All employees in the Netherlands are entitled to parental leave following the birth of a child. However, not everyone makes use of this entitlement. In 2007, 1.4 million employees in the Netherlands had one or more children under 8 years of age. Just over one tenth of them said they had wanted to take parental leave in the preceding 12 months, but had not done so.
Fathers report that the main reason for not claiming leave was that they were afraid it would have an unfavourable effect on their careers (40 percent). Most mothers who decided to stay at work said the pay during parental leave was too low (40 percent of their normal salary) . A small percentage of parents do not take parental leave while they would like to because they do not know they are entitled to it.
Reason parents give for not claiming parental leave while they would like to, 2007