Maternity Leave

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Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is 16 weeks paid by Social security. It is obligatory for the mother to take the first six weeks, after which the father can use the remaining 10 weeks. In addition to this the mother or father is eligible to take 1 hour (paid) from work every day for one year from the end of the maternity leave. It is possible to compact these 1 hours and take them as three weeks extra maternity leave but this has to be agreed with your employer. If the maternity leave coincides with the summer holidays, the maternity leave carries over until after the holidays.

How to get maternity  and paternity leave …

You will need to get the maternity pack and the paternity pack. You then fill them in and return them

  • Get the Maternity and Paternity pack (It is advisable you do this before the baby is born)
    If you live in Las Palmas get a cita previa (appointment) at the Seguridad Social (this will save you waiting in massive queues)

The Las Palmas office is located in

Avda. Juan XXIII, 15
Tel: 928 242334 / 928 245615

If you do not live in Las Palmas go to your local Seguridad Social office, you will probably not need to pre book an appointment, just turn up when they open at 8.30. For a full list of where your nearest office is go to the social security website

  • Fill in the form – not as easy as you think … Your employee will probably need to help you out here, but you will need your last 3 months pay slips, bank details and some tax information which your employee will know if you don’t.
  • Once the baby is born apply for the Maternity leave straight away and apply for the paternity leave on the first day of paternity leave. Standard maternity leave is 16 weeks and paternity leave is 13 days.

Couple of hints

Get a few photocopies of passports, NIE certificates, certificados de empadronamiento before you begin.
Do as much as you can before the baby is born – trust me it will make your life a lot easier.
Start early in the morning. With careful planning you can quite easily do this all in two mornings, bad planning and you’ll spend hours in queues, getting photocopies and getting stressed.

2 Comments

  1. VeronicaG -  October 23, 2010 - 10:31 am

    I know for a fact that every working woman deserves the benefit of maternity leave, whether they went through a normal of c-section delivery. Right now I’m also on my 7th month of pregnancy and as much as possible after my delivery, I wanted to have enough time to heal and spend time with my little one. I was just wondering how much time do I have to take off from work. Any idea?

  2. RichardClarke -  October 25, 2010 - 2:08 am

    Hi, maternity leave here is 16 weeks full pay, extendable by another 2+ weeks if you accumulate all your lactancia straight after your maternity leave. The new 20 week EU law you mentioned is not law yet, it is just an approved proposal. You can then take longer unpaid leave after the birth as excedencia and your employer is obliged to leave your job open.

    Hope this helps.

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