Working Mothers in Spain

Does the Law have provisions on maternity leave? Yes
What is the duration of maternity leave? 16.0 weeks
What percentage of the monthly salary does a worker get during maternity leave? 100  %
Who pays for maternity leave? Government
Does the law require that workers be protected from dismissals during the term of pregnancy and maternity leave? Yes
Does the law provide for the right to return to same position after availing maternity leave? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant and nursing workers must not be engaged in harmful work? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant workers be provided free ante and post natal medical care? Yes
Does the law provide for breastfeeding breaks for nursing mothers? Yes
What is the duration of breastfeeding breaks, as provided by the law? One hour
What is the length of breastfeeding breaks? Breastfeeding breaks are provided for the first 9 month(s) of life of the child
Does the law require parental leave for parents? Yes
Does the law provide for paid or unpaid parental leave? Unpaid
What is the total duration of parental leave? 1095
What is the wage replacement rate for parental leave? No provision
Does the law require that parents with minor children or workers with other family responsibilities be provided with flexible time or part time work options? Yes

To comply with international standards, maternity leave duration should be at least 14 weeks and during maternity leave workers should be paid at least 67% of their wage.


More about maternity leave:

The general total duration of maternity leave is 16 consecutive weeks in which six weeks are obligatory and must be taken following the birth, while the remaining ten weeks can be taken before or after birth. In case of multiple birth, 2 weeks for each child after the second child. Except for the 6 weeks of compulsory leave, if the child is premature or has to be hospitalised after birth, leave can be taken after the end of hospitalisation. By consolidating an entitlement to reduced working hours, mothers can in practice extend Maternity leave by two to four weeks. If after maternity leave the mother still needs medical care as a result of the birth of her child and she is unable to work, she will be in situation of temporary incapacity and entitled to sickness benefits from the health insurance scheme. If the child is premature or has to be hospitalised after birth, the mother or the father are entitled to be absent from work for one hour every day. They also have the right to reduce their working hours up to two hours a day with the proportional reduction of their remuneration. Employed mothers have the right to transfer up to ten of their 16 paid weeks of Maternity leave to the father on condition that they take six weeks after giving birth, that their partner fulfils contributory requirements, and that the transfer does not endanger their health. Leave can be completely transferred or partly transferred, so both parents share full or part-time leave simultaneously. If the mother dies, the father can take the Maternity leave entitlements, independently of the mother’s previous employment situation and entitlements. maternity leave is not reduced in the case of child's death. Source: Royal Decree No. 1/1995 enacting the Workers' Statute Art. 48(4) & Art.37(4bis)

All workers are entitled to maternity leave cash benefits, whether employees or self-employees if affiliated in any social security scheme and have made the contributions required. The qualification conditions to be entitled to cash maternity benefits are determined both by the age of the worker and the length of its contribution to the general social security scheme. a) if the worker is under 21 years old on the date of the birth/adoption/foster care: no minimum contribution period is required. b) if the worker is between 21 and 26 years old: minimum contribution period of 90 days in the 7 years immediatly prior to the time when the leave start or, alternatively, 180 days of contributions in all the worker’s working life prior to the date. c) if the worker is over 26 years old: minimum contribution period of 180 days in the 7 years immediatly prior to the moment when the leave starts or alternatively, 360 days in all the worker’s working life prior to the date. In the case of part-time workers, contibutions will be calculated according to the number of hours worked and by calculating their equivalence in theoritical contribution days. To be entitled to cash maternity benefits, employees should be affiliated to the general social security scheme and have made contributions for 180 days in the 5 years preceding the date of birth, adoption or foster care. All workers are entitled to maternity benefits from the first day of initiation of maternity leave, and its duration will correspond to the duration of the enjoyed rest period. In general, 16 consecutive weeks, that is extended by 2 weeks for each child after the second child, in cases of multiple birth, adoption or fostering. The amount of cash benefit is 100% of the contribution basis up to a ceiling of €3,606.00 a month for the whole duration of maternity leave. A flat-rate benefit (€532.51 per month or €17.75 per day) is paid for 42 days to all employed women who do not meet eligibility requirements.

Sources: Royal Decree No. 1/1994 on Social Security General Act Art.7, Art. 86 Art. 133; Royal Decree No. 295/2009 on Cash benefits of the Social Security System concerning Maternity, Paternity, Risk during Pregnancy and Risk during Brestfeeding. Art.3-4, Art.8)

More about parental leave:

Workers are entitled to unpaid parental leave of no more than 3 years to take care of their biological or adoptive child, counted from the date of the child’s birth or the date of adoption. Each successive child entitles the worker to a new period of leave which marks the end of the current period of leave. When both parents work for the same company, the employer may prevent the concurrent exercise of their parental leave on the grounds of business risks. During the first year, return to the same job position is protected; after the first year, job protection is restricted to a job of the same category. There are no limits to the number of periods of leave that can be taken until the child is three years, with no minimum period. Since 2000, a number of regional governments have introduced flat-rate benefits. However, these benefits have been reduced or abolished since 2009 as a consequence of the fiscal crisis. Parental leave is unpaid leave however workers taking leave are credited with social security contributions, which affect pension accounts, health cover and new maternity or paternity leave entitlements, for the first two years in the private sector and for the whole period in the public sector. (Royal Decree No. 1/1995 enacting the Workers Statute Art.46(3))