What is paid leave and how does it work?

Know the types of paid leave and their characteristics

Employment resources

Paid leave is regulated in art. 37 of the Spanish Workers’ Statute, which establishes that the worker, with prior notice and justification, may be absent from work, with the right to remuneration, for any of the indicated reasons and for the time established for each situation. 

What paid leave does the Workers’ Statute establish? 

a) 15 calendar days in the case of marriage or registration of a civil partnership. 

b) 5 days for a serious accident or illness, hospitalization or surgical intervention without hospitalization that requires home rest of the spouse, de facto partner or relatives up to the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, including the blood relative of the de facto partner, as well as any other person other than the above, who lives with the worker in the same home and who requires effective care of the worker

b bis) 2 days for the death of the spouse, civil partner or relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity. When you need to make a trip for this purpose, the period will be extended by 2 days. 

c) 1 day for moving from the habitual residence. 

d) For the necessary time, for the fulfilment of an inexcusable duty of a public and personal nature, including the exercise of active suffrage.  

e) To carry out union or staff representation functions in the terms established legally or conventionally. 

f) For the time necessary to carry out prenatal examinations and childbirth preparation techniques and, in cases of adoption, custody for the purposes of adoption or foster care, to attend the mandatory information and preparation sessions and to carry out the mandatory psychological and social reports prior to the declaration of suitability, provided, in all cases, that they must take place within the work day. 

Which paid leave will have priority, the one that appears in the Collective Agreement or the one established in the Workers’ Statute? 

It is understood that the Workers’ Statute regulates the minimum permits and that the Collective Agreement will improve them, therefore, in the event that the same concept is regulated in both the Collective Agreement and the Workers’ Statute, we will take that of the Agreement since will come at least improved 

What will happen if the Collective Agreement does not regulate paid leave that is included in art. 37 of the Workers’ Statute? 

When a collective agreement does not include paid leave that is included in the Workers’ Statute, the worker will have the right to enjoy said leave. The collective agreement can improve the conditions established in the ET but not worsen them. 

We must take into account that Royal Decree-Law 5/2023, of June 28, included new permits in the ET coming into force on June 30, 2023, which may not be included in the Convention. 

The next question to ask is from what date does the paid leave begin to be computed? 

Unless the Collective Agreement indicates it, there are rulings regarding the fixing of the start day of the calculation of the period of enjoyment of paid permits and licenses recognized in the collective agreement in the event that the start date coincides with a non-working day for the worker. 

This, for example, occurs in paid marriage permits in which, if the ceremony is held on a non-working day, the calculation of the permit must begin on the first working day following the ceremony.

The Supreme Court understands that paid leave is requested and granted to be enjoyed on working days, since it is not necessary to request it on holidays, because work is not done. 

For this reason, the aforementioned court reiterates in its doctrine that all paid leave must be taken on workdays. 

What happens if the circumstance that produces the paid leave coincides with the period of our vacation that we have previously started? 

 If the worker is enjoying vacations that have already started before the causative event occurs, they will not be able to interrupt their vacations to enjoy paid leave or enjoy it after the vacation ends. 

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