Employment and pregnancy

When do you need to tell your employer that you are pregnant? Are you allowed to have midwife checkups during working hours? Are precautions at work needed during your pregnancy? As a pregnant woman you will encounter rights and obligations at work.


When to tell your employer?

You have a legal duty to give your employer no less than 3 weeks notice of your intended maternity leave. It is of course preferred to give as much notice as possible. So that your employer has time to find a suitable replacement.


Pregnancy checks during working hours

Once you have informed your employer that you are pregnant, you have additional rights regarding rest, space and protection against dismissal. These rights apply during your pregnancy and times when you are breastfeeding.  You must also be allowed the opportunity to visit the midwife or gynaecologist for checks up, even during working hours.  It is therefore recommended to tell your employer that you are pregnant as soon as possible.


Maternity Certificate

With a maternity certificate your employer can apply for maternity pay. After your dating ultrasound, our assistant can provide you with this. Your certificate will state: that you are pregnant, the estimated due date and your personal details.


Maternity Leave

You may start your maternity leave no earlier than 6 weeks before your due date, although no later than 4 weeks.  Total amount of maternity leave is 16 weeks. You will always have a minimum of 10 weeks maternity leave after the birth, even if the baby is born after the due date. You need a maternity certificate in order to request maternity leave. On the website of the UWV you can read exactly when and to which maternity pay you are entitled.


Self Employed or Unemployed?

If you are self employed or unemployed, then different rules apply. If self employed, then you should apply for benefits from the UWV. For both pregnancy and the birth you are entitled to benefit payments for a minimum of 16 weeks. Every week you will receive a payment equivalent to 5 working days. You will not receive a payment for weekends. You are always entitled to 10 weeks of payments after the birth. The payment amount is based on your annual income from the year before you became pregnant. The benefit payments are never more than minimum wage.


Parental Leave

After maternity leave, you can also request parental leave. Your employer decides if you are entitled to a salary during this period. You will not accrue holiday pay during this leave. You are entitled to a total of 26 weeks leave, continuous or you can spread out these hours over a longer period.  E.g. take 1 day a week off.  You do not have to take this leave straight away. You can start your parental leave at any time until your child is 8 years old.

How to take your leave depends on many factors. Discuss this with your employer.  The government can provide more information about parental leave.

Once your leave has finished, you have the right to commence working for the hours agreed in your employment contract. Taking parental leave does not change this right.


Working conditions

While at work, your employer has a legal duty to protect the health of you and your baby, including times when you are breastfeeding. He or she must ensure that you can work safely. The goal is that you can continue doing your job as normal, at your usual workplace. There are certain risks while working when pregnant. For more information, please visit the website of the RIVM.


Work adjustments

If your job involves heavy or risky tasks, your employer must adjust the workload or offer you alternative work if necessary. You can also consult the company doctor (Arbo-service) or request information from the Labour Inspector.

In addition:

  • you can ask your employer for extra breaks if you are very tired
  • you are not obliged to work at night or to work overtime
  • you can also discuss your working conditions with us. We can tell you whether the work you do poses a risk to your pregnancy or indicate that you should take it easier at work


At work after the birth

The first 6 months after the birth you are entitled to extra breaks for extracting breast milk. You also have to right to refuse working nights and/or overtime during your pregnancy.


An app for tailored advice

Via the (Dutch) app Work and Pregnancy from the FNV you have access to tailored advice and tips about all work related matters during your pregnancy. You can enter your due date which provides you with information relevant to your working circumstances and stage of pregnancy.


Maternity leave for your partner

You can check in the CAO (Collective Employment Agreement) if your partner is entitled to maternity leave. If there is no specific mention, then your partner is entitled to 5 days of paid maternity leave.