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What are the Maternity and Paternity Leave Allowances in Spain? | A Guide for Overseas Employers

Hiring employees in Spain means you need to offer entitlements according to Spanish labor laws, and that includes maternity and paternity leave.  If you are used to statutory leave amounts in your home country, you will have to adapt your policies to meet the Spanish minimums.

How can you know the statutory minimums and leave benefit if this is your first time employing in Spain?  What are the rules on payment of wages during leave, and when does the benefit begin?

You will find the answers to these questions and others in this quick guide to maternity and paternity leave in Spain.

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How much Maternity Leave are you Entitled to in Spain?

The minimum statutory maternity leave in Spain is 16 weeks, taken consecutively to include weekends and holidays.  Leave can begin either the first day the baby is born, or up to 10 weeks prior to the due date if the mother prefers.  At least 6 weeks must be taken after birth.

During maternity leave, the mother is entitled to 100% of their wage, and this is paid by the Spanish Social Security.  All that your company has to do is make normal employer social contributions.

What are the Paternity Leave Entitlements in Spain?

Statutory paternity leave is five weeks, recently increased in 2018 from four weeks.  The first consecutive four weeks can begin the day the baby is born (or later), and the fifth week can be taken separately at any time within 9 months after birth.  The benefit entitlement is similar as the mother’s, at 100% of wage for the entire leave duration.

Client Case Example: Taking Paternity Leave

An employee of one of our clients had a question about how paternity leave could be taken in Spain.  Specifically, he wanted to take one week right after the birth of his daughter, and then use the other four weeks in small increments during the year.

We let him know that under Spanish rules, at least four of the five weeks had to be taken consecutively, but could be taken any time within nine months.  So, even though he could not take the leave in increments, he could either take it at the same time as his wife, or after her maternity leave was over.

Once the baby is born, the employee would send a copy of the birth certificate to our local Spanish partner, and then email the dates he planned on taking the leave.   This would allow for the leave benefit to be paid accurately and for the right time period.

When do benefit entitlements start?

Benefit entitlements (wage payment) will start when the leave begins to be taken for the mother or the father, so there will not be any interruption of wages.

How much is the Tax deduction for working mothers in Spain?

Another benefit is that when a new mother is working, she will receive a deduction from income tax due of 1200 Euros for each child younger than 3 years.  This is either deducted from the annual tax bill, or paid by the Treasury monthly at 100 Euros.

Do you need more information about Spain?

Overseas employers often face unfamiliar leave entitlements and payment rules, and you may need more information such as:

How to make sure that the leave benefit is paid accurately during the leave period.

Structuring maternity and paternity leave for both locals and expat employees, to make sure the statutory minimums are offered.

These are the types of issues we assist our clients with at every stage of hiring staff abroad.  Through our local partners and in country experts we make international employment simple.

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