Annual Paid Leave

Find out about the set leave periods which apply for employees in France...

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.

Other Types of Leave
  • Sick leave: to be able to benefit from daily allowances, contributions have to have been paid for 200 hours during the 3 months prior to stopping work. On presentation of form E104, the periods for which contributions have been paid in another European country are taken into account
  • Maternity leave: 16 weeks per child (6 weeks before and 10 weeks after the birth)
  • Paternity leave: 11 consecutive calendar days in the case of a single birth and 18 days in the case of multiple births, as from the birth of the child. This leave cannot be split up. It can be taken together with the 3 day leave granted on the birth of a child
  • Parental child-rearing leave: following maternity leave, in order to look after the child, either parent who is an employee may ask to benefit from this. Maximum of 3 years
  • Parental presence leave (to look after a child who is disabled, has suffered an accident or is seriously ill)
  • Individual training leave (CIF): this cannot exceed one year. Partial maintenance of the salary is guaranteed
  • Sabbatical leave: between 6 and 11 months

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.

Public Holidays

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.

Further Information

Text last edited on: 03/2010

Source: European Union
C European Communities
Reproduction is authorised
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