The decree of May 10, 2021 clarified the practical arrangements for implementing paternity leave for births from July 1, 2021. From now on extended, paternity leave is also partly compulsory.
The new duration of paternity leave and the eligibility criteria
For births scheduled from July 1, 2021, paternity and young child care leave is reduced from 11 days to 25 calendar days (or 32 days for a multiple birth).
The novelty lies in the breakdown of paternity leave into 2 distinct periods:
The “compulsory” period of 4 calendar days must be added to the legal birth leave of 3 working days (the duration is the same in the event of multiple births).
The fractional period of 21 days to be taken optionally within 6 months of the birth (or 28 days for a multiple birth). Each fractional share must have a minimum of 5 days.
All employees are eligible for paternity leave without any condition of seniority, working time or type of employment contract. Self-employed workers, compensated job seekers and vocational training trainees can also benefit from paternity leave.
Paternity leave is open to the father of the child, even if he no longer lives with the mother of the child. It is also open to the new spouse or partner or to the person living in a conjugal relationship with the mother of the child. Thus for the same child, two people can benefit from paternity leave.
Paternity leave becomes partly compulsory
The first 4-day period of paternity leave is now accompanied by a ban on employment.
Thus, with some exceptions, it is forbidden to employ the employee during the birth leave of at least 3 working days and during the first period of paternity and childcare leave of 4 calendar days.
The employer will thus have the obligation to put the employee on leave at least for this period, even if the person concerned does not file a request or does so without respecting the notice period. However, the prohibition of employment is not applicable when the employee is not able to benefit from daily allowances.
In the event of an infringement of the provisions relating to paternity leave by the employer, sanctions are provided for: a fine of 1,500 euros, increased to 3,000 euros in the event of a repeat offense.
To benefit from paternity leave, the employee must inform his employer 1 month before:
the expected date of delivery,
the dates of taking and the length of the period (s) of leave before the start of each of them.
If the birth arrives before the due date it remains possible for the employee to immediately take his birth leave followed by paternity leave, as well as the periods of leave during the month following the birth. He must inform his employer without delay.
The employer who has been regularly informed within one month of the dates chosen by the employee to go on paternity leave can neither oppose his departure, nor demand that it be postponed. The Court of Cassation rejects the possibility of invoking a reason such as a heavy workload to oppose the dates proposed by the employee or to postpone them.
Compensation for paternity leave
During paternity leave, the employee receives daily social security allowances for an amount identical to maternity leave.
The Primary Health Insurance Fund calculates the basic daily wage by adding the last three gross wages received before the date of interruption of work, divided by 91.25, within the limit of the monthly social security ceiling (i.e. 3428 € in 2021). From this basic daily wage, a flat rate of 21% is deducted to obtain the amount of the daily allowance. For 2021, this cannot be less than 9.66 euros nor more than 89.03 euros per day.
Paternity leave will be compensated over 25 calendar days by the CPAM on condition that they have had a social security number for at least 10 months at the birth of the child and have worked enough to gain rights to compensation ( i.e. 150 hours worked during the previous 3 months or 600 hours during the previous 12 months).
The employer is not required to make additional wages.