The Law of 22 January 2021 amending and temporarily derogating from the provisions of Articles L. 234-51, L. 234-52 and L. 234-53 of the Labour Code relating to leave for family reasons was published in the Official Journal (Mémorial) on 22 January 2021 (hereinafter the “Law”).
A law of 24 December 2020 temporarily derogating from the provisions of Articles L. 234-51 and L. 234-53 of the Labour Code, implemented leave for family reasons for parents whose children cannot be cared for in a school, childcare or education service or any other day-care facility:
- because of vulnerability to Covid-19,
- because these structures have been partially or totally closed, or
- because it has been decided to set up a partial distance learning system.
The law of 24 December 2020 was in force until 20 January 2021 included.
It was subsequently identified that the system as set out in the law of 24 December 2020 was likely to lead to inequalities in treatment insofar as parents who use day-care services are entitled to leave for family reasons, unlike those who have recourse to a parental assistant.
The purpose of the Law is therefore to temporarily extend the right to leave for family reasons to parents who were excluded from the leave provisions of the 24 December 2020 law.
The Law also permanently amends the Labour Code in order to introduce a new scenario giving the right to leave for family reasons, namely the quarantine, isolation, eviction or home care for compelling public health reasons of a child under the age of 13. Until now, the only scenario provided for by the Labour Code giving the right to leave for family reasons was that of a child under the age of 18, requiring the presence of one of his parents in the event of serious illness, accident or other compelling health reasons.
Right of access to leave for family reasons
Access to leave for family reasons shall be open to employees or self-employed persons with a dependent child under the following assumptions and requirements:
Employees in a situation of effective partial unemployment from both cyclical and structural sources are not eligible for leave for family reasons.
Protection against dismissal
The Law provides that the employee on leave for family reasons is protected against dismissal when the absence is justified:
- by a medical certificate in the case of quarantine/isolation and for children vulnerable to Covid-19, and
- by a certificate issued by the Ministry of National Education, Children and Youth or by an official document issued by the competent authority of the country concerned in the case of closure of schools/care facilities.
Duration of measures
The Law shall apply from 21 January 2021 until 2 April 2021 included, except for the provision permanently derogating from the Labour Code.