The Social Security system has delays of up to six months in the payment of maternity and paternity leave. In addition to this bureaucratic bottleneck, there is also a lack of staff because many of the contracts that were made as a reinforcement of COVID were not renewed. There are currently 20 per cent fewer staff than there were 10 years ago.
This situation is pushing to the financial limit some families who cannot cope with the numerous expenses after the arrival of their baby. Many have to resort to their own savings, or ask relatives for money, until the Social Security pays the financial benefit.
Because of the pandemic, petitions are having to be done electronically and applicants complain about the difficulties they encounter in contacting someone in the administration. ” You call the SEPE and there is no attention, and quotes are not available either”.
Social Security insists that it is not a widespread problem and that it is only affecting some provinces.
This year, for the first time, birth and child care leave has been equalized for both parents who can benefit for 16 weeks. Thus, parental leave has been progressively increased in Spain between 2019 and 2021.
In 2019 these permits went from 5 to 8 weeks. In 2020, it increased again from 8 to 12 weeks. And now for 16 weeks from 1 January 2021.