Understanding paternity leave in 2021

If maternity leave is a common and usual fact for working mothers, employees or volunteers, who are going to give birth, paternity leave was not always current and even optional. However, this right is stipulated by the Labor Code. Focus on the subject.

Duration of paternity leave

Unlike maternity leave, which has always existed, paternity leave was only introduced in 2002. The duration of this leave is set by the Labor Code and is valid until June 30, 2021. During the paternity leave, the spouse benefits from the health insurance, just like the mother.

Just as maternity leave is 14 calendar days for a single birth, the father of the child or spouse is also entitled to 11 calendar days of leave to care for the newborn, as well as an additional 3 days following the birth.

In the case of twin births, triplets or more, the father is entitled to 18 consecutive calendar days of leave. Calendar days run from Monday to Sunday, including holidays, while consecutive days mean that it is impossible to split the days of leave.

Revision of the term to July 1, 2021

However, even before the due date, French law has just decreed an extension of the duration of paternity leave. As of July 1, 2021, paternity leave will increase from 11 to 25 calendar days, plus the 3 days following the birth.

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The father or spouse will then be entitled to 28 days of leave. Similarly, in the case of multiple births, this entitlement may be revised to 32 consecutive calendar days.

Start of paternity leave

The future parents are entitled to the legal leave within 4 months after the birth of their child. The paternity leave can be taken immediately after the 3 days of birth leave, or later, independently of these 3 days of entitlement.

The law provides that from July 1, 2021, the father must take a leave of 4 consecutive days with the 3 days of legal right. This will allow him to stay at home to care for his child for 7 days following the birth.

Obligations to the employer

An employee whose wife is expecting a child must notify his employer at least one month before the date of his departure on paternity leave. He must specify in his request the start and end dates of his leave. He may make his request in writing, by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, or verbally.

Exceptions to paternity leave

A waiver of the paternity leave rule may be observed in certain special circumstances.

In case of physical incapacity of the mother

The father has the right to take 10 weeks of postnatal leave in the event that the mother is totally unable to care for the newborn, due to illness requiring hospitalization, or postnatal death.

In case of postnatal hospitalization of the child

In the event of illness affecting the newborn child and requiring immediate hospitalization after birth, the father is entitled to 30 consecutive calendar days of leave, in addition to the legal period of paternity leave.

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