France's New Stance on Paternity Leave
With the world focusing on COVID-19, it was easy to miss a major milestone taking place in France. President Emmanuel Macron of France announced in September 2020 that he will be taking steps to increase paternity leave for fathers of newborns.
"When a baby arrives in the world, there is no reason it should be only the mom who takes care of it. It's important to have greater equality in sharing responsibilities," says President Emmanuel Macron. He continues, "When a baby arrives in the world, there is no reason it should be only the mom who takes care of it. It's important to have greater equality in sharing responsibilities."
Currently, paternity leave in France is 14 days off work, although only an estimated 70% of fathers actually take that time off. President Macron’s goal is to increase the 14 days to 28 days, as well as make a portion of that time mandatory. He also hopes to give new fathers daily allowances which would be paid by the state health insurance system of France. His plans for extended paternity leave is set to go into place July of 2021.
Macron states that companies that do not allow their employees to take a week of paid paternity leave will be fined €7,500 ($8,750.00).
And just as an FYI, first-time mothers in France are permitted to take at least 16 weeks of maternity leave and receive daily allowances from the state. After the birth of their third child, mothers are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave. For all moms, eight weeks of maternity leave are mandatory.
We certainly hope that Macron’s stance on paternity leave will create ripple effects into other nations, including the United States.
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Jeri Ford, RN, BSN, CPN