Paid Leave Accrued During Sick Leave: What Does The Labor Code Reform Provide?

So far in France, employees absent due to a non-work-related illness were not able to accrue paid leave. However, French law on this matter will soon evolve to comply with a European directive. We invite you to discover what this reform of the Labor Code will change for French employees.

Why this amendment to the French law?

It's a small revolution in the French Labor Code. French employees will soon be able to accrue paid leave while on sick leave for a non-occupational illness.

This means that employees will be able to accumulate days off, even if their absence is not related to a work accident or an occupational disease. This change is expected to particularly benefit individuals undergoing treatment for long-term conditions such as cancer or neurological or psychiatric illnesses.

The government plans to amend a bill adapting to European Union law in this regard, which will be submitted to Parliament from Monday, March 18, 2024. With this amendment to French law, France is simply complying with a European directive that has been in effect since 2009.

How many vacation days can one accrue while on sick leave?

The State Council has ruled on the issue of the number of paid leave days that French employees can accrue during a non-occupational illness.

With the transposition of this European directive, French employees will be able to accrue 2 days of paid leave per month during sick leave, up to a limit of 24 days per year. This corresponds to a maximum of 4 weeks of leave.

Why 4 weeks and not 5 weeks like other French employees? Simply because it is the minimum annual paid leave duration in Europe.

Note: in the case of occupational illness, however, employees will continue to accrue paid leave during their sick leave under the same conditions as currently, with a maximum of 5 weeks per year.

How to take the leave accrued during sick leave?

Upon the employee's return to work, the employer has a period of 10 days to inform them of their rights accrued before and during their sick leave.

For their part, the employee has 15 months to take these vacation days. The vacation period is not extended for employees who have been on sick leave for more than a year.

What is the retroactivity for the owed compensations?

The Council of State has also decided to limit the retroactivity of compensation owed to employees who have been ill and have lost vacation time for this reason since December 1, 2009, the date of entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, to 3 years.

Employees whose employment contract ended before the enactment of this law or who choose to be paid for vacation days rather than taking them can be financially compensated for a maximum of 12 weeks of vacation.

By limiting the retroactivity of the compensation to 3 years, the highest administrative court in France has reassured employer organizations, which were worried about the astronomical amount that businesses might have had to pay retroactively.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Tima Miroshnichenko
Tags: sick leave, French, France, french law, european directive, retroactivity, LAW, amendment, Labor, Lisbon, court, occupational illness, Europe, State Council, Parliament, employment contract, Union, psychiatric, neurological, cancer, Occupational disease, work accident, Révolution, Labor Code, astronomical,
In French: Congés payés acquis en arrêt maladie : que prévoit la réforme du Code du travail ?
En español: Vacaciones pagadas acumuladas durante la baja por enfermedad: ¿qué establece la reforma del Código de Trabajo?
In italiano: Ferie pagate maturate in caso di malattia: cosa prevede la riforma del Codice del lavoro?
Auf Deutsch: Bezahlter Urlaub während einer Krankheitspause erworben: Was sieht die Reform des Arbeitsgesetzbuchs vor?
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