For the very first time, Spanish law addresses menstrual health specifically, offering protection for special temporary incapacity caused by medical conditions associated with incapacitating mensuration cycle (secondary disabling menstruation).

Compensated leave comes with a variety of safeguards that vary by country and region within the same nation. In many jurisdictions, employee sick leave is a common reason for paid time off; however, the definition of sick leave and the specifications for taking sick days vary greatly.

A proposition to repeal the Law on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Voluntary Pregnancy Interruption was recently approved by the Spanish Council of Ministers. The text has now been approved and will be forwarded to Congress for parliamentary consideration.

Employers in Spain ought to be informed of the proposed rule and its implications, that we summarise below.

The Spanish sick leave system

Employees in Spain have the right to sick leave and statutory sick pay, that is partly funded by Social Security system and the employer.

A doctor will evaluate how many days an employee must be on sick leave, as well as a process for reviewing and extending or terminating sick leave as necessary.

From the fourth to the fifteenth day of leave (both days included), the employer will be responsible for providing sick pay, and Social Security system will be responsible from the sixteenth day of absence and on. The first 3 days of sick leave are unpaid due to unforeseen circumstances.

Sick pay will now be calculated as 60% of the employee’s base Social Security contribution up to the twentieth day of illness and 75percent of the base contribution beginning on the 21st. In contrast, collective bargaining agreements may impose extra payment obligations on the employer, such as the obligation to supplement the employee’s basic pay for all or a portion of the sick leave.

Menstrual leave legislation has been proposed.

The proposed new regulation includes menstrual health as a health standard. Which means, t he proposed legislation includes a provision for temporary incapacity caused by disabling periods for medical conditions (secondary disabling menstruation). Endometriosis and polycystic ovaries are two conditions that limit women’s ability to work normally.

This disability requires a medical report and allows a woman to work from home for a few hrs or days if her period pain restricts her from working.

This is a temporary disability for which the Social Security system will begin paying sick pay on the first day, with no minimum contribution period required. The number of days required by each woman based on her medical report would determine the duration.

This is the primary distinction between temporary incapacity caused by common uncertainties, which do not cover first 3 days of absence (unless agreed) and require a min Social Security contribution period to be eligible for sick pay coverage.

The proposed rules, as written, would establish a new sick leave cap paid in full by Social Security system ever since inception, i.e. at no preliminary cost to the employer (except where otherwise provided by other sources), and exempt from minimum contribution periods.

Other common illnesses that result in short-term absences, on the other hand, would be subject to the previously mentioned general system, which require a min contribution period and does not cover employees for the first 3 days.

Businesses will need to modify their policies and payroll practises to accommodate new sick leave legislation when it is accepted. This could set a precedent for other nations that have expressed a desire to rule over and protect this situation in the past.

Employers in Spain and around the world, stay tuned!

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