The Spanish government has announced new proposals to increase both paternity and maternity leave from the current five weeks to 16 weeks by 2021.
The measures are aimed at equalising the allowance for both parents and will be phased in with an increase to 8 weeks by the end of 2019, 12 weeks by 2020 with non-transferable paid leave rising further to 16 weeks by 2021.
There will also be an option to extend the leave by another two weeks per child where there is a multiple birth.
If the draft legislation is passed, it will be available to employees in both the private and public sectors.
Under current Spanish legislation, woman are entitled to six weeks compulsory maternity leave, with men receiving up to five weeks, which is voluntary.
The draft proposals are aimed at improving equal opportunities between men and women in employment.
Congress has been debating the equalising of paternity leave since 2009, but year-after-year the plans have been put on hold with the government blaming the financial crisis for not passing the previous recommendations.
The new legislation is expected to be approved during this Friday’s cabinet meeting.