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<p>Maternity leave in the Netherlands is designed to provide support and protection for working mothers during the critical period surrounding childbirth. The Dutch government recognizes the importance of balancing work and family life, and the country’s maternity leave policies reflect this commitment.</p><p>In the Netherlands, pregnant employees are entitled to a minimum of 16 weeks of maternity leave. This period is divided into two components: prenatal leave and postnatal leave. Prenatal leave allows expectant mothers to take time off work up to six weeks before their expected due date. Postnatal leave covers the remaining weeks after childbirth.</p><p>During maternity leave, employees are eligible for a maternity benefit provided by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV). This benefit is designed to partially compensate for the loss of income during the leave period. The amount of the benefit is based on a percentage of the employee’s average daily wage.</p><p>In addition to maternity leave, the Netherlands also offers parental leave, which can be taken by either parent. This allows for additional time off work to care for and bond with the newborn child. Parental leave can be taken until the child reaches the age of eight.</p><p>The Dutch government encourages a work culture that supports the well-being of parents and their children. By providing generous maternity and parental leave policies, the Netherlands aims to ensure that working mothers have the opportunity to recover from childbirth, bond with their newborns, and return to work with peace of mind.</p><p>Employers in the Netherlands are required to comply with these maternity leave provisions and ensure that working mothers are aware of their rights. Failure to do so can result in legal consequences and penalties.</p><p>Overall, the maternity leave policies in the Netherlands prioritize the health and welfare of mothers and their children, fostering a supportive environment for working parents. These policies contribute to a work-life balance that allows women to pursue their careers while also embracing the joys and responsibilities of motherhood.</p>