Since 1 January, parental leave will be equalize in Spain

Since the beginning of the year, both parents have been able to enjoy 16 weeks of leave for the benefit of childbirth and childcare.

The Royal Decree Law on urgent measures to guarantee equal treatment and opportunities between women and men in employment and occupation, approved in March 2019, has established the mechanism progressively equalize both leaves.

When a child is born, if the father or mother is working, they are legally entitled to receive compensated leave. This is a period during the parents do not go to work, and yet they receive 100% of the regulatory base of their salary. In the case of the mother, this childcare leave, maternity leave generally lasts up to 16 weeks.

With the implementation of this law on 1 April 2019, parental leave was increased from 5 to 8 weeks for the rest of the year, rising to 12 weeks for the whole of 2020, before being equalized to 16 weeks from 2021.

With the start of the year, the 16 weeks of leave for both parents can be divide as follows:

  • 6 weeks compulsory, uninterrupted, full-time, post-birth (court decision or administrative decision in the case of adoption). The biological mother can anticipate this period up to 4 weeks before the expected date of birth
  • The remaining 10 weeks will be taken in weekly periods, accumulated or interrupted, within 12 months following the birth or the judicial decision or administrative decision in the case of adoption.

In addition, certain cases of extension of this period are established:

  • Extension by 1 week for each parent for each child, from the second child onwards, in the event of multiple births, adoptions or fostering
  • Extension by 1 week for each parent in case of disability of the child
  • Extension for premature birth and hospitalization (for a period of more than 7 days) immediately following childbirth, up to a maximum of 13 weeks.

There are two requirements to apply for this license:

  1. To be affiliated with the Social Security and be registered or in a situation assimilated to registration
  2. Have covered a contribution period of 180 days within the 7 years immediately prior to the start date of the suspension period or leave or, alternatively, 360 days of contributions during their working life, prior to that date.
    While on paternity leave, the employee receives 100% of the regulatory base of his/her salary. The reference rate is the one in force on the day the paternity leave begins, which the company will notify to the Social Security through a company certificate. The 16 weeks of paternity leave are paid by the Social Security.

Inmaculada Pessini

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