Speaking on Thursday at a policy conference at the Caixa Forum in Seville where proposals for a new national framework on family support was presented, Minister for Social Rights and Agenda Ione Belarra said, “Spain must begin to bring itself into line with other European Union countries and establish a care leave of at least seven days a year per person, which is 100 percent paid.”
“Covid,” she added, “has taught us how important it is to take care of ourselves and to have time to take care of others.”
Belarra outlined her hopes that the policy would allow flexibility to caregiving, whether that be taking a paid day off work when caring for sick children, or having the time to be able to take elderly parents to doctor and hospital appointments.
The permit will allow a worker to “stay at home caring for their children if they’ve spent all night vomiting or with a high temperature” and overall “give peace of mind to families who need to be close to their loved ones”.
Belarra and her government colleague Irene Montero, Minister for Equality, hope the Ley de Familias will extend paid care leave to nine days a year for carers travelling outside their region.
Spanish legislation currently allows for two days paid care leave, and the proposals would bring Spanish legislation on par with other European nations. The European Union recommends a minimum of five days per year.
Crucially, the proposals also extend the paid leave to include care for any cohabitant, not only blood relatives as current legislation allows.
The proposal, which will still have to be approved by the Spanish Parliament, would also allow workers to book time off even if the family member’s condition isn’t serious, as is currently required.