Following on from my previous article on registering a new born baby in the Spanish system, another important thing to do is to organise your maternity or paternity leave. Both I and my fiancée are employed by other people, so I know how it works from that perspective, but I'm afraid I can´t explain how to do it if you are self-employed.
There are not many steps involved in this, but on top of the all the other paperwork you have to do as a new parent, be prepared for a busy first couple of weeks!
Your employer should be warned well in advance of the birth, so they have time to prepare themselves for your absence, and particularly if they are a small enterprise and haven't had to deal with this before, to inform themselves on the process.Mothers are entitled to 16 weeks maternity leave here in Spain, of which 6 weeks are compulsory, the rest are optional, and can even be shared with another person.
Fathers are now entitled to 4 weeks of paternity leave. I am lucky enough to work for a hotel that gave me an additional 9 days paid leave. I imagine that this might not be the case with every employer however!
When your child is born, your leave officially begins, although I believe that you can defer the leave to a later date if you wish. This is probably more useful to some fathers, than mothers who've just given birth! Collect a Certificado de Empresa from your employer which they will sign and stamp, and along with a completed Maternity/Paternity leave request form – http://www.seg-social.es/Internet_1/Pensionistas/Servicios/Solicitudesde..., Libro de Familia, Certificado de Empadronamiento, NIE, passport and bank account details, off you go again to the Seguridad Social, with another appointment arranged by calling 012.
If your baby had to stay in hospital for more than seven days, you should also take along the 'certificado de ingreso', that the hospital will give you, because these are days that can be 'reclaimed' and added onto the mother's maternity leave allowance.
My leave request form was incomplete, but as with my previous visit, they were very helpful and didn't send me away to fill it in and return another day... I have heard that this is sometimes the case! All of the other documents are essential however, and you cannot complete the process without them.
That's it! This will probably be the end of your baby related paper chasing and you can now go home and enjoy family life, safe in the knowledge that you will be paid to do so for a while!
An additional note... These administrative tasks, including all of those relating to registering your baby, can be done by one parent only, as long as they have all of the relevant documents (including ID) of the partner. There will be some signatures required of the mother, particularly on the maternity paperwork, but she doesn't need to physically be present at the appointments.