Efforts to support the extension of birth leave in the Netherlands

Case study summary

by Miriam Broeks, Fook Nederveen, Emma Disley

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A partnership between the Bernard van Leer Foundation, Rutgers and WOMEN Inc. supported the introduction of an important legislative change in 2018 which extended leave entitlement for partners of mothers in the Netherlands. The law established that as of January 2019 partners of mothers in the Netherlands in formal employment are entitled to five days of fully paid birth leave, extended to five weeks of non-transferable birth leave paid at 70 per cent of normal pay from July 2020 onwards.

In analysing the efforts and impact of this partnership, this case study offers valuable lessons for others aiming to inform policy change, or more specifically, improvements around engaged fatherhood and parental leave arrangements.

Key Finding

  • The case study identified five elements that were key to the wide-reaching success of the alliance: It had a small, experienced and motivated team; a clearly defined short-term and ambitious goal; it identified stakeholders and had wide-ranging engagement and collaboration; it identified barriers and adapted its strategy accordingly; and had funding available.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the Bernard van Leer Found and conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.