Parental leave

What are the deadlines for my application for parental leave?

For the first parental leave (following maternity leave), the application must be made to the employer 2 months before the start of the maternity leave. For the second parental leave (up to the child's 6th birthday), the application must be received by the employer at least 4 months before the desired start of the parental leave. Parental leave must begin before the child's 6th birthday. However, these time limits can only be enforced by your employer. The CAE accepts applications signed by the employer even if the deadlines are not met.


I applied in March for parental leave to start in September. When will I receive confirmation of my parental leave?

We aim to send confirmation of parental leave no later than 2 weeks before the start.

How is my income calculated during my parental leave?

The new parental leave will be a real replacement income, calculated on the basis of the average monthly earned income during the twelve months preceding the start of the parental leave. Only pensionable income is taken into account for the calculation of the parental leave allowance. If you want to know which salaries are pensionable, please consult the table here.  Please note, for example, that overtime worked in the year before parental leave is not taken into account for the calculation of parental leave.

The period of parental leave for a person with a 40-hour employment contract who wishes to take parental leave on a full-time basis:

The compensation ceiling varies according to the number of hours worked.

Please use our calculator to find out your gross income during your parental leave period.

The parental leave allowance is a replacement income. As a result, it is subject to social security contributions and taxes in the same way as a salary.

I received a tax deduction form for my parental leave: Who should I send it to?

You can keep this form. There is no need to send it to the CAE.

Should I get a new main or additional tax card?

If you take full-time parental leave, a new main or additional card (depending on your case) will be issued showing the CAE as the employer. You keep the same type of card. The tax form will be updated by the Direct Tax Administration without any intervention or request from the taxpayer, within an average of 30 working days.
If you take half-time parental leave, your employer keeps your old deduction form and you obtain a new form with the CAE as employer.
The sum of deductions made for a year N may be too high or too low. The difference can be reimbursed or recovered in the course of the year N+1, at the time of regularisation by means of a tax assessment (model 100 N) or an annual statement (model 163 N)

See also:

Practical example illustrating the difference between half-time parental leave under the old regime and the new law.
My spouse does not work. When should I apply to my employer for a CP1?

If no maternity leave is due because the mother-to-be is not working, the first parental leave can be taken (by the father) at the earliest on the first day of the third week after the birth or, in the case of adoption, from the date of the adoption judgment. If, for example, the child is born on 5 January, parental leave can start at the earliest on 19 January. You must apply to your employer four months before the expected date of the child's birth.   

The split parental leave allows for a reduction in working time of twenty percent per week for a period of twenty months. How can we get organised?

You can only choose split parental leave if you work full time. The concrete arrangements for this reduction in working time are to be settled with your employer and the CAE does not interfere in these choices. For example, with the agreement of your employer, you can choose to take your leave during two afternoons per week or spread your eight hours of leave over the whole week.

Is it possible to change the parental leave model after the start of parental leave?

No, once parental leave has started, it is no longer possible to change the model.

Can I change employers during parental leave?

A change of employer during parental leave is possible if your new employer agrees that you may continue your parental leave. In this case, you must send us a letter from your new employer certifying that he or she agrees that you should continue your parental leave without interruption and a copy of your new employment contract. The latter must contain the same number of working hours as the employment contract that established the right to parental leave. Please also note that the period between the end of your old contract and the start of your new contract cannot exceed 7 days.  
However, if you change employers during your parental leave, you may also decide to return to work with the new employer before the leave expires, with the allowance paid up to that date remaining unchanged.

Please note: if the parental leave is interrupted for no reason beyond your control and does not involve a change of employer, you will be obliged to repay the amounts received for the parental leave that has already matured! This means that you cannot interrupt your parental leave e.g. after 2 months and return to work with your employer.


Can my employer refuse my parental leave?

If it is parental leave following maternity leave and it is a request for full-time leave of 6 or 4 months, your employer cannot refuse it provided that your request was received by the employer in the form and within the time limits provided by law. However, they may refuse half-time or split leave. In the case of parental leave up to the child's sixth birthday, the employer cannot refuse the requested leave on a full-time basis either, but can ask to postpone it by two months in companies with more than 15 employees and by six months in companies with fewer than 15 employees.

The CAE is only responsible for the granting of the parental leave allowance. Disputes that may arise between the employer and the employee concerning the granting or postponement of the requested parental leave fall within the competence of the mediator or the labour courts, in accordance with the provisions of the Labour Code.

Parental leave and nursery care

Parental leave was introduced to allow parents and children to spend more time together and thus create a strong relationship between child and parent. That is why the law on parental leave stipulates that the applicant must devote himself mainly to the child’s education.
If you have applied for full-time parental leave, it is in principle not allowed to give the child in a day care structure. Our fund allows you to attend a daycare center for a maximum of a few hours per week, e.g. as part of the adjustment phase at the end of parental leave, in order not to completely lose your childcare place or so that the child can spend some time with other children. Such temporary accommodation in a structure must be communicated to the CAE in advance.
If you have applied for half-time parental leave, your child will be able to go to the nursery part-time (during your working hours).
In case of violation, you risk having to refund the entire parental leave allowance!

I am on split parental leave (one day a week). A public holiday falls on my parental leave day. Can I get this holiday back?

No, if a public holiday falls on the same day as your parental leave day, you will not be able to reclaim that public holiday. 

I don't want to take my parental leave. Can my spouse take it for me?

No, parental leave is an individual right, and it is therefore not transferable.

I get sick before or during my parental leave. What do I have to do?

If you are on sick leave before the start of your parental leave, this will only affect your parental leave if the sick leave does not end until after the start of the parental leave. For example: your parental leave is due to start on 15 October but your doctor certifies that you are off sick until 25 October. In this case, the CAE has to reject your application for parental leave. You will have to submit a new application after your sick leave. If the leave ends before the start of the parental leave, the parental leave can start normally.

Illness during parental leave has no influence on your right to parental leave. You do not need to send us a medical certificate and your parental leave continues as normal. You cannot interrupt the leave to resume it after the sick leave.   

Is it possible to take unpaid leave during parental leave?

Parental leave cannot be combined with unpaid leave.

Is there still 4 months of unpaid parental leave?

The 4-month unpaid parental leave was abolished by the law of 3 November 2016 on parental leave reform.

Can I take parental leave in several part times?

No, generally parental leave has to be taken completely except for the parental split leave i.e. 4 months over a maximum period of 20 months or split leave 1 day per week for up to 20 months.

Can I take parental leave during my trial period?

During trial period you are not entitled to parental leave. You have to wait until you are employed regularly to apply for parental leave.
Please note, if you change your employer during your parental leave our fund will not check if you have another trial period.


Do I have to disaffiliate before my parental leave, as a self-employed person?

As a self-employed person you do not need to take any steps concerning the Social Security Centre (CCSS). Both for the self-employed person and for the employee, the declaration of exit at the beginning of the parental leave, and the declaration of entry when returning to work, will be done by us.

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