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Payment to be with dying relatives

MPs predicted to vote unanimously to pay workers who take time off to help family with terminal illness.

WORKERS could be allowed paid leave to be with a dying relative in their final days if a new law is passed.

MPs from all parties are predicted to pass a law offering a daily payment of €47 for three weeks for people who take time off to look after a dying relative.

While workers are currently allowed to take time off, none of it is financed. In the case of workers in public and private sectors, the new law would allow the €47 as payment for what is termed congé de solidarité familiale (time off for family solidarity).

For other workers, like the self-employed who cannot take this type of time off, payments will be linked to a suspension of their commercial activity.

Two conditions must be met to secure the benefit. Firstly, a patient must be in an advanced or terminal phase of a “serious and incurable illness” (affection grave et incurable) as outlined in criteria in the 2005 law on terminal illness.

Secondly, the person must be related to the patient; either a parent or child, sibling or someone who shares a home with them.

Payment will stop the day after the death of the patient, if they die within three weeks, and it is only for one family member linked to the patient.

The cost of the scheme is estimated to be around €20 million for the 20,000 people likely to claim it per year.

A report claimed that part of the cost would be recuperated as employees are currently forced to get their doctor to sign them off work to be with a relative – a process that is more expensive for the state.

A similar type of payment is already in place in Paris, where it was brought in by the mairie.

Once voted by MPs in the National Assembly it will go before the Senate.

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