Spain will not extend the country's length of maternity leave until the economy improves.
The country's Minster of Health, Social Policy and Equality, Leire Pajin announced that the government will not extend the length of maternity leave from 16 weeks to 20. She noted that “Spain's objective is to not apply the measure until the economic situation changes,” at least until next year.
Extending maternity leave to 20 weeks could cost $1.3 billion per year, according to a study by the European Parliament.
Pajin’s statements came after the European Union rejected proposals Dec. 6 to extend the length of paid maternity leave saying the measure would carry “an excessive cost in the context of the current economic crisis.”
In addition, the ministers voiced opposition to demands by European lawmakers that member states shorten paid paternity leave by at least two weeks.