All you need to know about family event leave

21/09/2018 by Hicham HMICHE


family event leave

When you are an employee, you are subject to certain constraints that prevent you from taking days off when you want.

Even if some employers may grant the employee unpaid leave, it is good to know that certain life events may justify taking exceptional leave for the employee. Of course, these possibilities are subject to certain conditions and their duration varies.

The different circumstances giving entitlement to family leave

There are a large number of events related to family life that give employees the right to claim exceptional leave. They fall into several categories that may be related to happy, personal events, in connection with our close relatives and of course they may also be unfortunate circumstances such as deaths. In all cases, these different cases fall within the scope of the leave granted for family events and subject to justification, the employee will be entitled to make a request for such leave to his employer, who must then grant him on behalf of the law, these arrangements being of public order.

Thus, any employee can apply for leave for his marriage, but also for his PACS (Pacte civil de solidarité). The marriage of a child also justifies a request for leave for family events. It should be noted here that, on the other hand, a child's PACS is not sufficient to qualify for family leave. Other cases relating to the family life of the employee claiming such leave: any birth or arrival of a child in the context of an adoption that occurs within the employee's household. With regard to the latter cases, it is important to note in advance that it is impossible to combine them with maternity leave. Thus, we can imagine that if a wife already has maternity leave for the arrival of her child, her husband will be able to claim leave for family events at the time of the baby's birth and in the days surrounding this event. Finally, among the unfortunate circumstances that give rise to such leave is the death of a spouse, partner, PACS partner, child, father, mother, brother, sister, stepfather or mother-in-law. The last case: the announcement of a disability that would occur in a child.

To the extent that these are public policy measures duly enshrined in law, it is impossible for a company not to restrict or regulate them more strictly through, for example, a collective agreement. Thus, no employer may limit the right to family event leave to certain employees who have a minimum length of service with the company. Any employee can claim leave for family events.

Offers with variable duration depending on the case

While the collective agreement may in no way restrict the right to family leave, it may increase the duration of the minimum periods provided for by law. Indeed, it is the law that sets, for each case, a minimum number of days for each event that the employer is required to give to the employee. It should also be noted that these days are counted in working days, so Sundays (or the weekly rest day in the company) and public holidays cannot be considered as days off for family events.

Each employee thus benefits from four days for his wedding or PACS or one day for the wedding of one of his children. With regard to the births or arrivals of children placed for adoption, each of these events grants three full days.

Taking into account the psychological aspect of the deaths, all the cases provided for and cited in the first paragraph of this article give the right to three days of mourning, with the exception of the death of a child who grants five days.

Finally, for the announcement of the occurrence of a disability in children, each employee is entitled to two days.

A procedure to follow

Justify the event

Of course, the employee will have to justify to the employer the event that led him to request this leave for family events. These various circumstances provided for by law do not all benefit from unique and tangible paper evidence that would serve as official justification. Thus, the law does not in any way regulate the formality of these justifications and the employee is therefore required to prove by all possible means that one or the other of these events has occurred, after which the employer must in good faith grant the leave. The number of days granted will of course vary according to the different cases described above.

When is it possible to take this leave for family events?

The employee will only be able to benefit from this leave around the date of the event. It is not necessary, however, that the leave be taken on the precise day of the said event, but in the period that is temporally around it, giving the employee a greater amplitude.

What are the consequences of these holidays on pay?

Such leave taken for family events may not lead to a reduction in remuneration. Indeed, the employer will have to consider them as part of the actual working time and they will also be used, therefore, in the calculation of annual paid leave. Moreover, the duration of such leave cannot be deducted from the duration of annual paid leave.

What to do in the event of a dispute with the employer?

It may happen that the employer is reluctant to grant such family leave to the employee who requests it. For example, it could invoke insufficient justification. As with all disputes between employees and employers, it is the labour court that will be able to rule on them.

In conclusion, we note that family event leave is open to all employees. If their duration varies according to the different cases, the employer is required to grant his employee a minimum number of days provided for by law. Nothing prevents some collective agreements from extending the duration of these family event leaves.

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