The French Parlement handed down Wesnesday 23 July the reform of the congé parental.
Until 23 July parents could take a congé parental until the child is 3 years old (either one parent then the other, or just one parent). In fact 97% of the congé parentaux were taken by women).
Since the reform, for the children born or adopted from 1st October 2014, the congé parental will be paid during a maximum of two years and a half for the first parent and the six remaining months will only be paid if the other parent is taking the leave. Regarding a first child the leave will be paid up to one year instead of six months so far, on the condition that only the other parent benefits from the second period of six months.
This payment, currently called “complément de libre choix d’activité” (“complementary payment for free choice of an activity”) will then be called “prestation partagée d’éduction de l’enfant” (“shared allowance for the child’s education) and will not be raised as it was suggested lately.
Please note that two other measures were passed by law: fathers will benefit from judicial protection from dismissal during four weeks after the child birth or adoption and will have the opportunity to attend the three antenatal ultrasound scans.
The public’s opinion regarding these measures is mixed, and especially childminders’ profession will be impacted: if fathers –whose salaries are generally higher than mothers’- do not take their congé parental, children will have to be cared from two years and half. On the other side, men and women who become childminders during their congé parental will lose their complementary allowance from the CAF after two years and a half.
At last, a reminder that men childminders are also entitled to the congé parental.