21 Dec, 2023 @ 12:11
1 min read

Spain pledges to increase paternity leave even further: This is how many weeks off work new parents will get from next year

Baby photography
Image from: Amaia Magueri

NEW PARENTS in Spain have been promised an even longer time off from work by the government, with paid leave for mothers and fathers due to go up from the current 16 weeks to 20. 

That’s according to the minister for social rights, consumer issues and the 2030 agenda, Pablo Bustinduy, who yesterday announced further details about the so-called Families Law that the Socialist Party-led administration wants to see passed in 2024.

The legislation, which will begin its parliamentary passage in January and is due to come into law by August, will also grant parents the right to take eight weeks off work per child during the first eight years of their lives, with four of these weeks paid, and progressively rising to the full eight over time.

Minister for Social Rights, Consumer Afairs and 2030 Agenda Pablo Bustinduy is sworn in before King Felipe during the swearing-in ceremony of the new Cabinet ministers at Zarzuela Palace, Madrid. Credit:PPE/SIPA/2311211509

What’s more, a €100 monthly benefit available to working mothers will be extended to the unemployed once the new law comes into force. 

All of these costs will be covered by the Social Security system, and not the employer.

Speaking on Wednesday, the minister confirmed that these new benefits would also be available to single parents and members of the LGBTQ+ communities who have children. 

The previous government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had hoped to see the Families Law come into force in June of this year, but those plans were put on hold when a snap general election was called for July 23. 

In 2021, the Sanchez-led government increased paternity leave to 16 weeks, putting the time off for new fathers on par with that of mothers. This followed an increase in leave for fathers from five to eight weeks approved in 2019. 

Until 2007, fathers were only given two days off work when their child was born. Between 2007 and 2017, paternity leave was four weeks, before being increased to five weeks the following year.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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