New retirement rules ‘major step for mothers’

Under a reform that removes one of the inequalities between men and women in France, all of mothers' time on maternity will now count toward their retirement. It's a 'major step for women," says the French health minister.

New retirement rules 'major step for mothers'
Baby photo: Shutterstock

The French government has acknowledged what most new mothers already knew: taking care of a newborn is work.

As a result, all of a mother's time on maternity leave will now be counted toward her retirement. Under the old law women could only validate the first trimester of leave per child, even if the legal duration exceeded that time, Le Monde reported.

In the case of multiple births or women expecting a third child, maternity leave can last six months or more.

This change comes at a time when France is trying to knock down some of the barriers that have resulted in women earning smaller pay checks than men and being less present in the halls of power.

Lawmakers were working in January on a sweeping bill that would require more women on certain corporate decision making bodies and push men to share in more of the household tasks

Voted by parliament in December, the maternity leave reform is part of a package of pension reforms enforced in January and will affect all mothers who have given birth this year.

The reform also applies to adoption leave entitlement to daily allowances. It was published on Sunday in the Journal Officiel, the bulletin giving details of laws and official announcements in France, the decree means that all maternity leave will now be taken into account.

Writing on Twitter, Marisol Touraine, France’s minister for social affairs hailed the reform as progress for women’s rights.

“Decree out today: all maternity leave taken into account for retirement. Promise kept. Major step forward for women,” the minister tweeted.

And in a statement published on Sunday the minister said: “Taking into account all maternity and adoption leave represents a major step forward for women and for their families. It’s proof that a just and progressive pension reform is possible.”  

Showing how women's worlds are not always just was the focus of a French director's film "Oppressed Majority" which gave a glimpse of how life would be if men and women switched roles.

Here is the film (it contains some nudity):

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Starting and running a business in France just got (slightly) easier

A new government-backed website intended to make setting up and running a new business more straightforward has launched in France.

Starting and running a business in France just got (slightly) easier

Launching and running a new business in France has, historically, been a fraught affair, with huge amounts of admin required.

The government has had several attempts at making this easier, including the micro-entrepreneur scheme which gives a simplified system for people setting up as small traders or self-employed/freelancers.

READ ALSO How to set up as a micro-entrepreneur

But while finding accurate, useful information online was possible, it was uncoordinated and scattered across several sites, the Minister in charge of small businesses, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, said.

The website, which launched last month, aims to bring a little administrative love to small business bosses new and old by bringing together reliable, up-to-date, neutral, personalised and free resources, as well as information and tools needed to create, manage and develop their business on a daily basis.

It aims to be an official one-stop shop for anyone running or planning to run their own company. 

It features up-to-date information on starting, taking over, managing, developing, closing and transferring ownership of any business, no matter how small – as well as customisable sections dealing with human resources, accounting and taxation. It will also allow business managers to make appointments with advisers able to talk them through the intricacies of running and developing a business in France.

READ ALSO 5 reasons to set up a business in France

A news section is expected to be added to the site later in the year, while Entreprendre will include access to a complementary site:, “which has been open for testing since January 1st, 2022 and which from January 1st, 2023 will centralise all the administrative formalities for registering, modifying or ceasing its activity,”  Lemoyne said.