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Olga Galindo Carazo.  

Families Act 2023. These are the new permits for the care of children and domestic partners.

A few months ago, Royal Decree Law 5/2023 approved a series of measures aimed at facilitating work-life balance in our country and promoting equality in the sharing of burdens related to parenting and family care. The law arises from the need to adapt to EU Directive 2019/1158 on the reconciliation of family life and work life of parents and caregivers. All the measures included in the Family Law and which modify the Workers’ Statute, came into force last June 30.

Child Care

The most relevant changes are listed below:

Eight weeks parental leave. Article 48 bis of the ET.
  • It applies to workers who are entitled to leave to care for a child or foster child until the child reaches the age of eight.
  • Its duration is no longer than eight weeks, continuous or discontinuous, and it may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.
  • It is an individual right of the worker; its exercise cannot be transferred to the other parent, thus guaranteeing equality between men and women.
  • It is an unpaid leave, although it is expected that before the end of 2024 the necessary legislative amendments will be made to make it so.

One of the questions raised about this leave is whether the eight weeks apply to each child, the majority opinion and in accordance with the meaning of the regulation is yes, but this is something that will have to be defined by the Regulations of the Law and, if necessary, by case law.

Special leave due to force majeure. Article 37.9 ET.

The employee shall have the right to be absent from work for urgent family reasons related to relatives or persons living with him/her. It applies in the event of illness or accident that makes the employee’s immediate presence indispensable.

  • It is a paid leave of absence of a maximum of four days per year, justifying the reason for the absence to the company. It can be taken by the hour.
Extension of sick leave to five days. Article 37.3 b. ET.

This leave is extended from two to five days in the event of accident or serious illness, hospitalization or surgery without hospitalization requiring home rest of the spouse, domestic partner or relative up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity.

The range of persons who may take this leave is also extended, for example, the blood relative of the common-law partner.

Recognition of 15 days of marriage leave also for domestic partners.
  • The aim is to equalize the rights of married couples and unmarried couples.
  • In the case of domestic partnership and subsequent marriage, this right can only be enjoyed once.
  • Adaptation of the working day for reasons of conciliation.

Some novelties are included, such as the extension of applicants, among others, to workers with children over 12 years of age who require care.

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