The Colombian Congress approved the bill “Shared Leave Now”, which seeks to extend the term of paid paternity leave, equalize the responsibilities of both genders in relation to childcare, and reduce inequality between men and women in terms of access to labor. This bill has four essential points:
- Extension of paternity leave. Paternity leave is the time given to a father to contribute with the arrival of his newborn and enjoyment with his partner. This leave currently lasts eight (8) business days, which are paid. The extension in paternity leave would be done according to unemployment reduction. For each percentage point that the unemployment rate decreases, a week will be added to the paternity leave until it is extended to five (5) weeks.
- Shared parental leave. This leave is granted to the mother and father so they can be absent from their jobs when their babies are newborn.
- Flexible parental leave. The leave is granted to both parents. They can freely distribute the last six (6) weeks of parental leave between each other.
- Measures against work discrimination. With the addition of the new types of parental leave and the extension of the paternity leave, Congress seeks to eliminate gender-based discrimination present on the labor market. Additionally, this bill aims to ban questions about reproductive or family plans, or sexuality in job interviews.
The co-author of this bill stated that when hiring personnel, employers tend to choose men over women, which constitutes a disadvantage for them in the labor market. According to the co-author, this preference is related to the time of maternity leave, which is eighteen (18) calendar weeks, during which women do not perform tasks for their jobs. They also acquire special guarantees such as “reinforced labor stability”. On the contrary, the paternity leave only lasts eight (8) business days and men do not acquire “reinforced labor stability” or any other type of employment guarantee during this period.
If you have any questions or concerns about this bill, please do not hesitate to contact BéndiksenLaw to help you solve them.
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