In a recent Spanish case the ECJ held that, in applying a parental leave scheme that allowed time off for breastfeeding or bottlefeeding differently to men and women, the employer had discriminated on the grounds of sex. The employer had allowed all employed mothers to be eligible for the leave, but employed fathers were only entitled if the child's mother was also employed (by the same or another employer).

Once the Additional Paternity Leave Regulations come into force next April, which allow women to transfer up to six months of their maternity leave to the father or partner, employers that offer enhanced benefits to women on additional maternity leave may risk a sex discrimination claim if they fail to offer the same enhanced benefits to employees on additional paternity leave.

Alvarez v Sesa Start Espana ETT SA