THE government has decided against extending paid paternity leave from two weeks to four because of a lack of funds.
The change was proposed in a private members bill in August by Lourdes Ciuro, an MP for Catalunya’s CiU separatist party, but was rejected by the Minister for Health, Social Services and Equality Ana Mato.
Although Mato said it would cost the state €245 million a year Ciuro countered that the money could be sourced from unclaimed maternity and paternity benefits from 2013 while pointing out that just 0,057% of the social security budget would pay for the extension.
Mato said: “The government has made the utmost effort over the last three years to overcome the terrible economic situation that we find ourselves in.
“That is the reason why we haven’t been able to implement this measure, which would have a significant impact on the Social Security budget, which could not cope with it at this time.”
Nevertheless Mato assured that the government would apply the extension when it would be ‘possible’.
To that Ciuro responded with: “Managing affluence is easy. Now that skill is required, it’s not good enough to just tell me that there’s no money.”
Men receive just 15 days paid leave in Spain while can take up to 112 which makes Spain 8th in the EU paternity rankings.