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  • What is paternity leave and how long does it last?

It is a subsidy given to workers who suspend their employment contract or cease their activity, during the days established by law, on the occasion of the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. The last extension, which came into force on 1st January 2020, brought its duration up to 12 weeks. On 1 January 2021, a further increase comes into force, extending the duration of the leave to 16 weeks for births from that date.

The first four weeks of the leave must be taken without interruption after the birth. The remaining weeks may be taken in interruption and exercised from the end of the compulsory post-natal rest period until the child reaches the age of 12 months. This leave, which is 100% remunerated, is non-transferable, so if the father does not take it, he cannot give it to the mother.

A minimum of 50% may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis, subject to agreement with the employer, and is compatible with and independent of the shared use of maternity leave periods.

In the case of Andalusian civil servants, their paid and non-transferable leave has been extended in 2020 to 20 weeks.


  • Are there more days in case of multiple births?

Yes, the duration will be extended in the case of multiple births, adoptions, foster care or guardianships by two weeks for each child from the second. The last week of the rest period may be taken independently at another time within 12 months of the child’s birth.


  • Who can take paternity leave? Is there a minimum contribution period?

Workers covered by the general and special social security schemes, regardless of their sex. The paternity allowance is independent of that of the mother and compatible with the shared enjoyment of maternity leave, provided that it is granted by the mother.

In the case of childbirth, the suspension corresponds exclusively to the other parent. In the case of adoption or fostering, the suspension is for one parent only, at the choice of the persons concerned; however, where the maternity leave is enjoyed in full by one of the parents, the right to suspension on the grounds of paternity may be exercised by the other parent only.

When only one parent or adopter is involved, the period of paternity cannot be accumulated with that of maternity. The minimum contribution period required is 180 days within the 7 years immediately preceding the date of commencement of the suspension or, alternatively, 360 days over the working life prior to that date.


  • Are there any limitations regarding the child?

To be entitled to the benefit, the adopted or foster child must be under 6 years of age. However, entitlement is also granted to children over 6 years of age but under 18 years of age who are disabled or who, because of their personal circumstances and experiences or because they come from abroad, have special difficulties in social and family integration, duly accredited by the competent social services. An adopted or foster child is considered to have a disability if it is proven that the disability is equal to or greater than 33 per cent.


  • When can paternity leave be taken?

This leave does not have to be taken in conjunction with the birth leave; you can take it within the 16-week period of the maternity leave, or after it.


  • What salary is paid?

100%. Including all the items of the regulatory base, normally included in all the supplements assigned in the payroll. The Supreme Court has determined that the amounts received during maternity or paternity leave are exempt from income tax.


  • What documentation must be submitted to Social Security?

The paternity report from the health service, the application for leave sent to the company and the official model of the paternity application.  At the time of processing, it is also necessary to bring the last payslip, a photocopy of the ID card, an updated family book and a receipt from the bank into which the payment is to be made. The payment will be made after the second week of the month following the generation of the right.


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