France doubles its paternity leave allowance

France doubles its paternity leave allowance
Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/AFP
New dads in France are now entitled to twice as much time off work in order to spend time with their new arrival, as the government doubles paternity leave.

President Emmanuel Macron announced the change last year, and it comes into effect from July 1st.

Paternity leave is now set at 25 days, up from 11 previously, which brings France more into line with other European countries.

The entitlement is for all employees, whether they are on permanent or temporary contracts, and comes into force for all children born after July 1st – or who were due after July 1st but were born prematurely.

The leave is split up into two periods – four days of compulsory leave which must be taken immediately after the child’s birth, followed by 21 days of leave which can be taken any time within six months of the baby’s birth.

It is not compulsory for dads to take to extra 21 days, but it is compulsory for employers to allow them to. The employer must be given one month’s notice of the 21-day leave period.

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In  the case of twins or triplets, the dad gets four compulsory days followed by 28 extra days.

If the baby is hospitalised after the birth, the total leave period is extended to cover the entire hospitalisation period, up to a maximum of 30 days.

The live-in partner or spouse of the baby’s mother can also benefit from paternity leave, even if they are not the biological father of the baby.

You can find the full details here.

Announcing the change last year, an official of the president’s Elysée palace said: “Time is an essential factor in establishing an important link between the child and the parents. The current period is too short”.

Unsurprisingly, the move proved popular, with 80 percent of people saying they were in favour.

In terms of maternity leave, France is one of the less generous countries in Europe, offering 16 weeks on full pay. Some companies offer more as part of their employment conditions, but the statutory allowance gives just 16 weeks and anyone who wants more time has to take it unpaid.

Many French women choose not to take more than the minimum, however, and there is excellent cheap childcare provision in place.

READ ALSO These are the days off that workers are entitled to in France


Member comments

  1. Where can I find this “excellent cheap childcare”????? Getting a place in a creche is like getting into the Ivy League, and a full time assistance maternelle runs upwards of a thousand a month.

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