LONDON: Working dads may wish to take Spanish citizenship after reading this.
Europe's top court has ruled that working fathers in Spain are entitled to take " breastfeeding leave" daily even if the child's mother is not employed.
The new ruling by the European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg means that both the mother and father are allowed to leave work for an hour during the day or reduce their working day by half an hour during the first nine months following the birth of a child, the Telegraph reported.
In Spain, fathers are currently only allowed to apply for breastfeeding leave if the mother is employed full time.
But, the top court ruled last week that the Spanish law, which was instituted in 1900 to facilitate breastfeeding by the mother, caused an "unjustified discrimination on grounds of sex" as fathers do not have the same rights as mothers.
The Spanish man who challenged the law, Pedro Manuel Roca Alvarez, said his request to take breastfeeding leave from his job in Galicia was rejected because the mother of his child was self-employed.
Such a refusal, the court said, could have the effect of forcing self-employed mothers to limit their work because the father cannot share the burden.
Not giving dads the same right as mums in this case "is liable to ... keep men in a role subsidiary to that of women in relation to the exercise of their parental duties," the court ruled.
Breastfeeding leave should now be considered as "time purely devoted to the child" in order to reconcile family life and work after maternity leave, the court said.