A week ago, a law was adopted by the French Senate allowing workers to offer their time off in lieu to colleagues with an ill child.
The text had been agreed on by the National Assembly in 2012, and finally voted last week. It all started in 2009 when a Badoit employee (a bottled-water brand) got in trouble with the French social security services for being on a sick leave for more than three months. The worker has indeed wished to stay home with his 10-year-old son who was battling cancer. Unfortunately, the administration didn’t consider his reason as valid enough and threatened him to lose his rights. His colleagues reacted with an outpouring of generosity and offered him a total of 170 days off, the transfer being accepted by the employer.
Other major French companies have allowed this practice since then but nothing was stated as legal by law. The police administration used this reason to reject the “gift of days off” for a similar case earlier this year. Thanks to the new law, workers in both the public and private sector will now be allowed to give some days off to their colleagues who need them more than anything.