Expats to benefit in Spain as Brits could claim paid childcare

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The Spanish government passed a new Family Law on Tuesday extending existing benefits to same-sex couples as well as adding new childcare allowances for all.

The project, which is estimated to cost €700million per year, will still have to face its last examination in Parliament, but it is set to be instrumental for British families living in Spain.

“I think it is great that the family is getting more money towards childcare,” Michelle Baker, a British mother-of-five who runs a Facebook page in Benidorm, told the i newspaper.

“When it comes to giving time off to care for loved-ones, I think the government should pay, not the employers. I feel some people might take advantage of the gesture.”

Government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez said: “What this law seeks is to guarantee the full legal recognition of all types of families through the different social services.”

The text revolves around four fundamental pillars: the extension of social protection to families, the right to conciliation, the recognition of the different types of families and the care of the rights of children and adolescents.

For example, it is estimated that 300,000 single-parent families with two children can access the same benefits as large households, such as facilities to receive a scholarship, reduced rates or discounts on public transport.

The Government has defended that the new law seeks to support households that need it most. There is no longer talk of “large families”, but of “greater needs for parenting support”.

In addition to households with three or more children, new types of unions will be able to receive tax benefits and other aid that until now were reserved for large families.

Now, when a child or a parent has a disability or single parents with two children, they will be able to access this new aid.

At the same time, the existing “special category” for households with five children is now lowered to four descendants. This includes families with three children in case of multiple births, instead of four as up to now, and those with three children and low income.

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For single-parent households, the law provides for “social, legal and economic protection that meets their specific needs”.

The law creates three new paid leaves for the worker for a total of up to nine days a year, while maintaining the two existing days in case of death of a family member.

Five days for “accident or serious illness or surgical intervention without hospitalisation that requires rest” for both the spouse, common-law partner or second-degree relatives (grandparents, grandchildren or siblings) or affinity. The novelty is that any cohabitant is included.

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Another four days for “force majeure” when necessary for “urgent and unforeseeable family reasons” in relation to cases of illness or accidents. These can be enjoyed for hours.

In addition, there will be a new parental leave to which families have access until their children are eight years old, which in 2023 will be six weeks and in 2024 it will rise to eight. Parents may use it “continuously or discontinuously”, both “full-time or part-time in accordance with the regulations”. The question until this Tuesday was whether he should be paid, as stated in the European directive, or not.

Parents will also have the right to request a leave of absence for a maximum period of three years to take care of their children or close relatives, if there are no relatives who can take care of them.

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