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Increased paternity leave in France promised for 2021

Written by
Capstan Avocats, the law firm setting the benchmark for labour law in France.
The French President Emmanuel Macron announced on 23 September during a live Facebook and Instagram event that the total duration of paternity leave will be increased to 28 days, of which seven days will be mandatory.

This announcement follows the publication of a report on the child’s first 1,000 days (click here to download in French), which was presented to him a few days earlier.

President Macron said:

‘First and foremost, it is a measure that promotes equality between women and men… When the child arrives in the world, there is no reason that it is just the mother who takes care of it, and it is important that, in a couple, both have precisely this responsibility, this moment which is also a moment of intimacy, of construction of the infant and the future adult and that there is more equality in the sharing of tasks from the first day.’

For the time being, on the birth of a child, the father (or the mother’s spouse or partner, including in female couples) is entitled to:

  • Three days of ‘birth leave’ financed by the employer.
  • Paternity and childcare leave, currently for 11 consecutive calendar days (18 for multiple births), compensated by social security according to salary and up to a daily limit of EUR 89.03. Some companies maintain 100% of remuneration for fathers on paternity or childcare leave (particularly if this full maintenance is stipulated in a collective agreement).


The planned reform, which will be the subject of a law by the end of 2020, aims to:

  • increase this leave from 11 to 25 days under the same compensation conditions;
  • make taking seven days of this leave mandatory.