Paternity leave in Spain

03/02/2017.- From January 1st, 2017 paid paternity leave in Spain for the birth adoption or foster care of a child (preadoptive, permanent or simple) has been increased from 2 to 4 weeks.  That said, it is important to know that if the worker claiming benefit voluntarily goes back to work prior to fulfilling the full paternity leave period, the benefit is terminated.

Mothers are currently entitled to 16 consecutive weeks off work. The Spanish parliament agreed equal maternity and paternity leave in Spain in principle as far back as 2009 but governments have consistently failed to implement it, blaming the financial crisis.

In the case of birth, suspension only corresponds to the other parent. In cases of adoption or foster care, suspension will only correspond to one of the parents, at their choice; however, when one of the parents takes the whole of the maternity leave, the right to suspension for paternity can only be exercised by the other.

How much will fathers get?

Paternity benefit will consist of a subsidy equivalent to 100% of the benefit calculation base set for temporary disability benefit for common disease or illness, the reference for which is the date on which said leave starts.

If applicable, the corresponding social contributions and withholdings for Personal Income Tax (IRPF) will be deducted from this amount.

When the worker is receiving contributory unemployment benefit and he goes on to paternity benefit:

  1. His unemployment benefit and Social security Contributions will be suspended and he will go on to receive the amount of paternity benefit corresponding to him (100% of the benefit calculation base), which will be managed directly by his Managing Entity (the National Social Security Institute (INSS) or the Social Marine Institute (ISM)).
  2. Once his paternity benefit expires, his unemployment benefit will resume for the period remaining and at the same rate as at the time it was suspended.

What if the contract expires while in paternity leave?

If the worker is on paternity leave in Spain and during this time his work contract is terminated, in accordance with the provisions of article 222.2 of the General Social Security Act (LGSS):

  1. He will continue to receive paternity benefit until this expires, whereafter he will be considered legally unemployed and, if he meets the necessary requirements, he will receive the corresponding benefit.
  2. In this case, the time he has been on paternity leave will not be discounted from the period for which he is entitled to receive unemployment benefit.

 Other considerations

In Spain women are entitled to a year’s unpaid leave once paid maternity has expired. Without prejudice of the above, each parent is entitled to reduce her/his working hours from 1/8th up to 50% of the normal duration to care for a child under 12. In such a case, salary is lowered proportionally.

Both parents in same-sex couples have been entitled to parental leave since 2007.

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