- 10 Jan 2018
- Dorothée David
Law of 15 December 2017 on leave for personal reasons, postnatal leave and leave for family reasons
The law of 15 December 2017 modifying 1. the Labour Code, 2. the modified law of 31 July 2006 introducing a Labour Code, and repealing 3. the modified law of 12 February 1999 creating parental leave and leave for family reasons (hereinafter “the Law”), was published on 18 December 2017 and came into force on 1 January 2018.
The Law changes the rules for certain kinds of leave to improve the balance between family life and work life, whilst also taking into account current social realities.
Extraordinary leave for personal reasons: for this kind of leave, the Law specifies that the word “child” refers to any child born within the marriage, outside the marriage or adopted.
Paternity leave and adoption leave, unlike other kinds of leave, can be split, and must be taken within two months of the birth or arrival of the child, respectively. Nevertheless, if the employer does not agree to this, justified by the needs of the business, the leave must be taken in one go, immediately after the birth or arrival of the child. In practical terms, the employee must inform the employer in writing, with two months’ notice, of the expected dates on which he would like to take his leave. If this notice is not given, the leave may be reduced to two days by the employer. The government will pay for this leave from the 3rd day onwards. The employer must submit its request for a refund for salaries paid to the Minister responsible for employment within five months of the birth or arrival of the child, failing which the request will not be considered. The salary taken into consideration for this refund is limited to five times the minimum social wage for unqualified employees.
Post-natal and adoption leave: the length of these kinds of leave is extended from 8 to 12 weeks. The additional month of leave for breastfeeding women has been integrated into the core maternity leave period, which is now of 8 weeks before the birth and 12 weeks after the birth.
Leave for family reasons: the Law specifies that for this kind of leave, a “dependent child” is understood to be any child born within the marriage, outside the marriage or adopted who, when ill, requires the physical presence of one parent. The number of days of leave now depends on the age of the child:
- 12 days per child aged between 0 and 3, to be taken over 4 years;
- 18 days per child aged between 4 and 12, to be taken over 9 years;
- 5 days per child aged between 13 and 17 (compared to 15 before the Law) if the child is hospitalised, to be taken over 5 years.