Below you can find a brief explanation of what to take into account when you are pregnant and everything around it while working in the Netherlands. You will also find some links to useful websites about pregnancy in the Netherlands.

Pregnancy & work: how is that regulated in the Netherlands?

Counseling during pregnancy - the obstetric

Pregnancy counseling is regulated differently in every country, as it is in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, a pregnant woman does not routinely see a gynecologist. An appointment with the gynecologist is only possible after a referral from the obstetric. The obstetric will only do this if complications arise during the pregnancy.

Although in the Netherlands you can always visit the GP, also the GP is not the one who guides pregnant women during pregnancy. In the Netherlands, a pregnant woman goes to the obstetric after 3 months. The obstetric issues a pregnancy certificate (not earlier than 3 months) and checks if everything is okay with the baby.

Important: Always look for a obstetric nearby. While it is understandable that you want to find a obstetric who may speak your native language, often this obstetric does not live nearby. The obstetric is also the person who will be present at the delivery. For this, the obstetric must be able to be on site quickly and it is important that she lives nearby.

Home birth

In the Netherlands it is quite normal to give birth at home. Only in case of complications is it decided to give birth in the hospital. This decision is made by the obstetric. There are people who insist on giving birth in the hospital. If there is no reason for this, part of the cost of childbirth, about €500, is for the pregnant woman's own account. Health insurance only covers the costs if a hospital birth is necessary according to the obstetric.

Maternity leave

The UWV, on behalf of the government, is responsible for, among other things, the granting and payment of Maternity Leave and Benefits in the Netherlands. All information on Maternity Leave can be found on their website.

In the Netherlands, a pregnant woman continues working until 4 to 6 weeks prior to the due date, then Maternity Leave starts. After giving birth, the woman is still entitled to 10 to 12 weeks of Childbirth Leave. Maternity- and Childbirth leave are covered by the Work and Care Act (WAZO) leave regulations. WAZO is also the name the UWV uses in their letters. Maternity- and Childbirth leave lasts a minimum of 16 weeks in the Netherlands. Sometimes a little longer, if you give birth later than the due date, for example. Then the Maternity- and Childbirth Leave is extended by the number of days you gave birth after the due date. For a calculation tool for the exact dates of your leave, you can find more information from the UWV here.

As a pregnant woman, you have to inform your employer in time whether you want to go on maternity leave 4, 5 or 6 weeks before your due date. Maternity- and childbirth leave is requested by your employer from the UWV. This is because the UWV pays for the WAZO leave. This leave is 100% of the average salary over the past year. For a detailed explanation of this, see this information from the UWV.

Make sure your personal information is up to date with your employer at all times. You are legally obliged to do this, but it is also important for yourself. When the employer requests WAZO leave from the UWV, they must pass on your current address, telephone number and bank account number to the UWV. The UWV may contact you by phone or letter if they have questions. If you do not answer the UWV's questions, either by telephone or letter, the benefit may be denied. There is nothing the employer can do about this. The employer only applies for the benefit for their pregnant employees. Does anything change in your situation while you are receiving benefits? Report the change to the UWV as soon as possible; you are responsible for this yourself.

Returning to work after childbirth

After the Maternity and Childbirth Leave is over, you go back to work. Do you want to work less after your leave to spend more time with your baby? If so, discuss this with your employer well in advance (before you go on leave).

At Flexible Human Services you discuss this with your coordinator. Your coordinator will then discuss with you the possibilities of working less. This is not always possible at your own client, so we may also look with you at working for another client. The coordinator will work together with you to find the best solution for your situation.


Note; If you go back to work and there is no one around you who can take care of your baby, you will have to arrange child care. Child care in the Netherlands is very busy; there are waiting lists for a spot. So arrange childcare for your baby well in advance; apply for childcare as soon as you know you are expecting. Failure to arrange childcare (on time) is no reason for not coming to work. Need help arranging childcare? At Flexible Human Services you can contact Social Guidance, they can help you find childcare.

In the Netherlands, there is also childcare allowance. This means that you may receive part of the cost of childcare back from the Dutch government. Read more here about how the childcare allowance works, what requirements are involved and how to apply for it.

Pregnancy & Illness

Pregnancy is not an illness, but unfortunately it can happen that you get sick with pregnancy-related symptoms. Do you become ill as a result of your pregnancy? Then you must inform your employer as soon as possible, at Flexible Human Services, you report this to social guidance.

You will then be reported by your employer to the UWV for sickness benefit and you will be called for an appointment with the company doctor. The company doctor gives advice on possible suitable work. The advice of a company doctor is binding and it is your legal duty to follow this advice. You cannot refuse to do any suitable work, as this will have consequences for your sickness benefit.

This may be different from what you are used to in your home country. In the Netherlands, the UWV and the company doctor assume what someone is still able to do during illness. The company doctor often recommends suitable work. Flexible Human Services has a large client base and almost always we can arrange suitable work for you, which you are expected to perform according to Dutch law.

In the Netherlands, the company doctor is the only doctor who can give advice on (suitable) work. So the GP or the obstetric cannot give advice about work. Also, a statement from a gynecologist or doctor from your home country is not enough to not have to work, if the company doctor in the Netherlands thinks otherwise. Not following the advice of the company doctor will result in your benefit being stopped.

The UWV determines whether you are entitled to sickness benefits during your pregnancy illness. They pay this benefit directly to you to the bank account number you have given us. The UWV will contact you to determine whether you are entitled to benefit under the Sickness Benefits Act. Make sure you are always available and respond to letters from the UWV in time. Your benefit will be rejected if the UWV cannot reach you.

Health Insurance

Many employees have their Health Insurance arranged through their employer. If you are insured with ZEM (Zorg en Zekerheid) through Flexible Human Services , you are "collectively" insured for the Basic Health Insurance. This collective insurance through the employer is only for working people in the Netherlands. This means that your (unborn) child is NOT co-insured through this insurance.

It is very important that - as soon as you know you are pregnant - you arrange your own private health insurance. It is strongly recommended that in addition to your basic insurance, you take out additional insurance. For example, a special family package in which maternity care is also insured. Our Social Guidance team can inform you about this.


Are you renting a room through and are you pregnant? Unfortunately does not allow babies to use and live in housing.

This is due to several reasons; for example, Flexwonen's housing is not set up for babies; it is not possible to set up a baby room that meets the requirements; the safety facilities are not set up for a baby. There are no birthing facilities and other residents can be greatly inconvenienced by babies.

If you are pregnant, will terminate the contract in a timely manner, but at the latest when you are 6 months pregnant. This has to do with the fact that you can give birth early and still live in the housing location at that time. It is therefore recommended to immediately start looking for a private housing location as soon as you know you are expecting. You should also register in the BRP at the municipality where you found private housing. When your baby is born, you must declare (register) your baby within 3 days to the municipality where you live. You can do this at the municipal office.

Back to your homeland

Would you rather return to your home country now that you are pregnant? That's perfectly understandable. You may have more family or friends living there and you may be more familiar with everything you need to arrange.

Be sure to timely terminate your contract at Flexible Human Services termination. If applicable: Please also provide the UWV with your correct (new) contact information and follow the UWV's instructions, regarding reporting the birth of your child. The UWV will ask for a copy of the birth certificate after the birth if you give birth abroad. Also check carefully whether the health insurance also covers care for you and your baby abroad, or take out a new health insurance in your home country.

Extensive information about pregnancy in the Netherlands and while working at Flexible Human Services can be found in our pregnancy brochure for our employees. You can request this by calling Social Guidance.

Learn more

Marernity Leave, childcare and work may be regulated very differently in the Netherlands than you are used to. Make sure you are well informed about the Dutch rules regarding pregnancy and work. Do you have questions about pregnancy and work in the Netherlands? Visit the websites below - or, as an employee of Flexible Human Services contact the Social Guidance team.

More information about pregnancy in the Netherlands can be found here:

Rijksoverheid website - here you will find a handy overview of all the things you need to arrange in the Netherlands when you are pregnant.
Website of the UWV - here you can find information about pregnancy and childbirth benefits.

Other websites: