The Government has approved this Friday by decree law the equalization of paternity and maternity leave, a measure that makes Spain the most advanced country in terms of the provision after the birth of a child for male parents, who will have 16 weeks in exclusive and paid 100% from 2021. The intention of the Executive is to promote "co-responsibility" and equality of women in the workplace. "Motherhood can not be a weapon against the labor and citizen development of women, but a free option for women," said Carmen Calvo, the Vice President of the Government and Minister of Equality, after the Council of Ministers.
Paternity leave will be expanded progressively. After its entry into force, the day after publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE), and during the rest of 2019, it will go from the current five weeks to eight. From January 1, 2020 it will rise to 12, and it will be in 2021 when fathers and mothers will enjoy equal, non-transferable and paid leave of 16 weeks, which will be expandable in cases of multiple births in two more weeks for each child from the second. The budgetary impact for 2019 is calculated between 250 and 300 million euros. The total equalization, at 1.2 billion, according to government calculations.
Since the entry into force of the decree, the Government has a period of 30 days to validate the Congress of Deputies, work that will correspond to the Permanent Delegation to dissolve the Cortes next Tuesday 5. If not, the real decree would decay and it would go back to the previous regulation, as happened with the rent reform decree, which knocked down We can in last January when voting against, and that this Friday has returned to approve the Executive after negotiating improvements.
The content of the extension of paternity leave is similar to the one that PSOE and Podemos closed in the failed agreement on Budgets. All the political groups of the Congress of Deputies approved in June 2018 to discuss equal paternity and maternity leave. Irene Montero, spokesperson for the Podemos Podemos parliamentary group, has said that the government should have been more ambitious and guarantee "equal and non-transferable permits " that can be enjoyed in a non-simultaneous way. The proposal of the Executive that the first six weeks are mandatory does not match the measure advocated by United We can only be the first two weeks, and from that moment couples decide how to divide the rest of the days provided by law .
Women had up to now six weeks of compulsory leave in front of five of the men, which are voluntary. There are another 10 weeks that, in principle, could be taken either of the two but that in practice they assume overwhelmingly. In less than 2% of the cases they took them, according to Social Security data.
These are the keys to the new permits:
16 weeks The permit will be of equal duration for both parents, although the extension will be carried out with a transition period: eight weeks in 2019, 12 in 2020 and 16 in 2021.
Six mandatory weeks. The six weeks following birth will be compulsory for both, and full-time.
Until 12 months. After the first six weeks, the rest can be distributed at will. Interrupted or uninterrupted, full-time or part-time -with prior agreement with the company-, until the baby is 12 months old.
An extra week. If both parents enjoy "with the same duration and regime", that is, both enjoy the 10 weeks after the mandatory six, they will have one extra week each.
13 additional weeks. In cases in which the baby needs hospitalization, the leave for both parents will be extended in as many days as they are hospitalized, with a maximum of 13 additional weeks.
In case of death. If the baby dies, the period of discharge will not be reduced, unless the parents request reinstatement to the job once they have completed the first six mandatory weeks.