Comprehensive Guide on Paternity Leave: Steps and Requirements

Table of Contents


What is it?

Paternity leave is a legal entitlement for fathers to take time off work to care for their newborn or newly adopted child.

Who needs it?

Primarily, new fathers who wish to take some time off work to bond with their baby, assist with childcare duties, or support their partner after the birth or adoption of their child. It is equally accessible to self-employed individuals.


  1. Notify your employer about the intention to take paternity leave. It is best to do this as early as possible or at least 15 days before you plan to take your leave.
  2. The notification must be in writing. Include the start and end dates of your leave.
  3. Apply online for paternity benefits through the Social Security (Seguridad Social) website. Here is a link to start the process: Social Security Electronic Office - Paternity Benefits
  4. It may be necessary to provide supporting documentation such as a medical certificate confirming the birth or adoption papers.

Required Documents

  • Application form for paternity leave filled out (obtained online from the Seguridad Social website)
  • Identity Document (DNI / NIE) or passport
  • Certificate of the company recognizing your right to paternity leave
  • Medical certificate of the childbirth or adoption papers

Providers that can do it for you

(We are currently curating the best providers. If you are or know a provider, please contact us or edit the page directly)


Additional details

Starting from 2021, Spanish fathers have an equal and non-transferable entitlement to paternity leave as mothers. This means that both parents can take up to 16 weeks of leave. The leave can be taken up to one year after the birth or adoption. The benefit is paid at 100% of the regulatory base salary.

Please note: while on paternity leave, you are protected against dismissal. Ensure that you have had a discussion with your employer about your plans to ensure it fits into their leave planning.


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