Updated at: 16-06-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Maternity leave is the amount of time a woman can be absent from work following the birth of her child. Maternity leave benefits are common in most nations, allowing new mothers to recuperate and connect with their newborns. However, the length of maternity leave in France varies. By law, you are allowed to stay home with your child for a certain amount of time a year!

How Long is Maternity Leave in France

Parental leave in France: Paternity and maternity leave in France | Oyster®

Parental Leave / Maternité

Assurance Maladie, the French government’s health insurance plan, provides extensive parental leave or maternité for French parents (AM). There are three years of 80 percent pay for mothers after just 14 weeks at 100% wage, according to a 2015 story in L’Express As a result, for the first three years following the birth of their kid, mothers receive 80% of their regular wage from AM.

There are two stages of maternity leave: the first and second. On the date of your child’s birth or adoption placement, the first period begins. CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales) social services have six weeks to conduct a consultation with you to determine how much time you should take off of work for rehabilitation. After six weeks, “the mother has a total of 14 weeks before returning to work.”

She’ll need to check in with her advisor one more time throughout the next 14 weeks. You will be eligible for benefits for the next fourteen weeks after returning to work. It’s during this time that your child will be in his or her first year of life.

Everything you need to know about maternity leave in France

Want to learn more about French maternity leave if you’re expecting a child? We’re bringing you up to speed on all you need to know about maternity leave in France in 2021, from how long it might be to how much money you’ll get.

What is maternity leave?

Pregnant women and new mothers are entitled to maternity leave, which is a period of unpaid leave from work. It permits them to take time off during and after the birth of their child while still being paid for their time off.

Since 1909, France has had maternity leave. In the past, it was not nearly as beneficial to mothers as it is today—it only lasted for eight weeks, and it was unpaid. Civil servants received maternity leave pay in 1929, following teachers in 1919. Women who were employed had to wait until 1979 before they were granted paid maternity leave, a significant advancement in light of the high costs associated with becoming a parent.

When was the first time paternity leave was implemented?

How long does maternity leave last?

The length of maternity leave has been 16 weeks since the Veil Law of 1989 was enacted. Here’s how it works:

  • Prenatal leave of six weeks
  • 10 weeks of paid leave following the birth of a kid

Pregnancy and postpartum leave is extended to 26 weeks for women who are pregnant with their third child.

You may be carrying twins, aren’t you? A 34-week maternity leave would include 12 weeks before you give birth and 22 weeks after you’ve given birth. You’re eligible to 46 weeks of maternity leave for the birth of triplets—24 weeks before the birth, and 22 weeks afterward.

Tip—up to three weeks of your prenatal leave can be carried over to your postpartum leave if you request it. Before doing so, you should consult with your doctor.

Even though your due date is still six weeks away, your prenatal leave will be automatically transferred over to your postpartum leave in the event of an early birth. To be eligible for additional benefits if your baby is born more than six weeks early, you must have been pregnant for at least six months.

Who pays maternity leave?

Your work contract will be terminated while you are on maternity leave. It is worth noting that as a mother, you’ll earn daily benefits from the French Social Security equal to 100% of your monthly wage. In order to get reimbursed, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Your Social Security number has been active for a minimum of ten months.
  • To qualify, you must have worked at least 150 hours per week for at least three months, or at least 600 hours per year if your employment has been irregular.

Pregnant women who plan to work just need to let their employers know they will be taking time off for the birth of their child. After that, it’s up to them to tell the insurance company about it.

The number of weeks of paid maternity leave you’re entitled to is based on the last three months of your wage, or 12 months if you’ve worked intermittently. Daily payments are equal to your salary, with a daily limit of €89.03 per day. Amounts are deposited into the account every 14 days. Your pension contributions will also be impacted by the payouts.

As long as you’ve been collecting unemployment benefits or haven’t worked in the last year, you’re eligible for maternity leave. The last four pay stubs are required in this situation to be sent to your health insurance provider.

Maternity leave for freelancers in France—how does it work?

Do you work for yourself? So, if you’ve been registered with your health insurance fund for at least 10 months before your due date, you can claim maternity leave, as well. However, the amount of money you pay each day will be different.

If you’re a freelancer, you have the option of claiming two types of payments at once:

  • Repos maternel, a lump-sum payment for the “maternal repose.”
  • Due to the interruption of your job, you will get daily compensation.

You’ll need to take at least eight weeks off from work, including the two weeks before your due date, in order to obtain this financial aid. Your average annual turnover over the last three years is used to determine these two payments. Depending on the industry you work in, you may be eligible for tax breaks.

  • 71 percent of the time, people buy and sell.
  • The commercial and trading services make about 50% of the total.
  • For private services, 34% of the revenue is generated.

As of January 1, 2021, the maximum daily maternity leave payment you can receive is €56.35. Your payments will be 10% of your average yearly income over the last three years, or €5.635 per day, if that amount is less than €4,046.40.

€3,428 is the flat-rate payment for “maternal rest” for the calendar year 2021. Again, the flat-rate payment is reduced to €342.80 if your three-year average yearly income is less than €4,046.40.

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Maternity leave for freelancers—how to claim your benefits

Self-employed women who are planning to become mothers must provide the following information to their health insurance provider to obtain their flat-rate maternal rest payment.

  • Pregnancy check-up sheet for seven months
  • a copy of one’s birth certificate

Upon receipt of all required documentation, you will be paid in two equal installments: one prior to the due date and the other following the delivery of your baby. Please deliver the following documentation to your health insurance in order to collect your daily maternity pay:

  • A written statement stating that you will not be working as a self-employed person for the duration of your leave
  • a doctor’s note authorizing you to take at least 56 days of unpaid leave, including 14 days before your due date,

How to extend your maternity leave

In the following situations, you may be able to extend your maternity leave:

  • As a result of a mother’s illness. As long as a medical certificate is given as verification, an additional four weeks of postnatal leave can be granted.
  • Premature birth happens when a child is born more than six weeks early. When your baby is born, your maternity leave will be extended by the number of days that elapse until you return to work.
  • If your newborn needs to stay in the hospital for more than six weeks. In this case, mothers are able to end their leave to return to work, should they choose, and resume maternity leave when the child leaves the hospital.

It’s possible that your newborn will be in the hospital longer than six weeks. This means that moms can return to work while on maternity leave, if they like, and resume their leave when their child is released from the hospital.

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Parental leave in France: The nuts and bolts of paternity and maternity leave in France

The basics of parental leave in France

Most European countries have varying parental leave regulations. EU members are expected to adhere to the minimal criteria of Directive 92/85/EEC (for pregnant employees) and Directive 2019/1158 (for the protection of workers with disabilities) (the right to paid maternal leave and parental leave).

6 Johnson & Johnson Employees Share How Parental Leave Helped Them Embrace Parenthood | Johnson & Johnson

It’s no different in France.

And it has been a long-time advocate of maternity leave policies. During the Second World War, France instituted 14-week maternity leave and compensation for half of a woman’s lost wages during this time period.

As of today, expectant moms are granted 16 weeks of paid leave—six weeks before and 10 weeks after the birth of their child. Four days of mandatory paternity leave must be taken immediately after childbirth, and the father can take an additional 21 days within six months of the child’s birth.

Adoptive parents aren’t excluded from these benefits either. The parents can apply for 10 weeks of parental leave if adopting one child, or 22 weeks if adopting many children. The daily leave allotment is intended to be split between the parents in this circumstance.

be eligible for parental leave in France:

  • Prior to the birth of a child, enlist in the Social Security Administration (SSA) at least 10 months in advance.
  • Have taken a minimum of 8 weeks leave

Maternity leave in France

Been on vacation for at least 8 weeks

A legal document can be used if there is any confusion.

How long is maternity leave in France?

Here are the specifics of how many days of paid maternity leave a mother is entitled to in each of the many scenarios.

The French legislation provides a prenatal leave of six weeks and a postpartum leave of ten weeks for women who are expecting one child and have no more than two dependent children (postnatal). An additional two weeks of prenatal leave can be granted if the mother has a preeclampsia or gestational diabetes problem.

A further four weeks of postnatal leave is available if childbirth results in health issues. That works out to a total of 14 weeks of postpartum leave for each mother.

If a woman is expecting her third child, she is entitled to eight weeks of prenatal leave and an additional 18 weeks of leave following the birth of the child. For successive pregnancies, these numbers remain the same.

There are 12 prenatal and 22 postnatal weeks for those who are expecting twins. Triplets or more necessitate an additional 24 weeks of prenatal care. The post-partum period is the same every time.

The law also covers cases of premature childbirth that’s over six weeks before the expected delivery date and where the newborn is compulsorily hospitalized. The six-week prenatal leave becomes part of the six-week postnatal leave if the delivery date is later than the intended start date of the leave.

When a baby is born more than six weeks early and is hospitalized as a result of that premature birth, the legislation also applies. The six-week prenatal leave becomes part of the six-week postnatal leave if the delivery date is later than the intended start date of the leave.

When a baby is born more than six weeks early and is hospitalized as a result of that premature birth, the law protects that situation as well. Due to a delay in birth time, the six-week pregnancy leave is extended for an additional two weeks.

What is the allowance for maternity leave?

The law considers the employee’s employment contract to be suspended while she is away from work to care for her newborn baby. If the employee passes the eligibility requirements, the French Social Security Administration (SSA) will take care of any future payments.

The mother’s salary is not owed to the employer by law.

Add the employee’s last three months of gross salaries and divide the total by 91.5 to arrive at the maternity leave allowance. A total of 21% of a worker’s wages are deducted by the government for taxes and social contributions before their daily benefits are paid out every 14 days.

Wages cannot exceed €89.03 or fall below €9.66 per day. The maximum monthly payment is €3,428.

Employees return to their prior position or a similar role at the end of maternity leave without any compensation changes. Upon the mother’s return to work, any raises given to her coworkers while she was out of the office must be passed on to her.

Additional job protection of four weeks is required by French law once maternity or adoption leave ends.

Paternity leave in France

Paternity leave in France will be extended from six to eight weeks in September 2020, according to President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement.

Fathers or second parents of a biological or adoptive kid can take advantage of a 25-day parental leave, which includes a four-day mandatory leave immediately following childbirth and a 21-day leave that the father can take at any time within six months of the baby’s birth.

For twins or triplets, the 21-day paternity leave is extended to 28 days.

There was a time when paternity leave was limited to 11 continuous day for one baby or 18 days for multiple children. On July 1st, 2021, the new law went into effect. In same-sex couples, the policy also applies to the second parent (male or female).

The new law on paternity leave is summarized in the following points.

How long is paternity leave in France?

Immediately after childbirth, the father goes on a mandatory three-day birth leave covered by their employer (only working days). At the end of the third day, the four-day compulsory paternity leave covered by the new policy kicks in.

A required three-day paternity leave is provided by the employer for new fathers immediately following the birth of their kid (only working days). The four-day paternity leave mandated by the new policy takes effect at the end of the third day.

For example, if there are several births, the father can divide the remaining 21 days into two periods of five and 16 days, or five and 23 days. The father’s four-day leave period lasts for the duration of the newborn’s hospitalization, up to a maximum of 30 consecutive calendar days.

The 21-day post-partum leave is not required for fathers. In order to take advantage of this leave, the parent must notify the company one month in advance so that they can plan accordingly. The easiest way to notify your employer of a leave of absence is to send a letter.

What is the allowance for paternity leave?

French law requires employers to pay employees for the first three days while covering the rest of their paid time off.

Similar to maternity leave benefits, allowances are determined (sum of last three gross salaries before childbirth divided by 91.25). The SSA has put a €10,284 cap on the amount of leave that can be taken each quarter.

Paternity leave benefits are withheld by the Social Security Administration (SSA) before they are paid to the father. This is because the SSA deducts taxes and social contributions (limited at 21% like maternity leave).

Where can I go if I have more questions about parental leave in France when hiring employees?

The website of the French public service is a logical starting point.

French parental leave information can be found here in its entirety. However, it can be a tad too much. Detailed information on French maternity and paternity leave can be found on the official EU website.

Oyster, a worldwide HR compliance expert, is another wonderful alternative for people managers of distant teams.

If you take this route, you’ll have a team of legal and HR specialists who will perform the heavy lifting for you so that you can focus on creating a fantastic employee experience for your new hires.

Parental leave in France isn’t complicated if you have the correct information

If you don’t know what you’re talking about, you could find yourself in hot water with the law. Because it’s morally correct.

To show your top talent that you care about their well-being, ensure that they are able to take full use of the parental leave legislation in their home countries. Hiring top French talent shouldn’t be a problem if you work with local specialists who know the ins and outs.

Maternity Leave in France

Pledge to Discontinue Service

There is a 16-week maternity leave for the first child, followed by 16 weeks for the second, and a total of 26 weeks for the third. Up to six weeks before the due date, a woman can begin her maternity leave.

New mothers in France are mandated to take at least eight weeks of parental leave, which shows that the country’s laws are more concerned with the well-being of new mothers than those in other countries.

It is necessary that the employer fill the position for at least two months during the required leave period, which is a significant burden (however the employer may not recruit for a permanent replacement.)

Maternity leave benefit

Maternity leave benefits are capped at EUR10,131 each quarter and are based on the employee’s three-month average pay. Social security in France pays the allowance if the employee worked 150 hours or more in the preceding three months before filing for the benefit. This saves the company money by not having to pay for paid leave, but it also results in the loss of a valuable employee’s services during that time.

Rules for the End of a Project

As a reminder, employees on maternity leave can’t be fired for any reason. Pregnant workers and those returning from maternity leave are also barred from returning to work for a total of 10 weeks. It is possible for a company to terminate an employee’s employment contract if the company is unable to meet its contractual obligations, such as redundancies.

Paternity/Partner Leave

The partner/father can also take paternity leave after the birth of a child. For a single child, fathers in France are entitled to 11 days of paid leave, and for multiple children, they are entitled to 18 days of paid leave. Similar to maternity leave, the leave allowance is available. Men and women of the same sex can both take paternity leave, but only the former is allowed to do so.

Adoption Leave

Each adoptive parent receives a leave allowance of 10 weeks for a single child or 22 weeks for more than one adopted child.


How is maternity leave paid in France?

Parents on maternity leave in France receive a benefit equal to their average wage during the three months preceding their child’s birth, up to a €9,933 monthly social security cap.

How long is paid leave in France?

Full-time employees in France who work 35 hours per week are entitled to a minimum of five weeks of paid vacation each year, per French labor law. A maximum of 30 days of paid leave can be earned by taking 2.5 days of leave for every calendar month working.

Which European country has the best maternity leave?

Bulgaria. Bulgaria is the most favorable in terms of maternity leave in Eastern Europe. Maternity leave for working women can last up to 410 days if they follow a progressive schedule. Nearly all of the employee’s salary is covered by social security for this absence.

How long is maternity leave Europe?

Working parents in Europe are entitled to at least 14 weeks of paid leave under the Pregnant Workers Directive and at least 10 days of paid paternity leave under the Work–Life Balance Directive, with two of those months being non-transferable.

How much does it cost to give birth in France?

The cost of giving birth in Germany and France is significantly lower, at around $2,500. For a typical delivery in Australia, you’ll pay $5,312. The cost of bringing a kid into the world in Switzerland is significantly higher, at $7,751 for a natural birth and $9,965 for a C-section.

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Why is maternity leave important?

A woman’s body undergoes a major transformation during and after childbirth. In order for the mother and the baby to get to know one other, they both need time to recuperate from this enormous transition. You shouldn’t return to work right after giving birth if you don’t have the time to devote to your newborn.

Why does America not have paid maternity leave?

In the United States, maternity leave is not guaranteed, unlike in many other countries. Depending on the company, some may provide paid maternity leave, while others may not offer any. Women who are expecting or have just given birth may find it difficult to return to work quickly afterward. A lot more work needs to be done on the maternity leave front in the United States.

What is the Difference Between Paid and Unpaid Maternity Leave?

Paid and unpaid leave options are available when a woman is ready to return to work following childbirth. For women who are unable to return to their previous jobs because of a preexisting condition, paid maternity leave provides a source of income while they are away from work.

A person who has collected enough sick leave to cover their expenses while on unpaid maternity leave might use those days in conjunction with paid maternity leave. Only the first plan offers financial aid to new parents when they are away from home with their newborn.

Maternity Leave: How Does America Measure Up?

When it comes to maternity leave policies, the United States falls woefully behind. It’s one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t require new mothers who have worked for at least a set length at their employment to take paid maternity leave (s).

More lenient policies than those required by federal law have been implemented by some states. Pregnancy Disability Leave Law was passed by New Jersey in 1978, just a few years after California’s formal pregnancy disability program took effect (PDLL).

Soon after, the Minnesota Maternity Leave Act was implemented, allowing women to take time off for whatever “disability” they may have as a result of giving birth. For this reason, Minnesota established a new rule in 1993 allowing pregnant women to take time off from work without specifying what constitutes an illness or injury.

Why is paid maternity leave important?

Having to return to work too soon after giving birth can have a negative impact on both the mother and her child. For starters, newborns need a lot of attention in the first few months of their lives in order to bond with their mother and develop healthily.

It is possible that mothers’ sentiments of guilt or anger toward their babies, due to their sense of being compelled to return to work so soon after giving birth, can impair their relationship with their children and have an adverse effect on their overall development.

In addition, some studies demonstrate that developmental impairments later in life can be caused if moms do not spend enough time bonding with their infants during these early stages.