The ‘back to school’ is approaching and, with it, the problems to reconcile personal and professional life for those who have to deal with fathers and mothers. But, this September, there is a novelty in Spain, after the implementation of the Family Law and the modification of the Workers’ Statute. Thus, now parents will be able to take parental leave to take care of their sons and daughters, or the children they have fostered for more than a year. But, for this, they must meet a series of conditions.
On March 28, the Government of Spain approved the Family Law, whose objective is to update Spanish legislation regarding family structure and diversity. The Ministry of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda, led by Ione Belarra, approved these measures through the Royal Decree that entered into force on June 30. This adapted a European Directive to Spanish legislation and involved the introduction of new ones whose purpose is to favor the reconciliation of parents and caregivers.
The new regulations contemplate up to three permits for the care of family members and children. A fundamental issue that workers must take into account is that, if their company denies them any permit, they can request the assistance of a labor lawyer to claim their labor rights.
How to request days off for ‘back to school’
One of the main hallmarks of the new parental leave is that it can be requested by workers to care for sons and daughters under 8 years of age, as well as for boys and girls fostered for more than a year. A good occasion to request it is, for example, the ‘back to school’. According to Belarra, this will serve “to face those hard processes of adaptation of the youngest children in September where many fathers and mothers juggle because they have nowhere to leave their sons and daughters.”
This work permit has a maximum duration of eight weeks, which can be enjoyed continuously or discontinuously, full or part time, until the minor reaches 8 years of age. In addition, it is the employee himself who sets the start and end date of the same, as long as he communicates it to the company 10 days in advance or the time set in the collective agreement.
As regards the entity, it may take into account its organizational needs when considering the request. Therefore, it is possible that they postpone it or propose other dates or times to take advantage of it. The Workers’ Statute does not specify that it be paid.
Work permits to take care of a stranger without losing salary
Another of the permits approved by the Executive is the one that consists of five days a year, paid, which can be used in the event of an accident or serious illness, hospitalization or surgical intervention without hospitalization that requires rest, both for a family member up to a second degree, as a cohabitant.
The third is the permit ‘due to force majeure’, which is distributed by hours and can be up to four days a year. It is also paid and allows fathers and mothers to be absent from work when there are urgent or unexpected family reasons, in case of illness or accident that make their immediate presence essential.
Thanks to this permit, workers can take a few hours if their child “has had a bad night and they need to stay home with him” or if their parents “get sick and have to accompany them to the doctor”, as explained by the minister of De Social rights in a video posted on their social networks.