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Are you a freelancer/self-employed professional based in the Netherlands and pregnant? You are entitled to an allowance during pregnancy or after childbirth under the Maternity Benefit Scheme for the Self-Employed (Zelfstandig en Zwangerregeling, ZEZ, in Dutch).
You can apply for this allowance by sending a ZEZ application form (in Dutch) to the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV).
When do you qualify for a ZEZ maternity allowance?
You can apply for the pregnancy allowance if you are a self-employed professional, with or without employees. You are self-employed if you:
- Are a self-employed business owner;
- Work for your self-employed spouse or partner;
- Are a freelancer, artist, general practitioner, domestic help or host parent;
- Are self-employed but work aside at a company.
To qualify for the ZEZ, you must be self-employed 1 day before the start date of your maternity allowance.
Amount of maternity allowance
The maximum amount of the prenatal and childbirth allowance will not exceed the statutory gross minimum wage. If you have worked for at least 1.225 hours in the previous year, you receive a benefit to this amount.
Did you work less than 1.225 hours? The amount of your allowance will depend on the profits you made in the previous year. If you work at your partner’s company, the amount of the benefit will be based on your share of the company’s profits.
Duration of the ZEZ Benefit
The ZEZ benefit is for a minimum period of 16 weeks and will start 4 to 6 weeks before your due date. Once your baby is born, you are entitled to a minimum of 10 weeks birth leave.
Are you expecting twins or multiples? This gives you the right to 20 weeks of pregnancy leave.
Apply for ZEZ benefit
You should apply for the ZEZ benefit online, no later than 2 weeks before the start of your maternity leave.
Corona crisis: relaxation of hours criterion
As a result of the corona crisis you may not have been able to meet the hours criterion of 1.225 hours per year (het urencriterium). The UWV will let you state that you spent at least 24 hours a week on your company from 1 March 2020 up to and including 30 september 2020. Even if you did not actually work 24 hours a week during that period. Add the hours you worked during the remaining months. When you reach 1.225 hours or more, you meet the hours criterion. The amount of your allowance equals the status gross minimum wage.