A paternity leave in Spain is a measure that allows parents to enjoy time to care for their newborn or adopted children. Of course, this time will be paid following the legal specifications of the country. Currently, in Spain, there has been a progressive increase in paternity leave. Even, according to statistics, they have been equated with maternity leave since 2021.
In this article, we will explore the benefits and requirements of paternity leave in Spain. This is not only for parents but also children, couples, and society in general. In this country, they consider that in the care of newborn babies, parents should also be involved. That is why we will analyze the legal conditions, the challenges involved, and the flexibility options of paternity leave in Spain.
Benefits and Compensation during Paternity Leave
Like maternity leave, you can find the father’s leave policy in Spain and it offers many benefits. For this reason, below you will see the benefits and compensations that are part of the parental leave regulations.
- You have the right to 16 weeks of paternity leave. You can enjoy these weeks fractionally or consecutively. In addition, you can take these from the birth of your child until the first year of age.
- It corresponds to collecting 100% of the salary, which will be paid by social security. However, this will happen as long as you have made all the necessary contributions to the National Social Security Institute.
- It has the possibility of reducing the working day by up to 50%. Having the corresponding work reduction, from the end of your paternity leave until your child turns 12 years old.
- Depending on the job you have, it is possible that you can have an additional 15 days of paternity leave.
- You can request a 3-year leave of absence for the father to take care of his son, with the guarantee of being able to return to the same employer.
- You have access to free quality health care for your child, which includes all prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care.
Impact on family dynamics and Well-being
Paid time off for fathers in Spain or paternity leave has an extremely positive impact on family well-being. There are multiple aspects in which you can witness this, below we explain some of them.
Maternal and child health: The paternity leave in Spain allows working parents to share responsibilities in the care and attention of their children. This grants benefits to both mothers and children. First of all, they help mothers to reduce stress and workload. Secondly, by having access to parental care and time, children grow up in a healthy environment.
Gender equality: Parents who apply for paternity leave in Spain encourage greater parental participation in household chores. In addition, to take care of the children. As a result, gender stereotypes are broken and a more equitable distribution of work in the home is favored.
Affective bond: Because the leave allows parents to spend more time with their children. This considerably improves the affective bond between the two. In addition, a closer and positive relationship is created that influences the development and mental health of children.
Economic growth: The paternity leave in Spain contributes to increasing the birth rate in the country. In addition, it increases labor productivity, family consumption, and talent retention. The reason is that, as the couple contributes to the house, they have a greater motivation to start a family. That is, to have children and grow the family nucleus.
Consolidation of the social pillar in Spain: By assigning and recognizing paternity leave; the country manages to advance in the declaration of the rights of workers and families. In addition, thanks to this, Spain is a country that is among the most advanced in these matters. That is, in terms of parental leave, respecting the maternity & paternity rights in Spain.
Long-term effects on family relationships
Paternity leave in Spain indeed provides long-term effects on family relationships. However, make an exact measurement or establish some evaluation indicators to understand this. Despite that, in this section, you will see some of these effects or indicators so that you can better understand the situation.
Equality: Being both the father and the mother in the home instills in the child that there is equality in housework. In addition, since fathers enjoy the same 4 months of leave as mothers, both must take care of the children. Therefore, the work in the case cannot be delegated to one of the parents. In summary, women will not have all the work pain they suffer for being mothers. Another benefit is that it improves the position of women in the labor market.
Flexibility: Fathers and mothers can adapt their work schedule to family needs. This is because they have the option of using different modalities to fulfill work and family. For instance, teleworking, reduction of the working day, or flexible hours. As a result, they can better reconcile their personal and professional lives. In addition, they have more time to devote to their children.
Social cohesion: This has to do with the fact that paternity leave favors the well-being of families. The reason is that since they allow them to enjoy quality time with their children, they encourage communication, mutual support, and affection. Of course, among all the members of the family nucleus.
In addition, paternity leave must contribute to the social and psychological development of children. Therefore, their physical and mental health improves. And not only that but also school performance and self-esteem. Finally, paternity leave supposes an equitable distribution of public resources. This is because the financing of the licenses is through social contributions and not taxes.
Additional perks and support programs
The labor law in this country establishes some conditions for paternity leave in Spain. But, there are some additional support programs and benefits for parents with this license. Next, you will see the most important of these so that you understand what your rights are.
Subsidy for birth and child care: This consists of granting 100% of the regulatory base of the provision for temporary disability. Which is paid for 16 weeks or 4 months, which is the time available for the permit.
Academic and emotional benefits: Both sons and daughters who have a good relationship with both parents have many emotional benefits. For instance, an increase in self-esteem and a lower probability of suffering from anxiety or depression. On the other hand, these children are related to greater enjoyment of school and greater participation in extracurricular activities.
Support programs: The vast majority of companies or institutions provide support programs for both fathers and mothers. The purpose of this is to encourage family and work reconciliation. That is, provide a balance between family and employment. Among the most common support programs are flexible hours, daycare, and access to teleworking or family assistance services.
It is important to take into account that support programs are often by the law in Spain. For instance, there is the right to work reduction. This allows workers to reduce their working hours by between one-eighth and one-half. Of course, with a proportional decrease in salary, until the child turns 12 years old. There is also the gender equality law.
Workplace support and cultural attitudes
Paternity leave in Spain consists of 16 weeks or 4 months. In turn, it is important to highlight that maternity leave has the same duration. You should also know that the days cannot be transferred between them. These days can be enjoyed continuously or intermittently but within the first year of the child’s life. In addition, you should know that the payment of this license is paid by social security.
On the other hand, the General State Budget for 2023 provides for an increase in this paternity leave to a maximum of 24 weeks. The idea is to create a family law, to increase the paid leave of 8 additional weeks. This is for both fathers and mothers. The objective is to promote equality and fertility.
With this knowledge, you should know that companies also support parents on this leave. Of course, this will vary depending on the company, the sector, and the social environment. Generally, support in the workplace is provided by co-workers and management. The most important characteristics that we can highlight from this are the following.
Respect: Fathers who enjoy the right to paternity leave can do so without suffering negative consequences in their professional careers. That is to say, without this implying a decrease in their salary or their prestige.
Facilitate conciliation: Fathers have the option of remote work. For instance, teleworking, child care services, or lactation rooms. In case the father decides to perform his duties remotely, it is important to know how labor law applies to remote employees.
Increased positive cultural attitudes: Parents having access to this permit have more positive support from society. The reason is that the value of their involvement in the education and care of their children is recognized. Thus breaking gender stereotypes.
Promoting Work-Life Balance for Dads
One of the most interesting conclusions of paternity leave in Spain is that it promotes the balance between the worker’s work and personal life. This attracts many benefits for the development of the child and the family in general since this allows them the following:
Rest and take care of the children: Every good father wants to spend time with his family, especially with his children. With paternity leave, they can comply with this without losing their job or salary. This is in case of birth, adoption, guardianship, or foster care.
Sharing family responsibilities: Currently, it is seeking to try to achieve gender equality in all possible areas. Of course, this includes housework. As fathers have access to paternity leave in Spain, they can support mothers with responsibilities. Thus, relationships at home improve considerably.
Better wages for mothers: Sharing childcare responsibilities reduces the gender wage gap. In addition, the incorporation of women into the labor market is encouraged.
Cash bonus: When applying for paternity leave, Social Security provides parents with a subsidy. This consists of covering the entire regulatory salary base. As a consequence, they can face the expenses derived from adoption, foster care, or birth.
Better health for the worker: By enjoying quality time with the children and the family in general, mental and physical health problems for the worker are prevented. For instance, anxiety, depression, and stress. Resulting in a positive impact on work performance and productivity.
Flexible work arrangements for Fathers
In order to have access to paternity leave in Spain and enjoy flexible work arrangements; you should know what the application process is like. The first thing to know is that the application must be made to Social Security.
To do this, you must present the ID of the mother and son, certificate of adoption, and birth or foster care of the son or daughter. In addition, you have to deliver the family book or the judicial resolution that proves the affiliation and the certificate of the company. This certificate must indicate the start and end date of the license.
Once you complete this process, you have access to paternity leave with all the benefits it entails. An important point to mention is the flexible working arrangements for parents on paternity leave in Spain. Next, you will see the most relevant ones that you will surely use.
Nursing leave: Just like mothers, fathers have the right to lactation leave. They are given an hour of absence from work to be able to feed the child. This time can be divided into two fractions and can be used until the child reaches 9 months. They also have the option of substituting this right for a reduction in the working day by half an hour. Another possibility is to accumulate it in full days.
Reduction of working hours for child care: Parents have the possibility of reducing their working hours by between one-eighth and one-half. This is to care for the child as long as he is under 12 years of age. It is important to mention that they have the right to choose the schedule within the ordinary working day.
Flexible hours and compressed workweeks
The first thing is to know what flexible hours and compressed weeks are. Flexible hours allow parents to select when they start and leave the workday. Of course, there are limits that make it possible to adapt to personal and family needs. On the other hand, compressed work weeks consist of working more hours a day, but fewer days a week. This allows you to have more free time to spend with your children.
Compressed work weeks and flexible hours are indeed options that can facilitate the reconciliation of work and family life. Especially for parents with paternity leave in Spain. However, the labor law does not recognize, everything will depend on the negotiation with the company and the existing collective agreement.
These are options that bring many benefits for both parents and businesses. The reason for this is that employees can improve in many interesting aspects of the company. For instance, motivation, commitment, and work productivity. In addition, it supports the reduction of absenteeism and work stress on the part of workers.