Since last week, specifically since Thursday, July the 5th, and as you probably have already read or heard, the new parents will have 5 weeks of paternity leave in Spain, instead of the 4 with which they previously had. Not so long ago, they had only 2 weeks (in fact, paternity leave as such was not established until March 2007, and until then, only had two days of "party", paid by the company).
It was in 2015 when the period of leave doubled from 2 to 4 weeks, and finally, and for now, it has culminated in 5 weeks of leave. All this, by virtue of effective equality between men and women (law through) and family conciliation. But ... are 5 weeks enough?
Would parents want to have more time?
That a baby needs the untold care of its mother is indisputable; for example, if she has decided to breastfeed, there is no other person in the world who can do it; but there are many other tasks in the first months of life that a father can also perform; the problem is if he wants and he can’t, because the law does not allow it.
In addition, the so-called quarantine, the postpartum recovery period of the mother that usually lasts between 6 and 8 weeks, is still not fully covered for the father. But what if the father wanted to enjoy the same period of leave as the mother? The father does not need any recovery, but it is important that he can share those first months with his son / daughter in more or less complete time.
Although it was so late, barely 11 years ago, the attempt of "effective equality between men and women" is a step forward, but it can not be said of equality, and less effective, when it is still the mothers who have to take care of the baby most of the time. It may not be necessary that, after the first month or month and a half, both parents must be on leave, but other formulas can be explored so that both have the possibility of absenting themselves from their jobs the same amount of time, something that undoubtedly would benefit the baby
The Scandinavian example
Different is that both the father and the mother consider that once she is recovered, and he is fulfilled with the deadlines imposed by law, want to immediately join their jobs. But if the law were more flexible, there would certainly be many more parents happy to have the possibility of taking care of their baby.
Let's look briefly at a couple of cases of countries where there is a greater awareness of the issue at hand (we will ignore the European countries that are worse off in this matter, with just 1 or 2 days, or none, of permission); for example in Sweden, the leave is of a total of 480 days, shared between the father and the mother, the first 390 with 80% of the salary. In addition, the father, at least, is force to take 60 of those days, plus ten extra working days.
In Norway, parents have up to 112 days of leave by right, while mothers have 322 days at 100% of the salary, which of course can also be transferred to the father (from the first one and a half month). Or Iceland, which entitles you to 90 days off for each one, plus an additional 90 days to split between both, although they would not be the only cases of effective conciliation.
How much do you think the paternity leave in Spain should last by law?