Carers make little use of special care leave

15/05/2007 15:00

Carers in the Netherlands made little use of special care leave to care for seriously ill or disabled relatives in 2005. Most of them stated they did not need extra leave. Those who did take time off, usually took it under the normal leave arrangement, and not under the care leave scheme.

More time off for short-term care

Workers are more likely to take leave for short-term care than for long-term care. More than 700 thousand employees provided care for someone for a short period as a consequence of sudden illness or an accident. Thirty-one percent of workers took time off to do this. Nearly 750 thousand employees provided long-term care for relatives; only 14 percent of them took time off under a special leave arrangement.

Care leave: needs and use by employees providing care, 2005

Care leave: needs and use by employees providing care, 2005

Many carers do not need special leave

Not all employees who care for a relative take leave to do so. For short-term care just over half of employees did not need to take time off. Just over four out of ten employees caring long-term for their partner, and seven out of ten carers of elderly parents said they did not need to take leave to do this.

Little use of long-term leave

Workers who took time off to care for a relative for a short time take leave under the regular leave schemes.  Nearly one third of workers providing long-term care took a short period of special care leave. Only 6 percent made use of long-term care leave arrangements. It is possible that not many carers use this form of leave because it is not paid.

Employees providing care by type of leave, 2005

Employees providing care by type of leave, 2005

Pressure of work sometimes prevents leave

Some carers who did not take leave, said they would have liked to. For short-term care situations, 14 percent said they wanted to take leave. For long-term carers this was 19 percent. The main reason these carers did not take time off was because their work made it impossible.

Employees providing care by main reason not to take leave, 2005

Employees providing care by main reason not to take leave, 2005

Martijn Souren