France Leave Laws – Vacation Tracker


France Leave Laws



There are 11 public holidays in France, which are not included in the minimum holiday entitlement.

  • 1st January – New Year’s Day 
  • Easter Monday – March or April, the date fluctuates each year
  • 1st May – Labour Day 
  • 8th May – Victory in Europe Day: end of World War II
  • Ascension Day – May or June, the date fluctuates each year
  • Whit Monday –  May or June, the date fluctuates each year
  • 14th July – Bastille Day: National Day 
  • 15th August – Assumption of Mary 
  • 1st November – All Saints’ Day 
  • 11th November – Veterans Day/Remembrance Day: end of World War I 
  • 25th December – Christmas Day 


PTO (Paid Time Off)

  • Vacation/Annual Paid Leave

Employees are entitled to a minimum of five weeks’ paid holiday a year, in addition to public holidays.

The law and collective bargaining agreements grant additional paid leave for:

  • Employees who have reached a specific length of service.
  • Family-related events.
  • Rollovers and payout of unused hours
  • Use-it-or-lose-it policy – Not specified by law.
  • PTO payout at the termination 

Employees are entitled to severance pay if:

  • The employer terminates an indefinite-term contract.
  • The employee has the minimum length of service required by the Labour Code or an applicable collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The minimum length of service has been reduced to eight months of seniority.

Severance payment is calculated on the basis of an employee’s average salary, including bonuses as well as basic salary, during the last twelve months of employment.

Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Parental Leave, and Adoption Leave

Maternity Leave

Employees who give birth to one or two children in a single birth are entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave, 6 weeks before childbirth, and 10 weeks after childbirth.

Employees who give birth to three or more children in a single birth are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave, eight weeks before childbirth, and 18 weeks after childbirth.

For multiple births of twins, employees are entitled to 34 weeks, consisting of 12 weeks before childbirth and 22 weeks after childbirth.

For a multiple births of triplets or more, employees are entitled to 46 weeks, consisting of 24 weeks before childbirth and 22 weeks after childbirth.

If the mother suffers an illness during pregnancy, she is entitled to two more weeks before the childbirth and four more weeks after the childbirth. Employees can choose to increase the proportion of maternity leave taken after childbirth, decreasing the proportion taken before childbirth, with a recommendation from a physician. 

Employers are not allowed to dismiss employees during the:

  • Pregnancy.
  • Maternity leave after childbirth.
  • The ten weeks after the end of maternity leave.

Paternity Leave

Male employees are entitled to three days’ leave on the birth or adoption of a child. They are also entitled to 11 consecutive days’ paternity leave (18 days if there are multiple births or adoptions), which must be taken within the four months following the birth or adoption. As for the mother, the father cannot be dismissed during the ten weeks following the birth of the child.

Employers are not required to pay employees while on paternity leave. 

Parental Leave

Employees who have worked for at least one year before the date of their child’s birth, or before welcoming a child no older than 16 years to their home with a view to adoption, can take parental leave or work part-time. This right lasts until the child’s third birthday unless the child was aged between three and 16 on arrival, in which case the adoptive parent can take one year’s parental leave from the date of arrival.

Parental leave is unpaid.

Adoption Leave

Employees are entitled to 6 weeks of unpaid leave before the adoption if they have to travel to adopt a child.

If the adoption leave is taken only by one parent, the employee has the following rights:

  • 10 weeks of leave if the parent adopts one or two children and 18 weeks for three or more children.
  • 22 weeks for multiple adoptions, adoption of twins, triplets or more.

If the adoption leave is shared between both parents: the adoption leave is increased by 11 days, or by 18 days in the case of adoption of twins, triplets or more.

Sick Leave

France Leave Laws – Sick Leave

Employees who are absent due to illness or injury must obtain a medical certificate covering the period of sick leave. During the period of illness or injury, the work contract is suspended. Unless it is necessary to replace the sick employee with another employee under an indefinite term contract, the former cannot be dismissed.

Employees are entitled to daily sickness allowances for up to 90 days. 

Employees must provide a medical certificate within 48 hours to their employers. 

Employees who are absent due to illness or injury receive daily indemnities from the social security system for a maximum of three years.

Jury Duty Leave and Voting Leave

Not specified by law.

Bereavement Leave

  • In the event of the death of a relative, all employees are entitled to Bereavement leave, the duration of which depends upon their relationship with the deceased person:
    • 3 days for the death of a spouse or partner (whether or not a civil partnership (“PACS”) has been entered into), a direct ascendant (father, mother), father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother or sister;
    • 5 days for the death of a child.

Military Leave

Not specified by law.


Please consult your local legal counsel to learn more about France Leave Laws.


To learn more about laws in various countries, check out our Leave Laws page.

    All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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