Pathological leave is reserved exclusively for women whose pregnancy is considered at risk. Medical problems must be detected by the general practitioner or obstetrician. It is his duty to prescribe medical leave if there is a risk to the health of the mother and/or her child. Pathological leave is not the same as parental leave or maternity leave. Its purpose is to guarantee an adequate rest period for the pregnant woman, several days before the date of her departure on maternity leave.
Many causes can be at the origin of prescription. These include threats of miscarriage and premature birth. Gestational diabetes and high blood pressure are other reasons that can attest to the need for prenatal rest. This leave may also be prescribed in the event of multiple or late pregnancy, among other situations at risk for the mother and child.
The majority of pregnant women are subject to significant fatigue at the end of pregnancy. This does not automatically mean that prenatal pathological leave is required. Abnormal symptoms in relation to the stage of pregnancy are the only ones taken into account when granting this type of leave. The latter is therefore prescribed as a preventive measure, particularly if the pregnant woman is in a profession that increases the risks to her pregnancy. The prescription may also be based on working conditions unfavourable to the pregnant woman. These cases include long journeys that are stressful for the expectant mother when she has to go to work and return home. A job that involves intense physical effort or that subjects the pregnant woman to a state of high stress may also motivate the prescription of a so-called pathological leave.
It must be understood that the prescription concerns exclusively a pathological condition directly related to pregnancy. Gastroenteritis, flu-like illness or diseases unrelated to pregnancy are therefore not acceptable reasons. If the pregnant woman's condition requires prenatal rest, she is granted sick leave in the case of illnesses not related to pregnancy.
The obtaining of this type of leave is subject to the discretion of the doctor, knowing that the prescription can be formulated as soon as the pregnancy is officially declared. It must be granted on a case-by-case basis, for a maximum period of two weeks. The leave is therefore enjoyed over fourteen consecutive days or divided into several periods. For example, it is possible to take six days of leave during the sixth month of pregnancy, three days during the seventh month and four days before the start of maternity leave. The medical opinion remains the reference to be respected. If it is taken after childbirth, it is called postnatal leave.
A pregnant woman who benefits from this type of leave must remain at home. She is considered as "sick", hence the rest imposed by the doctor and which the employer is obliged to respect. Social Security is entitled to carry out home inspections to ensure that it is not a leave on prescription of convenience.
The work stoppage notice consists of three parts. The first two must be sent to the health insurance fund within a maximum of 48 hours. The third leaflet is for the employer. Beyond 14 days, the pregnant woman must take sick leave duly justified by her doctor if her state of health does not allow her to return to work. The rest at home therefore lasts until the end of the pregnancy. Exceptional outings are granted for relevant reasons such as a medical examination.
During this leave, the pregnant woman continues to receive between 90% and 95% of her salary. Indeed, compensation is similar to maternity leave. The calculation is based on the salaries received during the last three months preceding the leave in question. Conventional provisions may allow pregnant women to receive the integrity of their pay during the 14 days of leave granted to them.
At the same time, pregnant women on medical leave are protected from dismissal.
If the delivery is difficult or there are medical complications, the doctor may prescribe postnatal leave. In the event that the consequences of a caesarean section are difficult or if the young mother suffers from postnatal depression, the prescription is justified. Other pathologies following pregnancy and childbirth may appear in the medical certificate issued to the employee.
It differs from pathological leave in that it allows maternity leave to be extended. The maximum duration of postnatal leave is 4 weeks. It requires the woman who has given birth to remain at home as part of a strict medical rest period. The Social Security is authorised to monitor compliance with this medical rest period at the insured's home. Exits are not prohibited but limited. It is therefore possible that a woman on postnatal leave may leave her home to visit her doctor.
Compensation is paid in the same way as traditional sick leave. As a result, the worker receives 50% of her usual salary. The employer can pay the difference so that the insured can receive full salary. It is also possible to organise working time.
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