Saturday, November 13, 2010

Applying for maternity/paternity leave

We finally completed our application for maternity and paternity leave. The process is a bit complicated because the government pays you directly vs your company, so you act as the middle-man, shuffling documents between your company and social security.

Step one is to get your company to prepare a document saying how much you make and when you want to take your leave. Note that this amount will be capped by the social security maximum, which is about 4000 euros a month.

Once you have this, you make an appointment (cita previa) at the social security office in Sabadell on Tres Creus. Only one person needs to go. You can apply for both maternity and paternity leave on the same document.

Make sure you have:

  • Your passport/DNI
  • Your NIE (the card or sheet of paper)
  • Document supporting your tax rate (eg the 24% authorization)
  • Medical “baja” certificate for mother
  • Libro Familia
  • Filled out form
  • Familia numerosa card if you are applying for the extra days of paternity leave due to 3 or more children

The Familia numerosa issue nearly tripped me up, since the card hasn’t arrived yet. I had a copy of the application that I had submitted to the Generalitat, but even that wasn’t good enough. I put on my best sad puppy dog expression and eventually he had mercy on me and talked to his supervisor. They were finally willing to accept a copy of the Libro Familia as evidence of three kids.

I’m understanding more about what election candidates mean with a “one-window” policy, which means that you should be able to go to your town hall and submit all this crap in a single location, as opposed acting like a gopher run between various government agencies in various towns.

I think my experience playing computer adventure games in the 80s and 90s prepared me well for navigating the bureaucracy. It’s all about having the right items in your inventory and collecting and submitting the right pieces of paper in the right order.

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