Back to school: these 3 most frequently asked questions from employed parents

Back to school: these 3 most frequently asked questions from employed parents

The start of the school year is approaching, the time for the children to return to the school benches. It is also time for parents to reconcile the management of children and work: accompanying their child on the first day of school, managing illnesses, arranging their schedules… Situations that raise their own set of questions each start of the school year.

D-12 before the start of the school year and many parents wonder if they have the right to arrive later at the office for this special day for their children. And after ? What are the rights of salaried parents in the event of illness in the children? Isabelle Vénuat, jurist at Editions Tissot (publisher specializing in social law), answers the three most frequently asked questions.

Parents and employees: 3 most frequently asked questions

Can I arrive late for work to accompany my child during the start of the school year?

According to Isabelle Vénuat, jurist at Editions Tissot, the Labor Code does not provide for authorization of absence for the start of the school year. It is therefore necessary to refer to his collective agreement which may provide, subject to the seniority of the employee, the age of the children or the school level, a certain number of hours in order to accompany his children for their first day of school. For example, the hairdressing collective agreement provides for a leave of absence of 3 paid hours on the first day of school, to accompany children up to 13 years old. That of Advertising, allows parents to take half a day “at their request”. In the cleaning sector, the collective agreement provides for parents whose child is entering school for the first time, the benefit of a paid day off. If nothing is provided for in the collective agreement, it is necessary to check whether there is not a company practice or a company agreement on the subject. No provision? In this case, the employer is free to grant or not grant hours of absence for this start of the school year. What if the employer refuses? Unless he is on a fixed-rate day since the notion of delay is non-existent, the ultimate solution for the employee will then be to take a day off with pay or RTT.

What are my rights when my child is sick, how many days can I have per child and per year?

In the event of illness or accident of a child under the age of 16, confirmed by a medical certificate, the employee is entitled to take unpaid leave, regardless of his seniority, on condition that he assumes the care of this child. The duration of this leave is a maximum of 3 days per year with the possibility of splitting it up. It is extended to 5 days if:

  • The child is under 1 year old;
  • The employee is responsible for at least 3 children under the age of 16.

Be careful however, this duration of 3 days (or 5 days as the case may be) is a global duration for all the employee’s children and not for each child! The collective agreement may provide for more favorable provisions, in particular the maintenance of remuneration or longer periods of absence. Last precision, this sick child leave concerns mild cases of illness or accident requiring a short recovery. In the event of an accident, illness or serious disability of the child, the employee may in particular benefit from parental presence leave and be absent for several months.

What are my rights if I wish to obtain adapted working time (4/5ths for example) to take care of my children?

Until the child is 3 years old, an employee with one year of seniority in the company can ask to benefit from full-time parental leave (the employment contract is then suspended) or part-time , with a minimum of 16 hours of work per week. The seniority of one year is assessed on the date of birth of the child or on the date of arrival at the home of the adopted child. This is a right that the employer cannot refuse if the employee fulfills the conditions. However, in the event of part-time parental leave, the employer has the power to impose the distribution of hours on the employee so as not to disrupt the operation of the service or the company. Thus, for example, if the employer cannot refuse part-time parental leave, he is not obliged to accept the absence on Wednesday if other people in the service are already taking that day. He may therefore impose another day of absence during the week. The employee’s refusal to comply with the new schedules chosen by the employer can constitute a real and serious cause for dismissal. At the end of the part-time parental leave, the employee who wishes to continue at the same pace may request that his full-time contract be transformed into a part-time employment contract. But in this case, it is no longer a right. And the employer can refuse the request if he considers that a part-time job is detrimental to the smooth running of the business.