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France doubles its paternity leave allowance

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.

France doubles its paternity leave allowance
Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/AFP

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.

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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ENVIRONMENT

French energy firms urge ‘immediate’ cut in consumption to avoid shortages this winter

France's top three energy providers are imploring the public to reduce their energy consumption this summer in order to save resources and avoid shortages this winter as cuts to Russian gas and oil begin to bite.

French energy firms urge 'immediate' cut in consumption to avoid shortages this winter

In a rare joint statement, the leaders of the three top French energy companies came together to urge the French public to reduce their energy consumption.

The heads of TotalEnergies, EDF and Engie published an open letter in the Journal du Dimanche newspaper on Sunday calling on the French to “immediately” reduce their consumption of petrol/gasoline, diesel, oil, electricity and gas in order to help stave off the shortages and soaring prices that could threaten “social cohesion” in France this winter.

The letter begs people to begin “acting this summer,” on cutting energy and fuel usage, adding that this “will allow us to be better prepared to face next winter and in particular to preserve our gas reserves.”

Why is there a risk of shortage this winter?

In light of the war in Ukraine, deliveries of Russian gas to France and other European nations via pipeline have been significantly decreased. Thus France, like the rest of Europe, is attempting to fill its gas reserves in preparation for this upcoming winter. The goal is to have French gas reserves at 100 percent by this fall

As Americans prepare for ‘driving season’ (when many families use their cars to go on vacation) and China begins to relax some of its lockdown measures, the world oil market is looking at high demand that may not be in line with current production capabilities. 

France is a relatively small consumer of Russian gas, but does depend heavily on domestic nuclear plants for energy – production of nuclear energy is however threatened by two things; droughts that mean shortages of water for cooling purposes at plants and maintenance issues that have lead to several plants being temporarily shut down for safety

Concern for adequate energy resources has been on the minds of energy providers for several years, according to the manager of France’s Electricity Transmission Network (RTE).

France has been anticipating that the winters of 2018 to 2024 would be “delicate” as this is a pivotal period for energy transition after several coal-powered plants were closed. France’s oldest nuclear plant, Fessenheim, was also shut down and disconnected from the French grid in 2020.

As of late May, almost half of France’s nuclear reactors were offline due to planned closures, as well as issues related to corrosion.  

What is the real risk of shortage this winter?

“There is no risk of shortage in the short term,” assured France’s Ministry of Environment in May, as there are up to “90 days worth of strategic stocks, as well as commercial stocks, which can both be distributed throughout the country as needed.” 

Experts like Professor Jan Horst Keppler, from Paris-Dauphine University, also do not anticipate a widespread shortage, though, “potential spot shortages are possible.”

Horst Keppler clarified that it is not possible in many cases to substitute one quality of oil for another, which could mean that some refineries may experience “spot shortages.” Therefore, he urged that consumers and providers will have to pay close attention to “the availability of gasoline, diesel and heating oil” even more so “than the availability of crude oil.”

Other European countries, however, are sounding the alarm. Germany, for example, will return to coal-powered energy in order to meet demands this winter. 

What are the energy companies doing to combat risk of shortage?

According to their statement, the heads of France’s top energy providers accept their “responsibility to act on the supply side” by implementing short term plans such as “diversifying gas supplies, proactively filling storage facilities, speeding up liquified natural gas (LNG) imports, and reactivating ‘mothballed’ facilities.”

Additionally, the leaders hope to launch a “major energy efficiency program” and a “national hunt for waste.”

In addition to ensuring adequate energy stocks for the winter, the three leaders also urge the French public to consider reducing consumption as a means for increasing household purchasing power in the fight against rising cost of living, as well as an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They also said that reducing energy “immediately” will show solidarity with other European nations at greater risk, particularly those in Eastern and Central Europe. 

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