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Workers donate leave so colleague can care for son

2014 law allows colleagues to give holiday leave to colleagues with handicapped or severely ill child

A call centre worker is able to take time off work to care for his ill son after colleagues donated their holidays to help him.

Kind-hearted co-workers at Capdune in Coudekerque-Branche (Hauts de France], created a ‘solidarity savings account’, into which anyone could contribute some of their unused annual leave, anonymously if wished.

The company ‘fundraising’ day was so successful that by the end of it, the employee – who wishes to remain anonymous – had been granted more than a hundred days at home with his son.

Within a further three days, after the addition of some RTT days (lieu days accrued by those working over 35 hours per week) and a generous amount of extra days by management, his time off total reached 185 days.           

The employee says the situation had reached the point where he was planning on leaving the company back in December. "I wanted to remain discreet about my situation, not to display my problems in the company. So I thought of asking for a conventional break from management.”

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But his colleagues had other ideas, deeming him too valuable to the company to let him go. “After a discussion with the human resources manager, Romain Lagoutte, another solution was proposed: activate the saving solidarity account”, said the employee.

The boss decided to apply the loi Mathys, a law created in May 2014 that allows workers to donate some or all of their days off to colleagues who have a handicapped or severely ill child under 20 years of age. The worker goes on paid leave during the donated days, and is required to present medical certificates proving the sickness of the child.

A sign on the call centre wall, written by the grateful father in large black letters, reads: "I want to thank you for the support and solidarity you have shown. Thanks to your donations, I can release myself from my professional obligations for a year in order to find a solution for my son. Thank you for everything."

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