This article provides a brief overview of time off and leaves of absence as they apply to B Lab Netherlands employees. Please note that there may be both overlaps and differences here with regard to overall B Lab leave policies (see, for example, Vacation, and Other Forms of Paid Leave). If you need further clarification about overlaps and differences, please contact the P&C Team

Please keep in mind that this article is not exhaustive; the POps team is happy to answer questions and provide support to teams for any information not covered by this article. Please reach out to us with any questions by opening a new ticket - ticket responses are added to the FAQs section below on a regular basis. 

Time off and Leaves of Absence

Vacation Days 

All full time (40 hours per week) employees are entitled to 20 vacation days per calendar year.  

Any employee working less than 40 hours per week is entitled to a pro rata amount of vacation days.

Vacation days can be taken only with the approval of your direct supervisor and should be requested at least 1 calendar month before intended vacation is to be taken. When granting the vacation request, organizational priorities and project scheduling will be taken into consideration. In cases of conflicting vacation schedules, the situation will be resolved in an amicable manner to the satisfaction of all parties. In case the conflicting schedule can’t be resolved in such a manner, the employee who submitted his/her vacation request first will have priority. 

For taking up a so-called “snipperdag" (personal day), you can use personal/sick time as stipulated in the US policy

Employees are encouraged to use up all their vacation days in the year of accrual. If, for operational reasons, it has not been possible to use up all vacation days in a given year, a maximum of 5 vacation days may be carried over to the following year, provided your manager has given written approval. The remaining (legal) vacation days must be used up before the 1st of July of the following year to avoid losing the accrued rights. Extra-legal vacation days have a longer expiration date (for further details, please contact your P&C team).

If the employment relationship is terminated, the vacation balance should, in good faith and in consultation with your supervisor and HR, be used up before the last contractual day whenever possible. Any positive or a negative remaining balance will be settled in your final (salary) payment.

Pregnancy and Maternity Leave

Pregnant employees are entitled to a combined total of 16 weeks of pregnancy and maternity leave. Pregnancy leave can be taken at the earliest 6 weeks and at the latest 4 weeks before the due date. The first 10 weeks of the combined leave must be taken consecutively.

Female employees who are pregnant with a multiple birth are entitled to 20 weeks of pregnancy and maternity leave. Pregnancy leave for these employees can be taken at the earliest 10 weeks and at the latest 8 weeks before the due date. 

Your desired start date for your pregnancy leave must be communicated to your manager and HR no later than 10 weeks before the due date.

Maternity leave starts the day after the birth of the child. 

The first six weeks of your maternity leave must be taken consecutively. Within three weeks of commencement of the maternity leave, you can also request that your Manager spread the remaining leave over a maximum period of 30 weeks. The amount of maternity leave that has been distributed must be equal to the contractual working hours per week at the time the maternity leave begins.

If the new-born child has been hospitalized during maternity leave due to a medical condition, your maternity leave will be extended by the number of days of hospitalization, counting from the eighth day of admission until the last day of the maternity leave to a maximum of ten weeks. This extension of the maternity leave is only applicable insofar as the hospitalization takes longer than the number of days by which the maternity leave is extended as a result of the actual date of delivery.

In case of an earlier birth than anticipated, the missed days for pregnancy leave will be added to the maternity leave period. The total leave period will always be 16 weeks.

In case of a later-than-anticipated birth, the days will be added to the maternity leave period. In this case the total leave will exceed the 16 weeks.

You should contact your supervisor to discuss the resumption of work after maternity leave no later than two weeks before the end of the maternity leave.

During the leave, you are entitled to at least 100% payment of the maximum day wage as determined by UWV. Your cooperation in providing the requested documentation is necessary to make this benefit payable. You will continue to accrue vacation days during the leave.  

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Adoption Leave

Employees who adopt a child are entitled to a maximum of six weeks of paid adoption leave. This leave can be taken from 4 weeks before the adopted child joins your household, and you have two options for taking this leave:

  1. Leave can be taken as 6 consecutive weeks within a period of 26 weeks; or
  2. Leave can be spread out over a period of 26 weeks.

You should inform your Manager at least three weeks before the commencement date of the adoption leave of the desired commencement date of the leave. If you take the leave spread out over the 26 weeks, you will need to coordinate your schedule with your Manager. During the leave, you are entitled to payment through UWV. You continue to accrue vacation days during the leave.

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Partner/Paternity Leave

If your partner has given birth to a child, you are entitled to paid partner leave equivalent to one (1) week at your contractual weekly working hours. So, for a full-time employee this would be 5 working days of 8 hours. These days must be taken within 4 weeks after the birth of the child. 

The mother who has given birth must be the wife, registered partner, unmarried cohabiting partner, or the person whose child the employee has recognized as his/her own. 

The partner leave is fully paid at 100% of your salary.


Partners can request additional partner leave of a maximum of 5 times the number of normal weekly working hours. This leave is without pay; however, the partner will receive UWV wages of 70% of their daily wage, not exceeding 70% of the maximum UWV daily wage. 

This additional partner leave can be taken only after the 1 week of fully paid partner leave has been exhausted and must be taken within 6 months of the birth of the child.

The accrual of legal minimum vacation days will not be affected by an employee taking additional partner leave. However, extra-legal vacation days will not be accrued during the additional partner leave period. 

Parental Leave

In order to provide new parents with more time to raise their children, the Netherlands provides employees reduced working hours for an extended period of time (up to 6 months) within the first 8 years of the child's life.  You are entitled to and can request unpaid parental leave. The maximum amount of leave that can be requested is 26 times the contractual weekly working hours per child under the age of eight. 

You do not accrue vacation hours during the hours of parental leave. If you become ill during parental leave, B Lab will only pay for the hours that you would have worked (i.e. not the hours of leave).

If you intend to make use of your parental leave benefit, you should make a request in writing to your Manager at least two months before the desired commencement date. The written request must contain the following information:

  • The starting date of parental leave.
  • A statement of the period in which the employee wishes to take parental leave.
  • The number of hours of parental leave per week that the employee intends to take up (maximum 50% of the contractual working hours, unless agreed otherwise in consultation).
  • The distribution of parental leave per week. 

Short-Term and Long-Term Care Leave

Requesting Care Leave

Employees are entitled to leave for necessary care in connection with the illness of:

  • a partner or person with whom the employee cohabits without being married.
  • a resident child to whom the employee is in a family relationship as a parent, this includes the child of the employee’s partner.
  • a foster child who lives at the same address as and is raised by the employee 
  • the employee’s parents
  • the brothers and sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, housemates or other persons in the direct social environment of the employee.

To request short-term or long-term leave, you must inform your supervisor and the HR department in writing, as soon as possible but at least 2 weeks before the intended leave. You must also provide details regarding the reason, time frame, spread, and start/end dates of the leave. B Lab may ask for underlying documentation.

B Lab will accept your (justified) request to take care leave unless there are compelling business or service interests against taking leave, which outweigh – according to standards of reasonableness and fairness – the need for taking care leave. In the event of such weighty interests, B Lab will consult with you to reach a suitable solution.

The decision about your request for leave will be made known to you, in writing (and in case of denial provided with reason), no later than 1 week before the intended start of the  leave. 

Short Term Care Leave

You can – in consultation with your supervisor – take short-term care leave to provide necessary care. The care is considered necessary only if there is a medical necessity, it is inevitable, and you are the only person who can care for the patient. 

B Lab can determine afterwards whether or not short-term care leave has been rightly taken. Upon request, you are obliged to provide written proof (from a physician) for the reason for care leave. Should B Lab determine that the leave was incorrectly assigned, the number of leave days will be deducted from your vacation days.

You will be paid at least 70% of your gross hourly UWV wage during this leave, provided B Lab has established the care leave is appropriate. 

The short-term care leave period can’t exceed twice the number of your standard weekly working hours in a period of twelve consecutive months. The twelve-month period starts on the first day on which the leave is taken.

Long Term Care Leave

Long-term care leave is intended for employees who need to provide necessary care to others in serious (i.e. life threatening) cases of illness and infirmity. Long-term care leave can only be taken if the employee is the only person who can care for the sick person.

You are not entitled to salary during long-term care leave. Vacation accrual will only take place for the statutory vacation days. Extra-legal vacation days will not accrue during this unpaid leave period. Be aware that other secondary benefits may also be affected.

You can take up to 6 times your normal weekly working hours as care leave for maximum 12 weeks per calendar year. 

Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave time is granted for making funeral arrangements, attending the funeral and burial, paying respects to the family at a wake or visitation, dealing with the deceased’s possessions and living will, and any ancillary matters that employees must address when a loved one dies.

B Lab provides paid bereavement time of up to five (5) days for the death of an immediate family member (mother, father, grandparent, sibling, partner or spouse, child). or loved one and up to three (3) days off for other relatives and friends.

In some instances, you may need more time, and this can be taken as unpaid leave or supplemented with vacation time following consultation with your manager and the P&C team.

Outside Employment During a Leave of Absence

Employees who accept other employment or go into business for themselves while on any leave of absence will be considered to have voluntarily resigned from B Lab as of the last day worked.

Return to Work Requirement

Employees taking any form of leave are expected to report any change in their status or intention to return to work to their manager and the P&C Team. Employees who do not return to work from any leave of absence as scheduled and do not contact the P&C will be considered to have voluntarily resigned from B Lab as of the last day worked. 

Should you want to extend your leave, you must request this in writing. Your request will be subject to the same approval process outlined above.

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