In Spain, parental leave is a paid period of leave provided for in article 37.4 of the Workers’ Statute, which has been reformed in 2019, through RDL 6/2019, and has been in force since 8 March 2019, to allow both parents to take parental leave.

Parental leave (or parental leave for the care of a nursing baby) is a type of leave paid by the company, not by the Social Security or the Mutual Insurance Company. It can be grant until the child is 9 months old, whether the breastfeeding is natural or artificial, and consists of one hour a day to care for the baby.

Currently, both parents are entitled to parental leave, whether or not they work in the same or different companies, regardless of what the collective agreement says.

Parental leave is regulate in the Workers’ Statute, the legal definition of which is give in art. 37.4:

“In the event of the birth of a child, adoption, foster care or adoption, in accordance with Article 45.1.d), workers shall be entitled to one hour’s leave from work, which may be divided into two periods, to breastfeed the child until the child reaches the age of nine months. The duration of the leave shall be increased proportionally in cases of childbirth, adoption, foster care for the purpose of adoption or multiple foster care”.

Parental leave is paid leave for which the employer is responsible for payment in the event of both one hour’s absence and a half-hour reduction in the working day.

However, in the event that the collective agreement applicable to workers equates the reduction of the working day for breastfeeding with absence, it is possible to take parental leave at the beginning or end of the working day.

There are actually three different ways in which breastfeeding leave can be taken:

  • Leave of absence for 1 hour per day, with the possibility of dividing this hour into two fractions
  • Accumulate the hours of this leave to achieve full working days
  • Reduction of the working day by half an hour.

The worker must give 15 days’ notice to the employer or as determined in the applicable collective agreement.

In part-time contracts, parental leave is not reduce.

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