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Do I qualify for corona parental leave?

The Belgian government, backed by seven opposition parties, is introducing corona parental leave.  What is it and how can you benefit?

Corona parental leave is available to salaried staff in May and June.

The corona emergency means many parents are having at work from home, while the children too are at home and need to be supervised during distance learning.   It can be a hassle.  People working away from home will need day care for the kids.  Grandparents are not an option.  Schools and crèches now have to provide childminding facilities for people working outside the home, but you may prefer to look after the little darlings yourself.

Employees who wish to look after their children at home can now take corona parental leave. This type of parental leave is available till 30 June.

Corona parental leave is only open to salaried staff.  Independent professionals cannot benefit. It can only be taken up if your employer agrees to your request. Modalities are largely similar to those for applications for regular parental leave. Corona parental leave comes in addition to your regular parental leave and benefitting from it won’t cut into the number of days of regular parental leave or other holidays that you are due! 

Corona parental leave is a part-time form of parental leave.  Employees working full-time or at least 75%, can take half-time parental leave or one day a week off.  To take corona parental leave your child may not be more than 12 years of age.  For parents of children with a handicap there are no age restrictions. Foster parents don’t qualify for regular parental leave, but do for the corona version!

If you wish to benefit from corona parental leave notify your employers at least three days ahead.  Employers have six days in which to respond.  Shorter notice is possible if both parties agree.  Corona parental leave is available till 1 June, but could be extended if need be.

Applications need to be made via the state employment agency RVA. The RVA, your human resources department or the person responsible for staff should be able to explain how exactly you need to apply.