Working Mothers in France

Does the Law have provisions on maternity leave? Yes
What is the duration of maternity leave? 16.0 weeks
What percentage of the monthly salary does a worker get during maternity leave? 100  %
Who pays for maternity leave? Government
Does the law require that workers be protected from dismissals during the term of pregnancy and maternity leave? Yes
Does the law provide for the right to return to same position after availing maternity leave? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant and nursing workers must not be engaged in harmful work? Yes
Does the law require that pregnant workers be provided free ante and post natal medical care? Yes
Does the law provide for breastfeeding breaks for nursing mothers? Yes
What is the duration of breastfeeding breaks, as provided by the law? One hour
What is the length of breastfeeding breaks? Breastfeeding breaks are provided for the first 12 month(s) of life of the child
Does the law require parental leave for parents? Yes
Does the law provide for paid or unpaid parental leave? Unpaid
What is the total duration of parental leave? 365
What is the wage replacement rate for parental leave? No provision
Does the law require that parents with minor children or workers with other family responsibilities be provided with flexible time or part time work options? Yes

To comply with international standards, maternity leave duration should be at least 14 weeks and during maternity leave workers should be paid at least 67% of their wage.

More about maternity leave:

In general, workers are entitled to 16 weeks (6 weeks before and 10 weeks after birth) of maternity leave. A worker may choose to take 6 weeks leave before confinement and 10 weeks after the confinement (Article L1225-17). Eight weeks of the maternity leave are compulsory, of which at least 6 weeks must be taken after childbirth (Article L1225-29). Maternity leave may be extended on medical grounds arising out of pregnancy and confinement by a maximum of two weeks before and 4 weeks after the birth (Labour Code L1225-21, L1225-22, L1225-23).

For the third and subsequent children (if women already has two or more kids), the duration is extended to 8 weeks before and 18 weeks after the expected date of birth (26 weeks). In the case of twin births, prenatal leave is extended to 12 weeks while post-natal leave is extended to 22 weeks (34 weeks). For multiple birth (more than two children at the same time), prenatal leave is extended to 24 weeks and post-natal leave to 22 weeks (46 weeks). Adoption leave is ten weeks, or 22 weeks for the adoption of more than 1 child. If the adopted child is at least the third child in the household, the leave period is extended to 18 weeks.

During the term of maternity leave (16 weeks in general cases; 26 weeks for the third and subsequent children; 34 weeks for twin births and 46 weeks for triplet or more births), workers are paid a maternity allowance which is equal to the average daily wage (100%) of three-month period preceding pre-natal leave up to the quarterly social security ceiling after deduction of employee's share of statuary social security contributions and taxes. Maternity leaves results in no reduction in pay and is treated as actual working period for determining the duration of paid leave and for legal or conventional rights acquired by the employee in respect of his seniority in the company (Article L1225-16). For the duration of maternity leave and any extension thereof the worker is entitled to cash maternity benefits. The daily cash benefit is equal to the basic wage up to a ceiling fixed by social security. The basic daily wage is normally calculated based on the three preceding monthly wages (after deduction of social contributions) (Social Security Code L331-3, L331-4, L331-5, L331-6, R3234). The benefit is funded through health insurance and financed from contributions from employers and employees.

More about parental leave:

Labour Code provides for the parental leave. Parental leaves are granted for an initial period of one year, which may be extended twice i.e., until the third birthday of the child (Article L1225-48). When parental leave immediately follows maternity leave or adoption leave, the employee has to notify the Employer at least one month before the expiry of the leave. Otherwise, the information is given to the employer at least two months before the start of parental leave. The qualifying condition is that the worker must have the seniority of at least one year in the organization at the date of birth of the child or the date of arrival of child in the house in case of adoption (Article L1225-47 to 60 of Labour Code).