When a new child arrives home, the opportunity to take parental leave is particularly welcome. Indeed, "parental leave for education", as it is officially called, allows an employee to benefit from a reduction in his working time, or even to suspend it entirely, for a certain period of time, which generally elapses from the date on which the child arrives in the household. Thus, the employee in question will be able to take care of his new child while having any remuneration from the Caisse d'Allocations Familiales (CAF), the employer being under no obligation, during this leave, to pay his employee, the parental leave in fact corresponding to a suspension of the employment contract. All employees who can prove at least one year's seniority may automatically benefit from this parental leave, without the employer being able to refuse it. All he has to do is comply with a few basic administrative formalities for his request to be legitimate.
This ancient French tradition was created in 1977. Subsequently, this legislation was reformed as morals advanced in society. The last reform was carried out in 2015. The idea is now to allow both parents to play a role in the child's education. Indeed, it is now considered that the father, just as much as the mother, plays his part in the education of children and it is in this sense that this new reform is part of.
There are, however, two distinct forms of parental leave for education: total parental leave and partial parental leave.
In fact, these two categories affect above all the employee's compensation. Indeed, as in the case of full parental leave, the employment contract is then completely suspended. This of course means that the employee does not have to go to his workplace. As a result, the employee will no longer be paid. However, it is entirely possible for him to apply to the Family Allowance Fund which, taking into account the income of the household, will be able to pay an allowance to the employee who has taken full parental leave.
If the employee nevertheless intends to receive a minimum wage, he or she may still reduce his or her working time through the part-time parental leave system. By an amendment to the contract, the employee will benefit from reduced working hours negotiated with his employer. There is of course a condition: the employee will be required to work at least 16 hours per week.
In all cases, whether the employee chooses the option of total parental leave or partial parental leave, he or she will be guaranteed, at the end of this period, to return to a position and a salary at least equivalent to the situation he or she was in before the leave was taken.
In order to be eligible for parental leave, whether total or partial, certain conditions still exist. In addition, the duration of parental leave will also be subject to several factors.
Any employee with at least one year's seniority in the company can claim parental leave. This educational leave, total or partial, must be granted for the birth of a child or for the adoption of a child under 16 years of age. The calculated seniority, which must amount to a full year, is not calculated on the day of the request, but on the date of birth or arrival of the child.
The duration of parental leave for education is one year, renewable twice, i.e. until the child's third birthday, in two cases: when parental leave for adoption is granted for the birth of a child, or for the adoption of a child under three years of age.
If the adopted child is over three years of age, only a maximum of one year may be obtained from the date of arrival in the household. It is of course the age and specific needs of the adopted child that will define the precise duration of the total or partial parental leave in the latter case.
From now on, both parents can share parental leave. The duration of leave may also be extended in the case of arrivals in the home of several children. In all cases, shared parental leave allows parents to benefit from the Childcare Education Benefit (PreParE) granted by the Family Allowance Fund.
Again, in the interest of the future parents and the child himself, the paper constraints are low. An employee who meets the seniority requirements must simply inform his employer by mail, indicating the start and end dates of the leave. This letter must have reached the employer at least two months before the beginning of the parental leave, or one month in the case of parental leave following maternity or adoption leave.
If the employee wishes to interrupt the parental leave, he/she will simply send a letter to his/her employer to inform him/her.
An employee on full or partial parental leave is prohibited, throughout the period of leave, from engaging in any other professional activity other than that of a childcare assistant. Thus, in the case of total parental education leave, the parent may apply to the Family Allowance Fund for assistance, and in the case of parental education leave shared between both parents, they may qualify for the Pre-ParE assistance provided by the Family Allowance Fund. In all cases, the CAF will take into account the income as well as the nature of the parental leave of activity, i. e. whether it is total or partial parental leave for education.
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