Six months ago, the Law 2114 of 2021 which extended paternity leave from eight days to two weeks, with which fathers could have work permission to share more time raising their newborn sons and daughters. Now, its author intends to continue with the extension and reach the same number of days that the mother can access.
The Representative to the Chamber José Daniel López celebrated the six months of the entry into force of the law together with a group of parents and a sit-in with toy babies carried on their chests, showing the care work that also corresponds to parents.
As presented by the congressman, author of the law together with Juanita Goebertus, after six months of the Shared License Law, which extended the period and opened the possibility for the couple to distribute the last six weeks between the couple, 33,400 people have benefited.
This regulation proposes that parental leave can reach five weeks, gradually increasing one each year, but based on the decrease in the structural unemployment rate, which was not met last year.
“In 2021, the requirement to increase paternity leave to three weeks was not met. That is why it is necessary to move towards equal licenses, without the increase being subject to requirements. It is necessary to take a second step that allows for a more agile improvement of women’s access to the labor market, and that contributes to uninstall once and for all the male chauvinist belief that women are in charge of caring for children. Currently women spend 20% more time on care work,” added the representative.
According to the Administrator of the Resources of the General System of Social Security in Health (Adres), for the month of January they had benefited 6,898 parents with two-week leave, which represented a cost of 6,889,023,011 for the system, as quoted by Semana magazine last month.
The law not only has the objective of impacting the culture of fatherhood, so that fathers assume the tasks of caring for children in equal burdens with mothers; but also the women’s market that is affected by the possibility of accessing the license.
“The difference between maternity and paternity leaves generates inequality between men and women to access the labor market. In Colombia we have a discriminatory model that prefers men to women of childbearing age, with exactly the same professional profile, due to the costs that the eventual maternity leave for women can generate. As of December 2021, according to DANE, the unemployment rate for men was 8.4% and for women 15.1%. A very wide gap that must be stopped and closed, “said López.
For that reason, in a political campaign act together with his formula in the Senate, David Luna, the representative announced that he will seek to carry out the project Equal License Law or Shared License Law 2.0. to extend paternity, no longer to five weeks, but to 18 so that both men and women have the same conditions and responsibilities in parenting.
The project proposes that in seven years, from the approval of the law, the licenses are equal. In this sense, it is intended to start with a four-week paternity leave and add two each year until the 18 target is achieved.
With the current regulations and under the Flexible Leave model, from the father’s second week of leave and from the mother’s 13th, the weeks of leave can be doubled, in agreement with the employer, working part time.
Likewise, women can choose the laboratory to undergo medical examinations in a job selection process. Questions about reproductive and family plans in job interviews are prohibited from now on!