Paternity leave in France – this is what you need to know

Paternity leave in France – this is what you need to know

January 20, 2023 || France

In this blog post, we address the subject of paternity leave in France. From experience, companies can provide information that is incorrect, including dates, with the result that qualifying employees miss out on payments from the relevant social security fund, CPAM.

In order to minimise issues, and the time spent dealing with them, we detail below some of the salient information.

In France, employed fathers or second parents qualify for paternity leave provided they have been registered for social security for at least 10 months and have worked for more than 150 hours in the three months prior to their leave. Paternity leave is paid for by the social security system and not by employers, with a daily allowance based on the average wage of the employee over the preceding three months up to a ceiling (presently €95.22 per day, lower for second parents and the self-employed).

Paternity leave consists of two stages totalling 25 calendar days (32 days in the case of twins or more):

Mandatory stage of paternity leave

The first period of four calendar days is mandatory, and is taken immediately after the three days of obligatory childbirth leave (for which employers pay employees as normal).


Child is born on a Saturday.  Immediately thereafter, the employee is entitled to three days of childbirth leave, based on calendar days (excluding the weekly rest day, usually Sunday, and public holidays). In this example, Monday to Wednesday. Following on from this, the employee is required to take four compulsory days of paternity leave, based on all calendar days (including public holidays). In our example, this would be Thursday to Sunday.

Secondary stage – 21 days

The secondary stage of paternity leave, of 21 days, based on calendar days, can be taken all together or split in two, each period being of at least five days duration. This is voluntary, and has to be taken within six months of the child’s date of birth, subject to providing one month’s notice.


Child is born on Sunday 4 July 2021, so leave would be taken as follows:

– Childbirth leave of three working days immediately after the birth, so from Monday 5 July to Wednesday 7 July inclusive.

– Followed by mandatory paternity leave of four calendar days from Thursday 8 July to Sunday 11 July.

– Secondary period of paternity leave taken within six months of the birth, in one or two periods of at least five days each. For the purpose of our example, let’s say five calendar days from Monday 19 July to Friday 23 July, with the remaining 16 calendar days taken from 16 August to 31 August.

In the event that these parameters are not respected, the French social security fund (CPAM) may refuse to pay the daily allowance.

Do you want more information or need help with employment and payroll in France?

Internago provides comprehensive payroll services in France as well as other European markets. Please click here for more information, or contact us at or


Please note that this blog post only gives an overview and provides some introductory examples to payroll. In practice, there are more detailed aspects to consider, which is why this blog post should only be seen as a general guide. For a more in-depth discussion, do not hesitate to contact us at


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