Parental leave reform - Draft Law

The draft law on the reform of parental leave was validated by the Government on December 16th 2015. Its official publication is scheduled for the end of January 2016. The provisions of the draft law will come into force within 3 days of its publication in the Memorial.

The major innovations introduced by the reform are as follows:

Increase of the parental leave allowance

Currently, the parental leave allowance is fixed at EUR 1,778 per month. In the future, the amount of the parental leave allowance will be linked to the recipient's income and will become a replacement income in proportion to the earned income lost by the receiving parent of the parental leave. The allowance will be set between EUR 1,922.96 and EUR 3,200 per month. The parent earning less than EUR 3,200 per month will receive an equivalent replacement income to his/her salary. The parent earning more than EUR 3,200 per month will receive a maximum of EUR 3,200 per month. The exact amount of the allowance will be calculated over a 12 month period preceding the request for parental leave.

Flexible period

Concerning the first parental leave, no changes are anticipated. As far as the second parental leave is concerned, a parent will be able to benefit from it until the age of 6 of the concerned child (12 years in the case of an adoption). In addition, the new reform will allow both parents to enjoy a parental leave of

  • either 4 or 6 months, if full-time,
  • or 8 or 12 months, if part-time.

Furthermore, a split leave will be introduced. This split leave may take two forms :

  • For the parent working full time (40h/week):either the parent will choose to reduce his/her weekly working time by 20%, over a maximum period of 20 months,or the parent will decide to take 4 individual leaves, lasting 1 month each, spread equally over a period of 20 months.
  • For the parent working part-time: the weekly working hours will be reduced by 50%, provided that the parent works at least 20 hours per week.

The employer will be obliged to accept the request for a full-time parental leave, but it will be able to reject the request for a part-time parental leave or for a split leave, provided that an alternative is offered. If the parent rejects the alternative offered by the employer, the parent will still be able to benefit from the full-time parental leave.

Other modifications

Only parents working at least 10 hours per week will be eligible to a parental leave. Both parents will have the option to take the parental leave at the same time. It will be possible for the parent on parental leave to change employer during parental leave without being obliged to refund the allowance. A parent who is working for multiple employers will be able to take parental leave if all employers give their consent and if the minimum of 10 hours of work per week is reached.