Maternity Benefits in France

In this article, we present maternity leave in France, along with the benefits, the pre-requisites that would allow you to claim benefits, and how long they last.

Maternity Leave in France

Maternity leave was established in France back in 1909. However, in those days, mothers could not benefit from it as much as they can today. The old maternity leave was for eight days, and it counted as an unpaid set of leaves.

In 1919, teachers were the first ones to receive maternity pay. In 1929, the same exception was made for civil servants. The remaining women waited till 1929 to receive the same benefits of maternity leave pay. These benefits were crucial in raising a child as it could get expensive without a rolling income.

How Long Does Maternity Leave Last in France?

While talking about the maternity benefits in France, we must talk about the length of the maternity leave as well. Since the Veil Law, which was enacted in 1989, maternity leave in France has been set to last for 16 weeks. Employers must give their female employees 6 weeks off from work before they give birth and 10 weeks after their baby is born.

If an employee is expecting her third baby, she can benefit from maternity leave of up to 26 weeks. These employees are given eight weeks off from work before they give birth and 18 weeks after their baby is born.

If pregnant with twins, the period of maternity leave will be 34 weeks in totality- 12 weeks before the baby is born and 22 weeks after the employee has given birth. In the case of triplets, the maternity leave will last 46 weeks, with 24 weeks off from work before birth and 22 weeks after the child is born.

Employees are also allowed to carry a part of their prenatal leave into their postnatal leave. These leaves can go up to a period of three weeks. However, this is only recommended for those employees who have been given the green light from their doctors. (See also: Labor Law Changes in France)

Conditions for Maternity Leave

When an employee goes on maternity leave, her employment contract will be suspended. However, the French Social Security will send them regular payments, which will amount to 100 percent of their salary.

Here are some conditions that one needs to meet in order to receive regular maternity payments:

  • The employee must be registered with the French Social Security for a minimum period of 10 months.
  • The employee has worked for three months for 150 hours at least. For intermittent work, the employee must have worked for 600 hours in the last year.

As mother-to-be, employees only have to let their employers know that they will be using maternity leave. After that, it is up to the employer to inform the insurance provider of this information.


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