The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday adopted a motion to extend the maternity leave for women in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba from twelve to sixteen weeks, writes The Daily Herald.
The motion had been submitted by Member of Parliament (MP) Roelof van Laar of the Labour Party PvdA during the handling of the draft 2016 Kingdom Relations budget last Thursday. The motion was supported by all major parties except the liberal democratic VVD party.
The motion asked the Dutch Government to assess the possibilities of extending the maternity leave to sixteen weeks. The suggested introductory date for this new legislation was January 1, 2017. The number of days of leave for fathers will be based on the number of working hours per week.
According to Van Laar, parents in the Caribbean Netherlands have the same right to maternity leave as those in the Netherlands. The Dutch Government was asked to prepare a letter regarding this matter prior to the handling of the draft 2016 budget of Social Affairs and Labour which takes place in the first week of December.
Also adopted was another motion of Van Laar which calls for an action plan of the Dutch Government to guarantee that everyone in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba could live in a suitable house, and to make the necessary funds available for this.
Government was requested to make an inventory of the state of all dwellings on the three Dutch public entities. The motion came about following Van Laar’s observation that a considerable number of houses on the islands are in a deplorable state, and that improvement plans have not been getting off the ground.
Van Laar pointed out during the budget handling last week that children on the islands were being raised in houses that were completely unsuitable. He said that the Dutch Government has not made sufficient funds available to renovate these houses even though this problem has been acknowledged in the Multi- Annual Programme.