Maternity Leave and Benefits in France

Find out about the maternity benefits available before and after the birth, and the amount of maternity and paternity leave that you are allowed to take...

What maternity benefits are available in France?

There are many benefits and much job protection when you are pregnant in France. You are allowed 16 weeks maternity leave; for the third child, maternity leave is 26 weeks. If you are expecting twins, the maternity leave is 34 weeks, and 46 weeks if you are expecting triplets or more.

Paternity Leave in France

Paternity leave (congé paternité) is also allowed to fathers, who can benefit from 11 consecutive days, in addition to three working days for the birth (congé de naissance).

Is Maternity leave paid in France?

An allowance is paid during your maternity leave. To benefit you must have been affiliated with the social security for at least 10 months before the date of the birth, take at least 8 weeks maternity leave, and have worked at least 150 hours in the 90 days preceding the leave. The amount paid each day is calculated on the average salary received three months prior to leave. Maternity pay is paid every 14 days by the CPAM.

You should let your employer know about your pregnancy by registered letter or verbally, and request a receipt acknowledging your pregnancy. You should let your employer know at this point the last day of your maternity leave. By law, your job must be kept available to you.

Parental Leave in France

If you or the father decide to stop work or work part time after maternity leave, you are entitled to a parental leave (congé parental d'éducation). Those with more than one child, who have worked for two out of the last five years, are entitled to a monthly allowance -  Allocation parentale d'enfant. The congé can be renewed until the child's third birthday.

Birth allowance and benefits

Different benefits and allowances are available when a child is added to a family (by natural birth or adoption). These vary depending on the number of children, the income of the parent(s) and other factors.

The relevant CAF caf.fr office can inform you on your entitlements. The ‘birth benefit’ called Prime de naissance or Prestation d'Accueil du Jeune Enfant (PAJE) is paid to parents following the birth if their income is below a certain level. The amount received is approximately 925 euros.

From birth to the age of three a PAJE allowance is paid to parents whose taxable income is below a certain threshold. This entitlement replaces previous schemes including Allocation Pour Jeune Enfant (APJE). If a child is born into a family already receiving APJE for older children, CAF applies a transitional system.

Following the birth of a second child, family allowances are paid each month following the birth. Your taxable income is taken into account when calculating how much you receive.