France improves access to parental leave for new employees

parental leave france

Until now, workers must have been employed for a minimum of 10 months in order to benefit from paid maternity and paternity leave. Here’s what has changed.  

Working mothers benefit from a mandatory minimum of 16 weeks paid leave for a single birth, between 34 and 46 weeks for multiple births, 10 weeks for adoption and additional leave if they are having their third or over child. Fathers are entitled to 25 calendar days of paternity leave, or more for a multiple birth.  

Whilst these figures are set with the well-being of both parents and children in mind, the government does have criteria that must be met in order for families to access these benefits.  


One such requirement was that the person requesting paid leave for childcare purposes needed to have been affiliated with an occupation linked to Social Security for 10 months. In other words, they must have been paying into the system for at least that amount of time.  

Following a decree published on 19th August in the Official Journal, the number of months a person must have been working and paying into Social Security to receive childcare benefits has been lowered to six months. This is in line with a European Union directive that deals with the balance between the private and professional lives of parents and caregivers.  


The new rules apply to insured people whose start date of maternity, paternity, childcare or adoption leave is after 20th August of this year, and women for whom maternity leave, due to a medical condition resulting from pregnancy or childbirth, has been increased and therefore started prior to 19th August. 

The new six-month period applies to employees, entertainment workers, non-salaried agricultural workers and the self-employed. Unemployed people may also take advantage to these allowances if they meet certain conditions, such as receiving unemployment benefits or having ceased their salaried activity for less than 12 months.

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Photo source: Holly Santos, Unsplash