Of the total, 168,286 benefits corresponded to the first parent, usually the mother, and 186,332 to the second. Expenditure on these benefits between January and September was 2,447 million euros.
Social Security processed 354,618 birth and childcare benefits in the first nine months of 2022, an increase of 1.8% compared to the same period in 2021. Of the total, 168,286 went to the first parent, usually the mother, and 186,332 to the second parent, usually the father.
The expenditure associated with this benefit between January and September of this year was 2,447 million euros. In 2021, this figure stood at 2,171 million euros, an increase of 12.7%.
The childbirth and childcare benefit replaced the old maternity and paternity benefits when it came into force on 1 January 2021 and has brought the two benefits fully into line. The leave is now 16 weeks for both parents and is recognised as an individual and non-transferable entitlement. Of the 16 weeks, six of them must be taken immediately after the birth or judicial or administrative resolution in cases of adoption, guardianship or foster care. The rest of the time can be taken in successive periods.
The amount of these benefits is equivalent to the contribution base of the month prior to the birth, adoption, fostering or care, and is paid directly by the National Social Security Institute (INSS) during the weeks of leave.
By autonomous communities, the highest number of benefits for childbirth and childcare were recognised in Andalusia (63,799), Catalonia (63,338), Madrid (59,736) and the Valencian Community (36,041).
The National Social Security Institute offers the possibility of applying for childbirth benefits telematically, through the Tu Seguridad Social portal (https://sede.seg-social.gob.es/) and through the form at https://tramites.seg-social.es/acceso/prestacion-nacimiento- cuidado-menor.html.
It is also possible to apply for successive periods of leave for childbirth or childcare if the parents choose to split the period.
Leave of absence to care for a child, foster child or family member
On the other hand, the number of leaves of absence granted in the first half of the year was 36,801, of which 31,712 corresponded to women (86.2%) and 5,089 to men (13.8%).
The number of leaves of absence has been reduced by an average of 9.8% compared to the same period in 2021.
Madrid (7,605), Catalonia (5,675), Andalusia (4,098), the Basque Country (3,856) and the Autonomous Community of Valencia (3,663) are the Autonomous Communities with the highest number of leaves of absence.
In all autonomous communities, fewer leaves of absence were recorded than in the same period last year. The main decreases were in the Basque Country (-23.5%), Cantabria (-21.9%) and Galicia (-19.3%).
Workers can apply for leave of absence to care for children or foster children or to care for other family members. The first three years of leave to care for a child or foster child are considered as an effective contribution period for the purposes of Social Security benefits for retirement, permanent disability, death and survival, maternity and paternity. The first year of leave of absence to care for other family members is also considered to be effectively contributed for the purposes of these benefits.