FRANCE: In September 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that the previous paternity leave would be extended. This new law came into full effect on July 1, 2021 and also applied to the second parent in same-sex couples.
The extension states that fathers would be allowed to have a 25-day leave. That leave will be broken down by a four-day mandatory leave taken right after the childbirth and a further 21-day leave that the father can have any time within six months of the child’s birth.
According to the new law, there will be room for even further extension if there are multiple births such as twins or triplets, where the second 21-day leave becomes a 28-day paternity leave.
Doing it for the dads: All about France’s new paternity leave law
Earlier, the paternity leave in France was only for 11 consecutive days or 18 days for parents having more than one child. Compared to the standard lengthy 16-week maternity leave, it required lengthening due to different family dynamics.
Maternity leave in France is very flexible. The standard leave is 16 weeks for one child, but this always depends on the situation. There are 34 weeks leave for twins and a 36 week leave for triplets or more. Additionally, France also considers the possibility of complications during childbirth and, in this case, will grant 20 weeks leave for the mother.
The new paternity leave grants the father a compulsory three-day birth leave covered fully by the employer (excluding weekends). After these three days, the four-day compulsory paternity leave that is covered by the new policy comes into effect.
At the end of that, the father can then decide to take the 21-day leave (or 28-day leave period) in two installments. Each leave installment must last a minimum of five days.
Additionally, the father has the flexibility to decide to split up the days as he wants. He can choose to do a period of two five and 16 days or two five and 23 days in the case of twins, triplets, or multiple childbirths.
In the case where the newborn is placed under hospitalization, the father’s four-day leave period lasts for the period of hospitalization up to a limit of 30 ensuing calendar days.
Moreover, the father is also allowed to pass on the 21-day post-childbirth leave. However, if he decides to take it, the father must disclose this to the employer with a written notice one month before the start date of the leave period.
Allowance-wise, the French government expects the employer to pay employees for the first three days while covering the leave allowance for the rest of the leave period that is granted.
These allowances are calculated similarly to the maternity leave allowance. It is the sum of the last three gross salaries before childbirth divided by 91.25. The leave allowance is prone to a quarterly limit set by the SSA of 10,284 euros.
The tax contributions (which are enclosed at 21% as with maternity leave) are taken from the paternity leave allowance before the SSA pays out the allowance to the father.
These new rule regulations promote equality for all kinds of family dynamics that exist within French households. Extending the paternity leave will mean that families with working mothers have less pressure to take care of their children by themselves.
The extension of the paternity leave will also allow fathers to have a more significant role in spending time with their newborns, as well as a more shared amount of responsibility with the mothers.