Can you get parental leave as a self-employed worker? Your rights after birth or adoption

As an entrepreneur, your social contributions typically provide less compared to the social benefits you would have as an employee. But what about your social rights if you have a baby or you adopt? Are you also entitled to paid maternity or parental leave? The future is bright, because even as a self-employed person you receive a financial boost.

Am I entitled to maternity leave as a freelancer?

As a businesswoman, you are also entitled to maternity leave: 12 weeks in total, 13 if you give birth to multiple children. 3 of your 12 weeks of maternity leave are part of your compulsory maternity leave. You are obliged to take them:

You may take the remaining 9 (or 10) weeks as you choose, as long as you do so in blocks of 7 calendar days. After the birth you get a period of 36 weeks in which you can take the postnatal leave.

Adoption leave and self-employment benefits

Planning to adopt? Even as a self-employed person you are entitled to adoption leave: up to 6 weeks. You can extend this period in some situations. You will also receive an allowance.

What benefit will I receive during my maternity leave?

Please note: to be entitled to the benefits mentioned above, you must have paid your social contributions in the second and third trimester of your pregnancy. For adoption, these are the social contributions in the quarter preceding the adoption.

Maternity leave: full-time or half-time?

As a self-employed person, you can take your maternity leave full time or half time. In the first case, you must completely stop your self-employed activity during your leave. Are you going to work half-time during your maternity leave? Then you get 18 half-time weeks of leave.

Extending maternity leave

Does your baby have to stay in the hospital for more than 7 days immediately after birth? Then you can extend your maternity leave by the number of full weeks your baby stayed in the hospital – you don’t need to count the first 7 days.

You can extend your maternity leave by up to 24 weeks, or by 48 if you take your maternity leave half-time.

Your benefits if you have a child as a self-employed person

What about birth and paternity leave?

Will you become a father or co-parent and are you self-employed as a main occupation or a working spouse? Then you are entitled to 15 days of paternity or birth leave with benefits. If you take a maximum of 8 days of that leave, you can apply for free service cheques as compensation. Certain conditions apply: ask your social security office if you are eligible for this leave.

Valesca Wilms, Content Manager
Updated on

As a Content Manager at Accountable, Valesca offers her readers an exciting and engaging content experience. Given her own experience as a freelance content marketeer & copywriter, Valesca knows the ins and outs of tax returns for the self-employed. It’s her goal to provide you with easy and understandable solutions to handle your tax returns stress-free with Accountable.

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