Colombia: New Law introduces Changes to Maternity Leave and Paternity Leave
Law 2114 extends paternity leave from one to two weeks. Also, parents, by mutual agreement, are able to transfer the last 6 weeks of maternity leave to the father or work half-time during the leave, for twice the amount of time.
Law 2114 of 2021 introduces three main changes to both maternity and paternity leaves contemplated under previous regulations:
- Extension of paternity leave: Paternity leave will have a two-week duration as of July 29, 2021 – before Law 2114, it was 8 working-days long. The leave could be given for adoptive children or children born to the spouse or permanent companion.
- Distribution of maternity leave: If agreed between the parents, the last 6 weeks of the maternity leave can be transferred to the father of the child to complete the paternity leave, as they see fit. However, transferred weeks cannot be fragmented, interleaved, or taken simultaneously. In order for the weeks to be transferred, employers must require a letter from both parents, the week distribution approved by the doctor, and a medical certificate with information regarding birth date and the leave`s start date.
- Half time paternity/maternity leave: Both parents are now able to extend their leaves by working half time during the last week in the case of the father, and the last 6 weeks for the mother. However, it is optional for employers to grant this possibility, therefore during the 5 working days following the request of the employee, the employer must notify its decision.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
Law 2114 opens a new realm of possibilities to enjoy the maternity and paternity leaves, enabling parents to manage their distribution as they see fit.