France, like most countries, has employment laws that protect employees and contractors, and regulate how employers must treat their team members. These labor laws, which are also known as employment laws or labor codes, provide employees with statutory benefits that employers must include in employment contracts and safeguard them from injustice or discrimination at work.
According to employment and labor laws in France, employees and contractors have access to numerous types of leave, all of which have a bare minimum that must be provided. Employers are required to provide paid leave for national holidays, annual leave, and other types of leave, such as parental leave and sick leave.
This article will focus on the minimum amount of leave employers must provide their employees in the nation of France. This information can help employers create their leave policies when forming their company policies and benefits packages.
Employees in France are allowed to take a set number of days off per year for
- National holidays
- Annual leave
- Sick leave
- Maternity leave
- Parental leave
- Paternity leave
- Adoption leave
- Sabbatical leave
There are also special leave circumstances, such as:
- Leadership leave
- Teaching leave
- Bereavement leave
- Natural disaster leave
- Public office
- Caregiver leave
- Job mobility leave
Based on French labor laws and regulations like the French Labor Code (Code du Travail), this article will describe the many types of leave to which employees in the Republic of France are entitled. We will also list the minimal number of days that each employee is permitted to miss from work for each circumstance in the sections below.
There are 11 national holidays in France, according to the labor code.
The following table is a list of the holidays in France with dates for 2023.
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Annual leave in France
Employees in France may take an annual vacation leave (known as Congés Payés) of 2.5 days per each month worked up to 30 days. To figure out how many months an employee has worked to calculate leave, four weeks of work or 24 working days are considered to be one month of work.
Maternity leave in France
Employees are entitled to paid maternity leave in France. Pregnant employees in France who worked at least six months during the prior 12 months are entitled to fully paid maternity leave.
Maternity leave is 16 weeks. Before the expected date of childbirth, expectant mothers can take six weeks of prenatal maternity leave. After childbirth, they can take the remaining 10 weeks of postnatal leave. This is extendable by two weeks before childbirth for a pathological pregnancy and four weeks after in case of health complications.
In case of more than one birth, prenatal leave is extendable to 12 weeks for twins and 24 weeks for more than two children. The postnatal period of compensation is set at 22 weeks for more than two children.
Paternity leave in France
Employees who are fathers, as well as second parents, may take paternity leave. This leave is 28 days or 32 days in the case of more than one child born. There is a mandatory one week of leave when the child is born.
Parental leave in France
Employees may take parental leave for up to 310 working days if their child is sick, disabled, has a serious accident, or needs medical care. This leave is paid as daily allowances by the Family Allowance Fund.
Sick leave in France
Paid sick leave is allowed with a medical certificate. If the employee has 200 hours of employment in the prior three months, sick pay is paid for six months. If the employee has over 800 hours, it is payable for up to three years.
Adoption leave in France
Employees can take adoption leave of 16 weeks from the date of arrival of the child. If the children under the employee’s care are aged 3 or older after an adoption, the adoption leave is 18 weeks. Adoption leave is increased to 22 weeks in the case of multiple adoptions.
Sabbatical leave in France
The employment contract can be suspended for six months to eleven months for sabbatical leave for employees with at least 36 months of service with one employer. The duration of sabbatical leave is between a minimum of six months and a maximum of 11 months.
Other leave in France
There are several other types of leave in addition to the aforementioned types of leave.
- Mobility — A contract may be suspended for an employee who has had at least two years of service to look for another job. The duration is agreed upon by employment contracts and collective agreements.
- Business creation — Employees with at least 24 months of service with an employer can take unpaid leave or part-time leave for up to one year to create a business.
- Caregiver — Employees can take caregiver leave of up to one year over their entire career if a close relative becomes handicapped.
- Bereavement — Employees may take seven working days of bereavement leave for the death of a child under 25 or a person in the employee’s care under the age of 25. Employees can take three days for the death of a spouse or family member.
- French citizenship welcome — For becoming a French citizen, employees may take a half day of leave.
- Natural disaster — Leave can be taken to assist with a local natural disaster. The leave for a natural disaster is 20 days.
- Leadership training — Employees under the age of 25 can take six working days per year to take part in sports, training, and education.
- Public office — For an election campaign for National Assembly or Senate, employees may take 20 working days of leave. Employees may take 10 working days for other offices.
- Teaching — Employees who are teachers may take a leave of absence or work part-time for up to one year.
- Operational Reserve — Five to eight days of leave are available for Operational Reserve or National Service activities.
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