The Government and Unidos Podemos have agreed on a calendar to equalize maternity and paternity leave and that they are equal, non-transferable and 100% remunerated, as will be reflected in the current law. This progressive formula will allow the financing of the measure that entails economic costs since for each requested reduction a substitution will be necessary. In 2019, paternity leave will increase to eight weeks, in 2020 to 12, and in 2021 to 16, thus completing the equalization with maternity leave.
"This measure, which will be incorporated into the corresponding collective agreements, will be carried out in dialogue with the autonomous communities and local entities," reads the text agreed between both groups. In addition, a social dialogue table will be convened to establish a strategy that complements this calendar. The budgetary impact is calculated at 300 million. The total equalization in 1,200, according to government calculations.
The proposal put forward by the Government to public employees, now under negotiation, contemplates that paternity leave, such as maternity leave at present, includes a fixed number of weeks to be enjoyed "in an interrupted manner and immediately after birth", according to the document to which this newspaper has had access, sent by the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Function to the unions.
Except for those first fixed weeks, "in no case" will they be able to enjoy paternity leave at the same time as maternity leave, according to the document, published by El Mundo newspaper. That "would be contrary to the ultimate goal of this measure, which is none other than the promotion of joint responsibility".
The extension proposal that the Government sent to the unions affects public employees. It is nine weeks in 2019, thirteen weeks in 2020 and 16 weeks in 2021. The current model includes six compulsory and non-transferable weeks for the mother versus five for the father, which is voluntary but non-transferable. There are another 10 weeks that are interchangeable, although in practice they are overwhelmingly assumed by mothers. In less than 2% of the cases they were assumed by them, according to Social Security data.
"We think the proposal is good because it points to co-responsibility, but it can be improved," says Marian Mur, Equality Secretary of the CSIF union. "We do not want discrimination by territories and public workers in Andalusia already have 20 weeks."