Belgians taking less parental leave and time credit

The percentage of those in work that are taking parental leave and time credit is falling. That’s according to a study carried out by the HR services company Acerta. The fall has come about as a result of stricter criteria being applied before parental leave or time credit is granted and a reduction in the amount that the state pays to taking time credit or on parental leave.  

Those employed in the private sector may if they wish take a temporary career break. They can do this by (for example) taking a parental leave or time credit. Over the past five years the percentage of employees taking advantage of these systems has fallen from 10.7% to 9.6%.       

Stricter rules on time credit

More than half of those taking a break from work in 2018 did so in the form of time credit. However, stricter rules on granting time credit and lower payments made by the state to help make up for (some) of the loss of income have served to reduce the number of requests.

The Michel government changed the rules meaning that those wish to take time credit had to give a valid reason.

Acerta’s Dirk Vanderhoydonck  told VRT News that “Taking time credit for no particular reason used to be used by people that went travelling while receiving benefits from the state. This was stopped in 2019. If the rules become stricter the number of people that gain access to the system falls too.  

Waiting for a more flexible system of parental leave

Parental leave accounted for around one third of all career breaks last year. He too the percentage of employees taking it has fallen.  Dirk Vanderhoydonck  explains that many employees are waiting for see what the effect will be of changes being brought into the system.

He bases his assertion on the many questions that he and his colleagues at Acerta receives from employees considering taking parental leave.     

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