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All workers have a right to paid leave once they have worked at least 1 month during the reference period (which runs from 1 June of the previous year to 31 May of the current year).
Workers are then entitled to two-and-a half working days’ leave for each month worked, i.e. five weeks of paid leave per year worked.
In principle, only periods actually worked are taken into account when determining the entitlement to paid leave. Periods of absence from work are not counted. However, certain periods are considered as valid periods of employment, such as annual leave the previous year, maternity leave, training leave, or time off sick if the collective agreement covers this.
Paid leave dates are decided by mutual agreement between the employer and the employee, or, failing that, by the employer.
Eligibility for some of these types of leave may be conditional upon seniority in the company, or minimum contributions paid to the public social security scheme.
France has 10 public holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter Monday, May Day (Labour Day), 8 May (VE Day – End of the Second World War 1945), Ascension Thursday, 14 July (Bastille Day), 15 August (Assumption), 1 November (All Saints), 11 November (End of the First World War in 1918) and Christmas Day.
May Day is the only guaranteed paid holiday. The other public holidays are generally only paid if they fall on an ordinary working day.
Text last edited on: 03/2010
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