Foster parent leave treated as days worked for annual leave

Author: Catherine Legardien (Legal expert)

Foster leave is henceforth treated as days worked for the entitlement to annual leave. This new provision came into force on 1 January 2020.

Foster leave? What's it about?

Since 1 January 2019, foster parent leave offers employees the possibility to suspend the performance of their employment contract if they accommodate a minor child in their family as part of long-term care.

The length of this leave is maximum 6 weeks per parent. In addition, a gradual extension of the duration is scheduled, according to the "agenda" below:

  • 1 week from 01 January 2019;
  • 2 weeks from 01 January 2021;
  • 3 weeks from 01 January 2023;
  • 4 weeks from 01 January 2025;
  • 5 weeks from 01 January 2027.

If the foster family consists of 2 persons, both of whom are appointed as a foster parent of the child, the additional weeks are divided between them.

During the foster parent leave, the employee retains the right to his normal wage for the first 3 days of the leave. For the following days, he will receive a benefit from his health insurance fund.

For more information about foster parent leave, refer to our Infoflash of 17 April 2019.

Foster parent leave treated as days worked for the entitlement to annual leave

As a reminder, in order to determine the entitlement to annual leave (duration and holiday pay) for a holiday year (e.g. 2020), the principle is as follows: not only normal actual working days must be taken into account, but also work-interruption days that are treated as actual days worked (incapacity for work, maternity leave, etc.) during the holiday qualifying year (e.g. 2019).

Henceforth, days of foster parent leave will be treated as actual days worked for the duration and calculation of the holiday pay of manual and non-manual workers. This takes effect on 1 January 2020 and applies for the first time to the holiday year 2020, holiday qualifying year 2019.

Source: Royal Decree of 20 December 2019 amending articles 6, 18, 20, 21, 41, 43 and 68 of the Royal Decree of 30 March 1967 determining the general terms and conditions for the implementation of the laws relating to the annual holidays of employees, Belgian Official Gazette of 17 January 2020.