France to double paternity leave to almost a month


PARIS, France (AFP) – France will double paternity leave to 28 days, the office of President Emmanuel Macron announced on Tuesday, a measure bringing the country into line with progressive legislation elsewhere in Europe.The current 14-day allowance for fathers dates back to 2002 and was much longer then than in other European countries.

But much more generous leave systems have since been put in place, with the Nordic countries and also some southern states leading the way.

“This reform will allow France to move from an intermediate position in Europe to the group of leading countries, with Spain, Sweden, Norway and Portugal,” said an Elysée official.

“Time is an essential factor in establishing an important bond between the child and the parents. Currently, this 14-day period is too short, ”added the official.

The official admitted that it was for Macron an “extremely consensual reform” since “80 percent of the population is in favor”.

Macron was to give more details on Wednesday during a visit to a maternal and child health protection center (PMI) in Longjumeau, a suburb south of Paris.

A commission set up by Macron last November on the importance of a child’s first 1,000 days, led by prominent French psychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik, recommended an even longer period of nine weeks of paternity leave.

“Doubling is already a fairly significant change in terms of cultural development and for the place of fathers with children,” said the Elysée official.

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