Self-employed workers (Directive 2010/41/EU and some relevant provisions of the Recast Directive)

AuthorNathalie Wuiame
8 Self-employed workers ( Directive 2010/41/EU and some relevant
provisions of the Recast Directive)
8.1 General (legal) context
8.1.1 Surveys and reports on the specific difficulties of self-empl oyed workers
No specific studies to report.
8.1.2 Other issues
Until recently, birth leave (previously called paternity leave) was not available to sel f-
employed people. A n ew Royal Decree of 15 December 2019 now p rovides such rights to
self-employed fathers or co-parents (and helpe r spouses). The duration of the leave (10
days or 20 half-days) a nd conditions (within four months after the birth) are identical to
those applying to employees, on condition that such leave has not been granted to the
father or co-parent under another scheme. The benefits received by the father or co-parent
are identical to the daily amount received by a self-employed mother during her maternity
leave, which is EUR 81.63 per day or EUR 40.81 per half-day . An extra allocation of EUR
135 is available to the father or co-parent who is taking a maximum of eight days of leave.
This new birth leave is optional, as is maternity leave for self-employed workers and helper
This new law goes beyond the obligation contained in Directive 2010/41 and Directive
2019/1158 but concurs with the European objective of enabling stronger in volvement of
the father in the tasks and responsibilities resulting from the birth of a c hild.
The evolution in civil law that recognises same-sex union is reflected in this law by giving
such rights t o the fath er or co -parent of the mother. This avoids gender discrimination
against the female spouse or life-partner of the mother.
8.1.3 Overview of national acts
- Royal Decree No. 38 of 27 July 1967 organising the social protection scheme for self-
employed individuals;
- Act of 10 May 2007 aimed at combating discrimination between women and men,
referred in the report as the Gender Act.
8.1.4 Political and societal debate and pending legislative proposals
Nothing to report.
8.2 Implementation of Directive 2010/41/EU
Essentially, the substan tial provisions that serve to transpose Directive 2010/41/EU (as
they did for Directive 86/613/EEC) are to be found in Royal Decree No. 38 of 27 July 1967
organising the social protection scheme for self-employed persons (equivalent to an act of
Parliament) and in a number of ancillary royal decrees.
As to effectiveness and remedies, the necessary provisions are those of the Gender Act of
10 May 2007, which was devised to implement all EU instruments on gender equality and
the material scope of which is broad enough to cover all the aspects o f equal treatment
mentioned in the directive.

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