Updated at: 26-10-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

The term “maternity leave” refers to the period of time a woman is allowed to remain away from her job in the wake of the birth of her child. Most countries provide some sort of paid maternity leave so that moms can rest and bond with their newborns. Maternity leave in France, however, varies in length. Legally, you’re entitled to take some time off each year to be a stay-at-home parent.

How Long is Maternity Leave in France

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

Parental Leave / Maternité

French parents can take use of lengthy parental leave, known as maternité, under the French government’s health insurance program, Assurance Maladie (AM). According to an article published in L’Express in 2015, moms receive 80% of their usual wage from AM for the first three years after the birth of their child, after which they return to their pre-pregnancy salary.

Maternity leave is divided into two distinct phases: the first and the second trimesters. Your child’s first period will begin on the day he or she is born or placed for adoption. The social services department at CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales) has six weeks to meet with you for a consultation to decide how much time off work you need for rehabilitation. “The mother has a total of 14 weeks before returning to work” after the initial six weeks.

In the next 14 weeks, she must meet with her guide one more time. The fourteen weeks following your return to work will be the period during which you can receive benefits. Your baby’s first year of life falls between these dates.

Everything you need to know about maternity leave in France

Are you expecting a kid and curious about maternity leave in France? We’ll fill you in on the specifics of maternity leave in France in 2021, including how long it may last and how much you can expect to be compensated during that time.

What is maternity leave?

Moms-to-be and expectant mothers are legally entitled to maternity leave, a period of unpaid absence from their jobs. It allows them to take leave before, during, and after the birth of a child without losing pay.

France has provided maternity leave to its workers since 1909. When I was a mother, it was only eight weeks long and it wasn’t paid. Beginning with teachers in 1919, civil officials also received maternity leave pay in 1929. As the cost of having a child is substantial, it was not until 1979 that working women were given the option of taking paid maternity leave.

When was paternity leave first offered?

How long does maternity leave last?

Since the Veil Law of 1989 was passed, the standard period of maternity leave has been 16 weeks. See how it operates below:

  • Six weeks of maternity leave
  • There is a maternity leave policy of 10 weeks with pay.

For women expecting their third child, the standard 18 weeks of maternity leave is doubled to 26 to account for both pregnancy and recovery.

You are probably carrying multiples, right? In the case of a 34-week maternity leave, you would take off 12 weeks prior to giving birth and 22 weeks after. In the event of the birth of triplets, you are entitled to 46 weeks of maternity leave: 24 weeks before the birth and 22 weeks after.

As a helpful hint, you can roll over up to three weeks of your maternity leave into your postpartum leave. Consult your physician before proceeding.

In the event of an early birth, your six weeks of maternity leave will be converted to twelve weeks of postpartum leave. You must have been pregnant for a minimum of six months to be eligible for additional payments if your baby is born more than six weeks early.

Who pays maternity leave?

While on maternity leave, your employment agreement will be terminated. It’s important to note that French Social Security will pay you daily benefits equal to 100% of your monthly earnings if you’re a mother. The following conditions must be met before any reimbursement will be issued:

  • For at least the past 10 months, your Social Security number has been in use.
  • Minimum requirements for eligibility are three months of full-time employment at a rate of 150 hours per week, or 600 hours per year if employment has been inconsistent.

Women who are expecting but still want to work should only inform their employers that they will be taking maternity leave. From there, it is the policyholder’s responsibility to notify the insurance provider.

You are entitled to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave if you have worked continuously over the past three months, or 26 weeks if you have worked irregularly over the past year. The amount you receive each day is pegged to your earnings, up to a maximum of €89.03 per day. Payments are deposited once every two weeks. The payments may also have an effect on your pension contributions.

Those who have been unemployed for at least a year or who have taken maternity leave in the past year are eligible for unemployment compensation. In this case, you should send your health insurance company copies of your most recent four paycheck stubs.

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

To what extent do you function as an independent contractor? For this reason, you can also qualify for maternity leave provided you have been enrolled in your health insurance fund for at least 10 months prior to your due date. However, the daily rate you pay will vary.

As a self-employed individual, you have the flexibility to accept either an hourly wage or a flat rate.

  • Repos maternel, or the “maternal repose” payment.
  • You will receive pay on a daily basis for the time your job has been disrupted.

In order to qualify for this assistance, you must take a leave of absence from work lasting at least eight weeks, including the two weeks before to your expected date of delivery. Each of these two sums is based on your average annual turnover over the past three years. The field in which you operate can affect the tax benefits you receive.

  • For the most part (71%), people trade goods and services.
  • About half of the overall is contributed by business and trading services.
  • A third of all income comes from the private sector.

For those taking maternity leave after January 1, 2021, the maximum daily salary is €56.35. If your annual income is less than €4,046.40, you will get payments equal to 10% of your average annual income over the last three years, or €5.635 each day.

The “maternal rest” flat charge for 2021 is €3,428. If your annual income is less than €4,046.40 on average for the past three years, the flat rate payment will be lowered to €342.80.

N26 for business

This is the bank for the on-the-go business owner who values convenience. A free Mastercard is yours, plus 0.1 percent cash back and extra perks.

Maternity leave for freelancers—how to claim your benefits

If you are a self-employed woman expecting a child, and you would like to receive the standard health insurance payment for maternal leave, please send the following information to your insurer.

  • 7 month pregnancy checkup form.
  • A certified copy of one’s birth certificate

You will be paid in two equal installments: the first before your due date, and the second after you have your baby. In order to receive your daily maternity pay, please provide the following information to your health insurance provider:

  • Notification in writing that you will not be engaging in any self-employed work during your leave
  • medical documentation allowing you to take at least 56 days of unpaid absence, beginning 14 days before you’re due,

How to extend your maternity leave

Your maternity leave may be extended under the following conditions:

  • Because of the mother’s health problem. An additional four weeks of postpartum leave may be granted if a doctor’s note is provided as proof.
  • When a baby is born before the 37th week of pregnancy, it is considered premature. Maternity leave is typically extended by the amount of days it takes a new mother to return to work after giving birth.
  • What to expect if your newborn child will be hospitalized for more than six weeks. Mothers in this situation can return to work at any time during their maternity leave, and their leave will restart whenever their child leaves the hospital.

Your infant’s hospital stay may last longer than the recommended six weeks. It means that mothers can go back to work after taking maternity leave if they so want, and then continue their leave after their newborn is discharged from the hospital.

About to become a parent? Prepare for your child’s arrival with N26

With N26 and your smartphone, you can easily manage your family’s finances. Real-time alerts and advanced budgeting tools are included. Our premium packages contain not only statistics but also a wide range of insurance options. Last but not least, Spaces sub-accounts can help you get ready for the baby’s arrival by serving as virtual piggy banks that allow you to lay aside money at your own pace alongside your main account.

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

The basics of parental leave in France

Parental leave policies in most European countries are highly variable. Members of the European Union are obligated to meet the very minimum standards established by Directive 92/85/EEC (concerning the treatment of pregnant workers) and Directive 2019/1158 (concerning 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

This is also the case in France.

And it’s always fought for generous paid parental leave programs. For women in France, the government introduced a 14-week maternity leave and paid them for half of their lost salaries during the war.

As of right now, expectant mothers are entitled to 16 weeks of paid leave total, including 6 weeks before the birth and 10 weeks after. After the birth of a child, the father is entitled to four days of paid leave (paternity leave) immediately, and an additional 21 days (paternity leave) within six months.

Foster and adoptive parents are also eligible for these advantages. Parents adopting a single kid are eligible for 10 weeks of leave; those adopting multiple children are eligible for 22 weeks. In this case, both parents should take part in the daily leave allocation.

be eligible for parental leave in France:

  • eligible for parental leave in France:
  • have been out from work for at least 8 weeks

Maternity leave in France

away for at least eight weeks

If there is any ambiguity, a legal document can be utilized to clarify the situation.

How long is maternity leave in France?

In this article, we will cover the specifics of how many days of paid maternity leave a mother is entitled to in a variety of different situations.

French law grants women who are having their first child and do not already have more than two dependent children a six-week maternity leave and a ten-week postpartum leave (postnatal). If the expecting mother is diagnosed with preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, she may be eligible for an additional two weeks of maternity leave.

If complications arise during childbirth, the mother is eligible for an additional four weeks of postpartum leave. That’s equivalent to giving each mother 14 weeks off after giving birth.

A woman expecting her third child is eligible for 18 weeks of leave total, including 8 weeks of prenatal leave and 12 weeks of postnatal leave. These figures do not change for subsequent pregnancies.

When carrying twins, you can anticipate to go through 12 weeks of pregnancy and 22 weeks of postpartum. Prenatal care for multiples of triplets or more requires an extra 24 weeks. The time after giving birth is consistent no matter how many times it has occurred.

Premature birth, defined as occurring more than six weeks before the due date, resulting in the newborn being required to be hospitalized, is also covered by the law. If the due date is after the commencement of the leave, the six weeks of prenatal leave will be rolled into the six weeks of postnatal leave.

The law also covers cases where a baby is born more than six weeks early and requires hospitalization as a result. If the due date is after the commencement of the leave, the six weeks of prenatal leave will be rolled into the six weeks of postnatal leave.

The law also provides protections for babies who are born prematurely (more than six weeks early) and who require hospitalization as a result. The six-week pregnant leave has been extended by two weeks to accommodate the late arrival of the baby.

What is the allowance for maternity leave?

While she is taking time off to care for her newborn child, the law treats her employment as suspended. The French Social Security Administration (SSA) will handle future payments if the worker qualifies.

The employer is not legally required to pay the mother’s salary.

The maternity pay is calculated by adding the employee’s gross pay for the previous three months and dividing that figure by 91.5. The government takes 21% of a worker’s pay in taxes and social contributions before paying out their weekly benefits.

Hourly pay is capped at €9.66 and cannot go lower than €89.03. You can never pay more than €3,428 each month.

After maternity leave ends, workers automatically resume their previous positions or those with similar responsibilities but no pay adjustments are made. When the mother returns to work, she should receive the same pay boost that her coworkers received during her absence.

After a mother’s maternity or adoptive leave has ended, French law mandates an additional four weeks of job protection.

Paternity leave in France

President Emmanuel Macron of France has announced that the current six weeks of paternity leave will be increased to eight weeks beginning in September 2020.

A biological or adoptive father is entitled to 25 days of leave, four of which must be taken immediately after the birth of the child, and an additional 21 days of leave, which can be taken at any time within six months of the birth.

The standard paternity leave of 21 days is doubled to 28 in the case of multiple births.

There was a time when fathers could only take off 11 consecutive days for the birth of their first kid, or 18 days if they had more than one child. The new regulation took effect on July 1, 2021. The policy extends to the non-birth parent in same-sex partnerships (male or female).

Below is a brief overview of the new paternity leave law.

How long is paternity leave in France?

After the birth of a child, the father is entitled to three paid days off from work (only working days). The new policy’s mandated four days of paternity leave start at the conclusion of the third day.

Immediately following the birth of a child, dads are entitled to three days of paid paternity leave from their jobs (only working days). With the passing of the third day, the new policy’s mandated four days of paternity leave will be in force.

If there are several births, the father can split the remaining 21 days into two parts, either five and sixteen days or five and twenty-three days. The father is entitled to four paid days off for every day his newborn spends in the hospital, up to a total of thirty calendar days.

The father is not needed to take the whole 21 days off after the birth of a child. The parent needs to give one month’s notice to the company before taking this leave so that everyone can prepare. Sending a letter explaining your need for leave to your company is the most straightforward option.

What is the allowance for paternity leave?

According to French legislation, companies must pay their workers for the first three days of paid leave and cover the balance of the time off.

Allowances are calculated in the same way that maternity benefits are: (sum of last three gross salaries before childbirth divided by 91.25). The Social Security Administration limits quarterly leave to €10,284.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) deducts fathers’ pay for a period of time equal to their paternity leave. The SSA takes out taxes and social contributions (capped at 21%, just like maternity leave), thus this is the result.

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

A good place to begin would be the website of the French government.

You may read up on all the specifics of parental leave in France right here. There are times when it becomes excessive. The official EU website includes extensive details about parental leave in France.

Another fantastic option for human resource managers of distributed teams is Oyster, a global leader in HR compliance.

If you go this route, a group of HR and legal experts will do the grunt work so that you can concentrate on providing a great onboarding experience for your new employees.

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

You could get into trouble with the law if you make statements without adequate knowledge on the subject matter. Simply put, it’s the ethical thing to do.

Make sure your top employees can take advantage of parental leave policies in their native countries to show them you care about their well-being. If you team up with experts in the area who know the ropes, finding and hiring top French talent shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.

Maternity Leave in France

Affirmation of Withdrawal from Active Duty

Maternity leave is 16 weeks for the first child, 16 weeks for the second, and 26 weeks for the third child. A woman can start her maternity leave up to six weeks before her due date.

France’s regulations suggest that it cares more about the well-being of new moms than other countries do since they require mothers to take at least eight weeks of parental leave.

This mandate places a tremendous strain on employers, who must find replacements to work for at least two months during the leave period (however the employer may not recruit for a permanent replacement.)

Pregnancy and Childbirth Benefits

The maximum amount an employee can get in maternity leave benefits in a given quarter is EUR10,131, calculated using their average salary over the preceding three months. If an employee in France has worked 150 or more hours in the three months before to applying for the allowance, the government will pay the full amount. Not having to pay for paid leave is a financial win for the company, but it comes at the expense of losing a talented worker for a period of time.

Guidelines for Completing a Project

Keep in mind that while on maternity leave, an employee cannot be terminated for any reason. There is a 10-week waiting period for pregnant employees and new mothers to return to work. When a firm is in a position where it cannot fulfill its contractual commitments, such as in the case of redundancies, it has the right to terminate the employment contract of any affected employees.

Paternity/Partner Leave

After the birth of a child, the partner/father is also entitled to take paternity leave. In France, fathers can take 11 days of paid leave for a single child and 18 days for more than one. Allowance for time off works much like maternity leave. To clarify, paternity leave is exclusively available to men, but not women of the same sex.

Adoption Leave

Adoptive parents are eligible for a leave of absence of up to 22 weeks if they have adopted two or more children.


How is maternity leave paid in France?

A French mother’s maternity leave compensation is based on her average monthly earnings in the three months before the birth of her child, up to the monthly social security ceiling of €9,933.

How long is paid leave in France?

According to French legislation, workers who put in at least 35 hours per week must be given at least five weeks of paid vacation each year. It is possible to accrue up to 30 days of paid leave at a rate of 2.5 days every calendar month worked.

Which European country has the best maternity leave?

Bulgaria. Bulgaria is the most favorable in terms of maternity leave in Eastern Europe. Women in the workforce have the option of taking maternity leave for as long as 410 days if they follow a graduated plan. Social security will pay for the vast majority of the worker’s wages while they are out.

How long is maternity leave Europe?

Bulgaria. When comparing Eastern European countries, Bulgaria offers the most generous maternity leave policy. When used in increments, a woman’s paid maternity leave can total 410 days. For this time off, social security will pay for almost all of the worker’s wages.

How much does it cost to give birth in France?

The average cost of giving birth in Germany and France is about $2,500, which is a huge savings. Prices in Australia typically range from $5,312 for standard shipping. Costs for giving birth in Switzerland are much higher than in other developed countries, at $7,751 for a vaginal delivery and $9,965 for a caesarean surgery.

Mesquite Women's Clinic

Why is maternity leave important?

During and after giving birth, a woman’s body goes through profound changes. Getting to know one another after such a massive change requires rest and recuperation for both mother and child. If you can’t give your newborn the attention they need, you shouldn’t go back to work so soon after giving birth.

Why does America not have paid maternity leave?

When compared to many other countries, the United States does not provide guaranteed maternity leave. 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?

Unlike in many other nations, the United States does not legally require its citizens to take time off during pregnancy. Maternity leave, if offered at all, may be compensated or unpaid by an employer. It might be challenging for pregnant and new mothers to get back to work right away. The United States has a long way to go before it can be considered a global leader in maternity leave policies.

Someone who has accrued enough sick time to cover their costs during unpaid maternity leave may choose to do so in addition to taking paid maternity leave. When leaving home with a newborn, only the first plan provides financial assistance.

Maternity Leave: How Does America Measure Up?

The United States has terrible policies when it comes to maternity leave. There is no legal requirement for paid maternity leave for mothers who have been employed for more than a certain period of time, making it one of very few countries in the world with this policy (s).

Some states have adopted regulations that are more permissive than those mandated by federal law. 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).

Some states’ regulations are more relaxed than what’s mandated by the federal government. After California’s statutory pregnancy disability program went into force, the Garden State established its own Pregnancy Disability Leave Law in 1978. (PDLL).

Why is paid maternity leave important?

Both the mother and her newborn may suffer if she is forced to return to work too soon after giving birth. To begin, a newborn’s first few months are crucial for healthy bonding and growth, so parents should devote a lot of time and energy to them.

When moms feel pressured to go back to work soon after giving birth, they may experience negative emotions like shame or resentment toward their newborns. This may have a negative impact on their relationship with their children and on their growth and development as a whole.

Furthermore, studies show that if mothers do not spend enough time bonding with their infants during these early periods, it might lead to developmental deficits later in life.