Leave Policy in France

Shraddha Saxena
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Table of Content

The leave policy in France mandates at least five weeks of paid vacation annually, including public holidays, with additional leave for "Cadre" employees and adherence to collective bargaining agreements.

Employers looking to hire employees from France or through an Employer of Record (EOR) in France must be well-versed in these regulations to ensure compliance and effectively manage their workforce.

Annual Leave (Vacation)

  • In France, the Labor Code stipulates that employers must grant at least five weeks of paid vacation annually, plus public holidays after employees complete a one-month probation period. Collective bargaining agreements often offer extra leave days beyond this minimum requirement. 
  • The official leave year in France extends from June 1st to May 31st. "Cadre" employees are eligible for additional RTT (Réduction du temps de travail) days, which are accrued monthly and must typically be used by the end of the calendar year (January 1st to December 31st).
  • Employers looking to hire employees from France or through an Employer of Record (EOR) in France must be well-versed in these regulations to ensure compliance and effectively manage their workforce.

Public Holidays

  • 1 Jan 2024 (Monday): New Year’s Day
  • 29 Mar 2024 (Friday): Good Friday (Alsace and Moselle only)
  • 1 Apr 2024 (Monday): Easter Monday
  • 1 May 2024 (Wednesday): Labour Day
  • 8 May 2024 (Wednesday): Victory Day
  • 9 May 2024 (Thursday): Ascension Day
  • 19 May 2024 (Sunday): Whit Sunday
  • 20 May 2024 (Monday): Whit Monday
  • 14 Jul 2024 (Sunday): Bastille Day
  • 15 Aug 2024 (Thursday): Assumption Day
  • 1 Nov 2024 (Friday): All Saints’ Day
  • 11 Nov 2024 (Monday): Armistice Day
  • 25 Dec 2024 (Wednesday): Christmas Day
  • 26 Dec 2024 (Thursday): St Stephen’s Day (Alsace and Moselle only)

Sick Days

  • Social Security in France reimburses employees for sick leave from the fourth day of absence.
  • Employers often provide extra compensation, specified in collective or company agreements.
  • Employees with a minimum of three months of service receive continued payment up to 90 days, proportional to their regular salary.
  • Employees must submit a medical certificate (un avis d’arrêt de travail) to their employer within 48 hours of illness.
  • The employer then issues a salary certificate to Social Security, enabling the employee to receive benefits for up to three years.

Maternity Leave

  • In France, pregnant employees are entitled to up to 16 weeks of maternity leave, which includes six weeks before the birth and ten weeks after. This leave can be extended to 26 weeks for the birth of a third child, 34 weeks for twins, and 46 weeks for triplets or more. If the mother experiences health issues, the leave can be further extended by an additional two weeks before the birth and four weeks after.
  • Maternity benefits are provided by Social Security to eligible employees. To qualify, an employee must have been affiliated with Social Security for at least six months prior to the due date, taken at least eight weeks of maternity leave, and worked a minimum of 150 hours in the 90 days preceding the leave.
  • The daily amount of maternity pay is based on the average salary received during the three months prior to the leave and is disbursed every two weeks.

Paternity Leave

  • In France, paternity leave (congé paternité) consists of 25 calendar days. It starts after an initial 3 working days of birth leave, which are paid by the employer. Following this period, fathers must take 4 consecutive calendar days off. The remaining 21 days can be split but must be used within six months of the child's birth. These 21 days can be taken all at once or in two separate periods of at least 5 days each.
  • For multiple births, an extra 7 days of leave are granted. Social security covers all leave after the initial birth leave. To be eligible, fathers must have been enrolled in social security for at least 10 months. Employers must be notified of the intended leave at least one month in advance, either orally or in writing.
  • The social security benefit is calculated based on the average daily salary over the previous three months, capped at €88.84 per day (for the year 2023).

Parental Leave

  • In France, employees with at least one year of service are eligible for parental leave (congé parental d’éducation) upon employer approval. This leave is unpaid and can extend up to one year or allow for a transition to part-time work, depending on the business's capacity. Employees with more than one child and over two years of service can receive a monthly allowance (Allocation parentale d’enfant) during this period.
  • Additionally, if a child falls ill, parents can request parental leave ranging from 3 to 5 days, depending on the number of children and the child's age. For severe illness, accident, or disability, parents can seek extended family care leave of up to 310 days to provide necessary care.

Adoption Leave

In France, employees are eligible for 16 weeks of adoption leave beginning from the child's arrival date. If the adopted child is 3 years old or older, this leave extends to 18 weeks. For the adoption of multiple children, the leave duration increases to 22 weeks.

Sabbatical leave

Employees who have been with the same employer for at least 36 months are entitled to take sabbatical leave, during which their employment contract can be suspended. The length of sabbatical leave ranges from a minimum of six months to a maximum of eleven months.

Hassle-Free Leave Policy Management in France  with Gloroots

At Gloroots, we understand that managing leave policies can be complex, especially when expanding your business and hiring across borders. Our platform ensures compliance with French labor laws, accurately tracks leave balances, processes leave requests seamlessly, and generates comprehensive leave reports. By partnering with Gloroots, you can focus on growing your business while we handle the nuances of employee leave management. Contact us to discover how Gloroots can streamline your HR processes and enhance your business operations in France.

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