Fathers to get equal rights

Parity in paternity and maternity leave approved by Spanish parliament 


People’s party, expected to form a minority government soon, opposes the measure saying it will significantly increase costs 


Paid paternity leave in Spain is to be increased to 16 weeks to give men parity with women, under new measures agreed by parliament.

Fathers are currently entitled to 13 consecutive days off work, starting two days prior to the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. This increases to 20 days if the family is large – with three or more children – or if the child is born with a disability.

Under existing arrangements, 10 weeks of maternity leave can be transferred to the father, an option taken up by less than 2% of men. Under the new law, maternity and paternity leave will not be transferable.

The proposal was put forward by the anti-austerity Podemos party on the grounds that both the Spanish constitution and European law prohibit discrimination on grounds of gender. It was passed with 173 in favour and only two against. However, the conservative People’s and Citizens parties both abstained.

The agreement is yet to be budgeted as Spain is still formally without a government but opponents to the law in the People’s party, which is expected to form a minority government by the end of this month, said the measure would significantly increase costs.

The Spanish parliament agreed equal maternity and paternity leave in principle as far back as 2009 but governments have consistently failed to implement it, blaming the financial crisis. However, figures suggest that Spain’s very low birthrate means the cost of paternity and maternity benefits is falling.

Elena Faba de la Encarnación, a spokeswoman for the Citizens party, said her party had abstained because it wants paid leave to be extended to 26 weeks.

Spanish women are entitled to a year’s unpaid leave once paid maternity has expired. Both parents in same-sex couples have been entitled to parental leave since 2007.



What do you think of the measure? Is it a welcome one?


Comments

brigida said…
I agree with this measure. Obviously two weeks is not enough but these four months for maternity leave, in my opiniom is not enough. It should be six month like some countries in the north of Europe. I know that it would increase the budget...but it's a step to increase birthdate rates
Graham said…
Hi Brigida,

My first reply seems to have disappeared into cyberspace. Hopefully, I won't lose this one.

Undoubtedly, this will be a popular measure in Spain. If it means spending less time at work... LOL

What about those of us who choose not to have kids. We don't cost our employers as much and we don't have any tax advantages like parents do.

In my opinion, six months is overly generous and I don't think it is so important to have equal rights for mothers and fathers.

I agree with this measure. Obviously two weeks is not enough but even these four months for maternity leave, in my opinion is insufficient. (Try not to be repetitive) It should be six months like in some countries in the north of Europe. I know that it would increase the budget...but it's a step towards / a way of increasing birth rates.




Anonymous said…
Fathers to get equal rights

This kind of information reveals what is the new political and social situation that the crisis has generated in Spain. I’m absolutely convinced that the news had unnoticed if the economic situation would have been different. Apparently the change in the paternity leave can see as a typical progressive measure in the European welfare society, but now every legislative modification of this type clash with the debt problem. By the other hand, it’s obvious that the men have to be entitled to paternity leave in the same conditions that the women, but I’m not so clear that all the young men in Spain consider this leave as something urgently in their life.
Besides, I don’t understand the reasons of People’s party. If my information is good, the birth rate in Spain is rather low, so I think that measure cannot cause greats unbalances if it’s budgeted. I’m sure that if the measure would have been put forward by the wind left in another moment, they had won in the parliament. The weight of political correctness in the western society is very important. In resume, if this proposal failed to implement is because the bad economic situation and the instability of acting government.
José Luis professor
Graham said…
Hi José Luis,

If this measure was introduced in election year, it would be seen as a bribe. People don't think that these kinds of things contribute to the national debt. They only, like politicians, think in the short term.


This kind of information reveals the new political and social situation that the crisis has generated in Spain. I’m absolutely convinced that the news would have gone unnoticed if the economic situation was different. (mixed conditional) Apparently the change in the paternity leave is seen as a typical progressive measure in the European welfare society, but now every legislative modification of this type clashes with the debt problem.

On the other hand, it’s obvious that men have to be entitled to paternity leave with the same conditions as women, but I’m not so sure that all the young men in Spain consider this leave as something urgent in their lives.

Besides, I don’t understand the reasons of People’s Party. If I understand correctly, the birth rate in Spain is rather low, so I think that measure cannot cause greats imbalances if it’s budgeted.

I’m sure that if the measure had been put forward by the lleft wing in another moment, they would have won the elections.

The weight of political correctness in the West is very important.

In short, if this proposal is not implemented / if they fail to implement this proposal, it is because of the bad economic situation and the instability of the acting government.