Health For Members

EXPLAINED: The three new reasons you can now take sick leave in Spain

The Local Spain
The Local Spain - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: The three new reasons you can now take sick leave in Spain
Spain offers menstrual and reproductive leave. Photo: Sasun Bughdaryan / Unsplash

As of this Thursday, June 1st, those in Spain who suffer from debilitating menstruation problems as well as other sexual and reproductive issues will be able to request paid leave from work. Here are the three main reasons you can now get sick leave.


Spain has become the first country in Europe to grant menstrual leave, a measure included in its new sexual and reproductive health law that it pre-approved back in August 2022, but has only now come into force.

Under the new law, there are three new sexual and reproductive reasons women can take sick leave from work.

It is covered by the Organic Law 1/2023, of February 28th, which modifies the previous law on sexual and reproductive health and the voluntary interruption of pregnancy.

Unfortunately, women who take this leave will not be granted full pay but will receive the same as for common illnesses, which is 60 percent of the regulatory base. The leave will be paid for by Social Security, as long as it's approved by a doctor and is considered necessary. 

READ ALSO - KEY POINTS: Spain's new sexual and reproductive health law

The right applies "to all people who are in Spain, regardless of their nationality" the law states, and "will be applicable to trans people with the capacity to gestate". In other words, it also applies to menstruating trans men.

Menstrual leave

Every woman at some time or another has more than likely experienced a painful period, but for some it’s so bad that they’re throwing up and doubled over in pain, unable to even function, let alone go to work. The medical term for this pain is dysmenorrhea and it can be caused by certain issues such as endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, fibroids or even a unicornuate uterus, among others.  

Those who suffer from these conditions can request two days of sick leave during their periods, however, it can be extended up to five if your doctor deems it necessary. 


Pregnancy termination

Those who suffer a miscarriage or voluntarily opt for an abortion and terminate their pregnancy can also request leave under the new law, provided they have received assistance from the Public Health Service and are unable to work.  

If the interruption of the pregnancy is due to an accident at work or an occupational hazard, it will be considered a "situation of temporary disability due to professional contingencies".

Pregnancy leave 

The new law also covers sick leave for pregnant women who may have issues during their pregnancy. For high-risk pregnancies, they may need to go on bed rest or need extra hospital visits.  

From 39 weeks pregnant women will also be able to take time off work for any reason and do not have to justify it to their employer.

Your company is responsible for paying you on the first day of leave, but any subsequent days are to be paid for by Social Security.  


Spain is the first country to offer menstrual leave in Europe. It is currently only offered by a few countries in the world including Japan, Indonesia and Zambia.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also