New fathers in Spain can now enjoy 16 weeks paternity leave

New fathers in Spain can now enjoy 16 weeks paternity leave
Image: PublicDomainImages/Pixabay
Good news for new parents in Spain this year as the country’s new paternity law came into force on January 1st 2021.

Paternity leave in Spain is now 16 weeks, equal to that of maternity leave, allowing new fathers to earn 100 percent of their regulatory base salary.

Paternity leave in Spain is now much better than some of its European neighbours, such as France, where paternity leave is currently just two weeks (although it is set to change to 28 days later on this year), Portugal where it's 15 days and the UK where it's also two weeks. 

Before the new year in Spain, fathers were only allowed 12 weeks leave, while mothers were entitled to the first 16 weeks off on full pay, of which they could transfer up to 10 weeks to the father.

This means that both mothers and fathers can now enjoy equal amounts of time with their new babies.

Who is eligible?

New fathers can apply for this paternity leave whether they become a father through the birth of a new child, adoption or foster care. The paternity leave can only be applied for by individuals and is non-transferable.

Self-employed or autónomo dads are also eligible for the same 16 weeks paid paternity leave. 

What does the new paternity leave cover?

It covers 16 weeks of paid paternity leave. Fathers will receive 100 percent of their regulatory base salary, which will be exempt from personal income tax.

The regulatory base is calculated by considering the contribution base of the month prior to the leave, excluding payments for overtime, divided by the number of days of which the contribution corresponds. This is then multiplied by the number of days of paternity leave, which in this case is 90 days.

In the case of the self employed, the six previous months will be considered in order to work out the regulatory base. 

Six of the weeks must be taken simultaneously and right after the birth or arrival of the child and the other 10 can be added on to this or taken in minimum weekly periods throughout the first year.

Are there any requirements?

Yes, to receive paternity benefits you must have contributed to the social security for at least 180 days in the last seven years or for 360 days in your working life.

How do I apply for paternity leave?

You can apply for it online through your social security portal with your digital certificate or with your username and password with [email protected] If you don’t have any of these, you can go to your local Social Security Information and Attention Centre (CAISS) by prior appointment and fill out an application form.

Find out more on how to get your digital certificate or get a [email protected] here.

Do I get any extra leave for unusual circumstances?

Yes, if you have multiple births, a preterm delivery that requires hospitalisation or your child has disability, or you foster or adopt, each parent will receive an extra week’s leave, taking the total to 17 weeks each.

Paternity leave has been slowly increasing in Spain since it was first introduced in 2007 with just 13 days.

Social Security said that they expect this new law to help 236,000 parents this year. 


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