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Parental leave allowance in France ‘should link to wages’

Parents currently receive a set €398.79 per month, but a report presented to government this autumn suggests it should instead reflect the parent’s salary, with a fixed ceiling

Since parental leave was last reformed in France in 2014, the take-up has almost halved from 510,000 families in 2012 to just 265,000 in 2019 Pic: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Increasing parental leave pay-outs in proportion to household salary is among a raft of proposed reforms.

The duration would be shortened to cover the first year of the baby’s life, rather than up to three years, as now, with a maximum of six months for each parent unless it is a one-parent family.

Since parental leave was last reformed in 2014, the take-up has almost halved from 510,000 families in 2012 to just 265,000 in 2019.

The report, requested by Works Minister Elisabeth Borne and Social Services Minister Adrien Taquet, also advises childcare provision should be improved for one to three-year-olds.

In 2018, childcare outside the family circle was available for 59% of children.

The report says other solutions must be found for nearly four out of 10 children, who mostly stay at home with mothers who may be able to benefit from parental leave.

Many parents, the report says, have to juggle between several different solutions, and 25% of parents do not have access to the childcare they wish for.

Other suggestions include a childcare insurance system at work to top up the state parental leave benefit, and time-off rights for families, including for a death or sick child, should be simplified and come under one heading.

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