Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

France - Maternity and paternity allowances

In what situation can I claim?

Maternity and paternity benefits help with the payment of costs related to pregnancy and birth, in addition to the payment of services in cash during the mother's pre- and post-natal leave period, the mother and/or father's leave for adoption and the father's paternity leave. 

What conditions do I need to meet?

In order to have the right to the repayment of care, you need to prove:

  • a professional activity, or
  • a stable and lawful residence in France.

The right to payments in cash is subject:

  • either to the payment of a certain amount of contributions;
  • or to a number of hours of work during each reference period.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Benefits in kind (repayment for health examinations)

The right to allowances is open under the same conditions as for sickness benefits.

Maternity insurance covers:

  • compulsory medical examinations relating to pregnancy, without application of the co-payment rate and without the flat rate contribution of €1 (only the first two ultrasound scans are supported at 70%);
  • the refundable medical costs from the 1st day of the 6th month of pregnancy and until the 12th day after childbirth, without application of the co-payment rate.

From the 6th month onwards, you are also exempt from paying the flat rate contribution of €1 and the medical franchise on drugs, paramedical interventions and transport.

Benefits in cash (maternity and paternity leave)

You are paid for medical costs in cash, provided that you stop all forms of paid work.

If you are a father, you are also paid allowances for paternity leave.

In the event of adoption, the daily leave allowance may be shared between the father and the mother.

In order to be able to claim these benefits, you must show:

  • the payment of contributions or a number of hours of work identical to those that are required for the award of health benefits in cash (for cessation of work for less than 6 months);
  • an enrolment of 10 months at the expected date of childbirth, or on the date of the child's arrival in the household.

Duration of maternity leave

  • you have a right to 16 weeks leave (in principle, 6 weeks before the expected date of childbirth and 10 weeks after);
  • you are required to take at least 8 weeks leave;
  • you may be granted 2 additional weeks before the childbirth in the event of a pathological pregnancy;
  • for the arrival of the 3rd child and any after that, the amount of leave is increased to 26 weeks (8 pre-natal weeks and 18 post-natal weeks);
  • in case of multiple births, the pre-natal leave is increased to 12 weeks for twins and to 24 weeks for multiple births;
  • the post-natal period of compensation is set at 22 weeks for births of more than two children;
  • in the event of a premature birth amounting to over 6 weeks before the expected childbirth date, the duration of maternity leave is increased by the number of days between the date of childbirth and 6 weeks before the expected date of birth.

The duration of paternity leave is set at 11 consecutive days, or 18 consecutive days in the event of a multiple birth.

The duration of the adoption leave is set at 10 weeks, or 22 weeks in case of adopting more than one child. People who already have at least 2 dependent children before the adoption benefit from 18 weeks. If the leave is shared between the parents, its duration is extended by 11 days (single adoption) or 18 days (multiple adoption).

The amount of the daily maternity, adoption or paternity leave allowance is equal to the average income over the last 3 months that preceded the pre-natal leave, up to the quarterly limit set by social security (€9,933).

Jargon busters

  • Flat rate contribution: A contribution claimed from the patient for consultation or treatment by a doctor, radiological examinations or laboratory analyses.
  • Co-payment rate: Part of the statutory consultation fees, which remain your responsibility.

Know your rights

The following links provide further information about your rights. These sites are not the responsibility of the European Commission and therefore do not represent its viewpoints:

Commission publication and websites:

Who do you need to contact?

Contact health insurance online at http://www.ameli.fr/index.php

Find the nearest primary health insurance fund to where you live on the dedicated page of the sickness benefits website.

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