The same day that came into force in Spain Paternity leave of eight weeks for all parents, the Basque Government decided to go further and advance in Euskadi the equating of this benefit with that of maternity. The Executive of Iñigo Urkullu will approve this autumn a decree that will extend to 16 weeks the permission for the parents other than the biological mother, something that is foreseen in the rest of Spain in 2021, according to the decree law approved by the Council of Ministers last March 1st.
Initially, the Basque Government had planned to grant from this year paternity leave of 16 weeks only to the parents of second and successive children, but the implementation of the state regulations has led to extend the aid to first-time parents. This option was not included in the IV Plan for Support to Families in the Basque Country until 2020, but the economic savings that will result from the application of the new state regulation has precipitated the decision to grant 16 weeks of leave to all cases, including to be released as parents.
The measure was announced Monday by the Basque Department of Social Policy, as soon as the provision that extends paternity leave from five to eight weeks became effective, and that it will be extended progressively until it is equated with maternity leave (16 weeks). in 2021. This measure is included in the Royal Decree law of urgent measures for the guarantee of equal treatment and opportunities in employment and occupation, which must be validated this Wednesday by the permanent deputation of the Congress.
The Basque decree that is under preparation will contemplate the granting of "a subsidy destined to economically compensate the loss of income" motivated by the leave of the non-pregnant spouses, which equals this period to the current regulated maternity leave in the whole of Spain. "Non-pregnant spouses, mostly parents, who have children as of the publication of the new decree, including first-time families, will benefit, and we will advance the application for those families who have their first child, something that was foreseen [en Euskadi] in 2022, "said counselor Beatriz Artolazabal.
Paternity leave of 16 weeks will also be suitable for single-parent families, "in line with those that exist in the most advanced countries in Europe"The content of the future decree, still under development, will also include measures to favor large families, those with a member with a disability greater than 50% and someone who has been a victim of gender violence.
Basque legislation will establish that paternity leave must be enjoyed in the 12 months immediately after childbirth, and in a period other than maternity leave. The Social Security takes charge of the paternity benefits during the first eight weeks and the rest of the permit, which will be charged to the Basque Government, will be financed through the formula of paid and voluntary leave. In this way, from the eighth week of leave, parents must request a leave of absence until they reach 16 weeks.
The economic aid granted by the Basque Government will be "equivalent to the benefit received during the birth and care of the minor," Artolazabal explains. The autonomic Executive calculates that it will have to face an expense of about 20 million annual to pay the eight extra weeks of parental leave.
In addition to this measure, the Basque Government has given the green light to a decree that regulates economic aid aimed at families with children that expands and improves those collected in another previous year of 2015. The fathers and mothers will collect for three years the aid for the second descendant. "It's about favoring young people to develop their independent life project," says the Basque councilor.