Colombia Promotes Shared Parental Leave

The year 2021 becomes the perfect scenario for the presentation of a novel, intrepid and avant-garde initiative for the extension of shared parental leave, born from the impulse of a representative of the Senate supported by congressmen of all parties, which began its processing in the Chamber and today, we are certain that it will become a Law, which will open a range of possibilities and will open legal figures such as shared parental leave and flexible part-time parental leave.

Society and the world are advancing at an overwhelming speed and with it the family dynamics, which constitutes a substantial and important contribution in the economic and productive development of a country, since it is the labor force that induces and stimulates which needs must be covered and which ones must be attended as society manifests to be a participant of the growth and globalization that frames a structural development. Families grow and bring with them an increase in responsibility and duties, as well as rights, and it is here where the initiative of the extension of shared parental leave comes to life, since the approved bill establishes the possibility for both parents to intervene in the care, attention and formation of a newborn baby in favor of co-responsibility during the first months of its life, This is an important step forward in the equal recognition of the rights and duties of men and women with respect to the care and upbringing of children, allowing the strengthening of family relationships and aiming to contribute to the emotional and psychological stability of the family nuclei.

On the occasion of this figure, the extension goes from 8 days of leave to 15 days immediately, with the strict possibility of reaching up to 5 weeks gradually, provided that the circumstance of reduction of general unemployment is met, which will be formulated in detail in the Law for its faithful compliance.

The Law also encourages the mutual and free agreement of the couple on the distribution of the enjoyment and design of the execution of the weeks of flexible part-time parental leave, on the last six (6) weeks of the mother’s leave, as long as the conditions and requirements set forth in the Law are met, it being worth mentioning that the time of shared parental leave will be counted as from the date of delivery, except for exceptions due to medical condition previously certified by the treating physician for proven seriousness at the end of the pregnancy. The recognition of benefits extends to the relevance of application for adoptive mothers or fathers who are left in charge of the newborn without the support of the mother or of the person who acquires custody immediately after the birth, likewise, it applies without condition to babies born prematurely, adopted and whether their parents belong to the public or private sector.

Undoubtedly, it is a bill that establishes the will and intention of society in benefit and with great interest in contributing to the reduction of unemployment of women who are affected as a consequence, in a discriminatory manner in the labor field by the enjoyment of maternity leave, as well as founding the simultaneous co-responsibility in the naturally necessary work, product of the birth of a baby and the reception and family accompaniment, regarding the bond of parents and children.

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About the author:

Daniela Álvarez is a lawyer, she is part of the team of Gestiones Empresariales López & James Venezuela and specializes in the areas of Civil, Commercial, Business and Immigration Law. In Pre-legal and Legal Collections and commercial arbitration dynamics.

Bogotá D.C. August 30, 2021.