Bereavement leave legally defined

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Effective date: not yet known

What changes?

Do you employ staff? Employees can experience bereavement due to a death. For employees in families with minor children whose partner or minor child has died, bereavement leave will be provided by law. Employees in full-time employment are then entitled to take 5 days of bereavement leave. The employer must continue to pay the employee’s wages in full during this leave.

For the statutory bereavement leave the following conditions apply:

  • The employee has a family with minor children.
  • A partner or minor child has died.

This change in law aims to improve the employee’s return to work after a period of mourning, so they stay at work. It should prevent long-term absenteeism and keep absence costs down.

Bereavement leave is not yet legally required. However, the collective labour agreement for your industry may contain rules on bereavement leave. The existing legal right to a leave period in the event of a death in the family is short-term, applies until the funeral, and is not intended as bereavement leave.

For whom?

  • entrepreneurs who employ staff


It is not yet known when this change in the Work and Care Act (Wet arbeid en zorg, Wazo) will take effect.

Please note: The effective date of this measure is not yet final. Entry into force is subject to its passing through the Lower and Upper Houses (Tweede en Eerste Kamer) of parliament. After publication in the Staatsblad or Staatscourant (Government Gazette, in Dutch) the law can take effect.

Do you think government rules are unclear?

Do the rules create unnecessary administrative burdens? Or do you know how the rules could make doing business easier? You can report this (anonymously) to the Regulatory Reporting Centre (Meldpunt regelgeving, in Dutch).

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Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO