As we have already said in previous circulars, for the first time ever, from the 1st of January, 2021 the permit for birth and child care for both parents will be equal, which means that they will be able to enjoy 16 weeks of benefits.
The Royal Decree Law on urgent measures to guarantee equal opportunities and equal treatment between men and women in employment and labour, approved in March, 2019, has gradually equalized both permits.
We would like to remind you that with the coming into force of this regulation, on the 1st of April, 2019 and up until the end of that year, the paternity leave, as it was previously called, went from 5 to 8 weeks. For 2020, this period was increased to 12 weeks and from 2021, it will be the same for both parents, that is to say, 16 weeks.
Paternity leave started in 2007, before then fathers only had two days free for the birth of a child (or the days established in the corresponding collective agreement). This permit was increased to 2 weeks, which was valid until 2017 when it was increased to 4 weeks, and then it went up to 5 weeks a year later. After that it has been increased gradually up to 2021 when it will be 16 weeks for both parents with the approval of the aforesaid Royal Decree Law.
Please bear in mind:
The 16 week permit for both parents can be divided up in the following way:
- 6 weeks obligatory, continuous and for the whole day, after childbirth (court order or administrative decision in the case of adoption). The biological mother can take early maternity leave up to 4 weeks before the expected date of the birth.
- The remaining 10 weeks will be enjoyed in weekly periods, continuously or every so often within the next 12 months after childbirth or the court order or administrative decision in the case of adoption.
- From the 1st of January, 2021 the mother will no longer be able to transfer her birth and child care permit to the father seeing as the permits of both will be equal.
Moreover this period can be extended in certain cases, which are as follows:
- 1 week extension for each parent for each child, from the second child onwards, in the event of childbirth, adoption or numerous foster children.
- 1 week extension for each parent if the child is disabled.
- Extension for a premature birth and hospitalization (for a period of more than 7 days) after childbirth and up to a maximum number of 13 weeks.