Monday, October 4, 2010

Spanish fathers win the right to breastfeed

The European Court of Justice found that men have the right to take “lactation leave” (baja lactancia) regardless of the professional status of the mother.

The logic behind the decision was that it treated men and women unfairly, since men can only take the leave if the wife is working, but women can take the leave regardless.

Lactation leave is one hour a day for the first nine months, which adds up to 25 days of paid leave, assuming that you don’t take any other leave. Given that paternity leave is only two weeks in Spain, this could actually be a pretty big deal.

In theory, men can also take the 16 weeks maternity leave, but only if the mother is working. Applying the same logic as the ECJ applied to the lactation leave, there’s a good chance that men will also be able to take this leave in the future.

I’ll try taking that lactation leave (mostly just to see if it works), since, which given how dysfunctional and cheapo the Corporation’s HR department is, will undoubtedly be amusing.

Here’s the judgment:

Article 2(1), (3) and (4) and Article 5 of Council Directive 76/207/EEC of 9 February 1976 on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions, must be interpreted as precluding a national measure such as the one at issue in the main proceedings, which provides that female workers who are mothers and whose status is that of an employed person are entitled, in various ways, to take leave during the first nine months following the child’s birth, whereas male workers who are fathers with that same status are not entitled to the same leave unless the child’s mother is also an employed person.

I guess this answers Monty Python's question:

1 comment:

Ashleigh said...

What???? Since when did men grow breasts? Did I miss some evolutionary gender thing? Hahaha