working conditions that may be unfavorable for the unborn child. If you are pregnant and you work with hazardous substances or situations, it is time that you inform the employer to quickly do adapted work. In addition, you have ample opportunity to relax before and after your delivery, precisely because you can go on leave.

What happens to your salary?

If you have a job and are going on maternity leave, you are entitled to full compensation of your wages. The law stipulates that your salary may not decrease. If your employer claims otherwise, this is incorrect as the government arranges that your wages continue to be paid. Every pregnant woman has this certainty when she goes on maternity leave. It will continue to be paid both before and after the birth. This is also called the childbirth recovery period. This way, as a pregnant woman you know that you always have sufficient wages.

How long and when leave?

The leave before your due date must start at least four to a maximum of six weeks in advance. Based on the expected delivery date, this means that you must inform your employer in a timely manner when you will be taking time off. You have a total of sixteen weeks for leave, including at least ten weeks for recovery. In the unlikely event that you give birth later than the due date, you are also entitled to those ten weeks of leave.

Applying for a salary benefit during maternity leave

In principle, you must apply for leave two weeks before you actually want to go on leave. You normally do that with your employer. To this end, you must provide a pregnancy declaration, which proves the date on which you are due. On this basis, the employer can apply for a benefit from the UWV in accordance with the WAZO. Normally you won’t notice anything and you can simply go on leave at the agreed time. The employer is compensated through the benefit and you will continue to receive your regular salary during that period.

Illness after leave

It often happens that complications from childbirth cause additional complaints, as a result of which the recovering woman cannot yet return to the workplace. There may be pelvic instability and other problems, which require additional recovery time. In addition, other complications may have occurred during delivery. In other words, one must have additional time to recover further before returning to work. As a result, one ends up on sick leave. In this case too, the woman is still entitled to the last earned salary per month for up to one year. In other words, you are assured of income until you have recovered sufficiently. Please note that the Gatekeeper Improvement Act prescribes that partial replacement work can be obtained that matches the capabilities of the recovering woman. You may therefore temporarily have to perform less demanding tasks. To this end, the employer also has the obligation to find suitable tasks within the company. Depending on your disability, you will receive a benefit proportionately.

Pregnancy and discharge

No one should be fired for the reason of pregnancy. In addition, dismissal may not occur within twelve weeks after childbirth. Yet there are exceptions to the rule. It may be that:

  • there is a bankruptcy, in which the entire organization is thrown out at once;
  • the woman in question has done something in the workplace that makes dismissal with urgent cause unavoidable;
  • the woman herself indicates that she wants to take care of the child and resigns.

Except for these reasons, it cannot prevent a woman from being fired during maternity leave.

read more

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  • Dismissal rights: what are you entitled to if you are dismissed?
  • Is the reason for dismissal really urgent enough?