New bills regarding extraordinary leave

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Date:
08 Jun 2022

Newsflash

On 2 June 2022, two new bills were introduced in the Chamber of Deputies.

Bill no. 8016 modifying the Labour Code is designed to transpose Directive (EU) 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on work-life balance for parents and carers. This directive defines the minimum requirements for paternity leave, parental leave and carers’ leave, as well as flexible working arrangements for workers who are parents or carers.

Bill no. 8017 is designed to make changes to clarify the system for extraordinary leave, and for paternity leave in particular.

The main new provisions introduced by these two bills are as follows:

The new provisions introduced by Bill no. 8016

  • Introduction of two new types of extraordinary leave

Bill no. 8016 plans to introduce two new types pf extraordinary leave:

  • One day out of a 12-month employment period on the grounds of force majeure related to urgent family reasons in the case of a family member’s illness or accident making the immediate presence of the worker indispensable and which are certified by a doctor;
  • Five days out of a 12-month period of employment to provide personal care or support to a family member or a person living in the same household as the employee who is in need of significant care or support for a serious medical reason certified by a doctor.

This new bill defines family members as son, daughter, mother, father, spouse or partner.

  • Maintaining the employment contract and protection against dismissal

Bill No. 8016 stipulates that, during the entire period of extraordinary leave taken by the employee, their employment contract is maintained. The employer must keep the employee’s job or, if this is not possible, a similar job corresponding to the employee’s qualifications.

In addition, the employer will not be allowed to notify the employee of the termination of the employment contract or, if applicable, a summons to a preliminary interview on the grounds that the employee has requested or benefited from one of the types of extraordinary leave.

Bill no. 8016 imposes a fine of between 251 Euros and 2,500 Euros if an employer refuses to grant an employee one of the types of extraordinary leave to which they are legally entitled. The fine imposed on a legal entity could be up to 5,000 Euros.

  • Flexible working arrangements

Bill no. 8016 plans to introduce flexible working arrangements, which it defines as “the possibility for the employee to arrange their working pattern, including through the use of remote working arrangements, flexible working schedules or a reduction in working time, for a set period of time no longer than one year”.

To take advantage of these flexible working arrangements, an employee who requests such an arrangement must:

  • Be able to demonstrate that they have been working for the same employer for a continuous period of at least six months; 
  • Demonstrate that they are the parent of a child who has not yet reached the age of nine or that they must provide personal care or support to a family member or a person living in the same household who is in need of significant care or support for a serious medical reasons certified by a doctor.

The company can refuse the request for flexible working arrangements. However, this refusal must be justified in writing and the reasons for the refusal of the request for flexible working arrangements must be given to the employee making the request by registered letter with delivery confirmation.

During the agreed period for the flexible working arrangements, the employer will not be allowed to notify the employee of the termination of the employment contract or, if applicable, a summons to a preliminary interview on the grounds that the employee has requested or benefited from these flexible working arrangements. In addition, the employer must keep the employee’s job or, if this is not possible, a similar job corresponding to the employee’s qualifications.

A fine of between 251 Euros and 2,500 euros will be imposed on any employer that fails to fulfil the obligations mentioned above. The fine imposed on a legal entity could be up to 5,000 Euros.

The new provisions introduced by Bill no. 8017

Bill no. 8017 plans to open up the right to extraordinary leave when a child is born to anybody recognised as an equivalent second parent by the applicable national legislation, as well asto the self-employed.

As is the case for employees, Bill no. 8017 stipulates that, for the self-employed, eight days of leave if a child is born or a child under the age of sixteen is adopted are covered by the state budget.

These two bills are part of the “Work-Life Balance” plan announced by the Prime Minister.