Employer Action Code: Act
Law 2023-622 of July 19, 2023, amends several laws (most notably the Labor Code), extending employer-paid leave for parents of children suffering from a serious illness, injury or disability or upon the death of a child, as well as strengthening protections against employees being dismissed while on parental leave. The law’s provisions took effect on July 21, 2023.
From an employer’s perspective, following are the key provisions of Law 2023-622:
- Parents are entitled to 14 workdays (previously seven workdays) of employer-paid leave in the event of the death of a child who was under age 25, a child of any age who was a parent himself or herself, or a person under age 25 who was fully dependent on the employee. The entitlement is 12 working days (previously five) upon the death of an older child who was not a parent.
- If a child is diagnosed with a chronic disease or becomes disabled, parents are entitled to five workdays of employer-paid leave (previously two workdays) when the diagnosis or determination of disability occurs.
- Employees are protected from termination while on parental leave (including where individuals take their leave on a part-time or split basis). It should be noted that recent separate legislation (Law 2023-567, effective July 7, 2023) provides that women who suffer a miscarriage between the 14th and 21st weeks of pregnancy are also protected from termination for a period of 10 weeks following the miscarriage. (In the event of miscarriage or stillbirth after 21 weeks, the full entitlement to maternity leave — and thus protection from dismissal — applies.) The law will also waive the three-day waiting period for short-term disability benefits from social security following a miscarriage between weeks 14 and 21 (aligning with the treatment of miscarriage after week 22); the decree implementing the waiver is yet to be issued but is expected to apply from January 1, 2024.
- On request, parents of sick or disabled dependent children are entitled to request to work remotely. Employers may only refuse such requests (in writing) based on objective business reasons.
- In the event individuals are entitled to state-paid family allowances in relation to caring for a sick or disabled child (l'allocation journalière de présence parentale), the allowances may now be payable before the state medical assessment is finalized.
Employers should review their policies to ensure they comply with the law’s new requirements. Related provisions in collective agreements should also be reviewed. The protection from dismissal for employees on parental leave, in combination with similar protections for employees on maternity and paternity leave, will have to be considered when employers move to dismiss employees.