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Paternity leave extended in France: the new rules

Written by
Capstan Avocats, the law firm setting the benchmark for labour law in France.
From 1 July 2021 the rules for paternity leave in France have changed: new fathers are now entitled to 25 days’ leave.

After the birth of a child, the employed father and, if applicable, the mother’s employed spouse or partner or the employee linked to her by a PACS (civil partnership) agreement are entitled to 25 calendar days’ paternity and childcare leave or 32 calendar days in the event of multiple births.

This leave consists of two periods:

  • a first period of four consecutive days immediately following the birth leave, during which the employee must, with certain exceptions, not work;
  • a second period of 21 days, or 28 days in the event of multiple births, which may be split into two periods of at least five days.


An extension of the initial four-day period of paternity and childcare leave is provided for, at the employee’s request, in the event of immediate hospitalisation of the child after the birth, for the entire period of hospitalisation and for a maximum of 30 days.

When the conditions are met, the employee receives daily allowances from the Social Security for the days taken as paternity and childcare leave.

The provisions presented here came into force on 1 July 2021. They apply to children born on or after that date and to children born before that date whose birth was supposed to take place on or after 1 July 2021. For the provisions applicable to births before 1 July 2021 (except in the scenario described above), please refer to the information provided here (in French).

The Ministry of Labour has posted a Q and A on its website (in French) on the recent changes to leave, which sets out the main features and procedures.

Information is also available on the Ameli health insurance website.