I have tried to google for info but can’t find any. As the question says, I am trying to find out if there was the concept of paternity leave in Spain during 1913 and, if so, how long for?

  • 4
    Some context for this question might help greatly. What makes you think there might have been and why do you care?
    – Brian Z
    Commented Aug 15, 2021 at 21:55
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    I'd be shocked if you found an instances of it before the last few decades. It's a very modern idea.
    – user15620
    Commented Aug 15, 2021 at 22:03
  • @BrianZ The context is a transcribed / translated civil guard note for my great-grandfather. spanish.stackexchange.com/q/39464/28260 I guess it was just a coincidence that my grandfather was born in February 1913 and then my great-grandfather was allowed sick leave for two months in June to August. So that is what nudged me to ask the question. Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 4:08
  • @GorttheRobot Yes, I thought that myself, given my own experiences with my two sons. But countries work differently and I didn't; know if there was some unofficial procedures or something ... 😊 Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 4:10
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    When my grandparent had his son in Spain in 1935, he had to wait 8 days to get a half-day free to inscribe the birthing in the city (25 km away from his village). Now my father shows in the certificates as having been born 8 days later than the real date because in the registry they didn't care about those things. Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 8:42

2 Answers 2


No, at least not officially. Paternity leave wasn't first legislated for in Spain until 1980, when fathers were given two days' leave (or four days if the child died). In 1989, this was extended to four days and in 2007 to 15 days. Note that, historically, maternity leave evolved in large part as a response to health concerns related to childbirth (i.e. fathers didn't give birth so there was no issue here).

Paternity leave in the West was introduced in the 1970s in Scandinavian countries, partly in response to the greater number of women entering the work force. Also, there was a groundbreaking case in New York in 1973 when:

the EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] “found that the mothers-only rule ‘discriminates against male teachers as a class.’ As a result, the board says it will reword its bylaws to ensure equal rights for fathers.” That autumn, the relevant section of the Board of Ed bylaws was amended so that it no longer referred to an affected teacher as “her” or relied on the timing of the teacher’s pregnancy, thus expanding its relevancy to fathers and to adoptive parents. The determination is widely regarded as the groundbreaking first step toward paternity leave’s existence.

In Spain, men had very little opportunity for paternity leave until 2007:

The first paternity law reforms came in 2007 via the Spanish Law on Gender Equality which introduced a non-transferable, two-week paternity leave with a 100% wage compensation, followed by other expansions, adjustments and improvements over the years.

Note that even maternity leave was uncommon before the 20th century. Switzerland seems to have been the first country by some distance when

The Swiss Factory Act of 1877 provided an 8-week ‘rest period’ for mothers, six of which had to follow birth.

Germany also introduced a form of maternity leave before 1900 while, in Spain, maternity leave came about in 1900, when three weeks of leave was granted.

Note: the information on Spain comes from articles in Spanish, for which I used google translate.

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    Thank you for your detailed answer which helps me very much. Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 4:11

You won't find anything, as the concept of paternity leave is a very modern one. I haven't heard about it before the 1980's.

My dad got half a day off to be able to register my birth at the town hall. That was all the paternity leave you got.

  • Thank you for your answer. Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 4:11

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