Fathers in Spain are to be granted parental leave equal to that granted to mothers.
New Dads will be entitled to 16 weeks paid leave following a vote in the Congreso de los Diputados (Congress of Deputies), the lower house of the country’s bicameral Parliament.
Under current law, Spanish fathers are entitled to just 13 paid days off, to be taken consecutively, following the birth, fostering or adoption of a child. However, their wives were able to transfer up to ten of their 16 week entitlement to the father. But take-up by fathers of this extended has been very low – just 1.8 per cent, similar to the situation in the UK.
The new measure has been discussed by Spanish politicians for a number of years. The left-wing Podemos party finally drafted a parliamentary motion approved by Deputies this week. Podemos argued that gender discrimination was prohibited by both the Spanish Constitution and EU law.
Their motion was passed by an overwhelming 173-2 majority but will now need to be drafted into law before it comes into force.
Both the Liberal Ciudadonos (Citizens) Party and the conservative Partido Popular (Peoples Party) abstained from the vote.