Holiday Accrual in France: How Does It Work?

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If you employ someone in your home, whether it be a nanny, housekeeper, gardener or other, they will have a work contract and they are entitled to certain holidays throughout the year which they must take. In this article we will outline the way the French system works when it comes to taking paid leave, how many days your employee can accumulate, and in which period they can or must take their days off.


Determining the number of days off acquired

Before defining the periods of paid leave, you must first determine the number of days of paid leave acquired by your childcare provider or employee. Your employee is entitled to 2.5 days of paid vacation per month of work performed. At the end of each reference period (June 1 of year N to May 31 of year N + 1), you must determine the number of working days of paid leave acquired. When the number of days is not a whole number, the duration of the leave is increased to the next higher whole number. The total duration of paid time off cannot exceed 30 working days.


Your employee looks after your child from 01/09/2020 to 30/06/2021. The reference period being from 01/06/2020 (June 01 of year N) to 31/05/2021 (May 31 of year N + 1), your employee will have acquired:

9 months (from 01/09/20 to 31/05/21) X 2.5 days = 22.5 days of paid vacation, rounded up to 23 days.

Terms and conditions for taking annual leave

Your home childcare provider or employee must take their paid time off.

You must grant them paid leave of at least two continuous weeks (or 12 consecutive working days) between May 1st and October 31st, unless previously agreed between you and your employee.

If your employee has acquired less than 12 working days, they must take their leave in full and continuously.

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Who sets the date of the holidays?

Unless there is an agreement between you and your employee, it is the employer who sets the dates of paid leave with sufficient notice (2 months minimum).

In the case of shared custody, the dates of the paid leave is set by the two employers by mutual agreement so that the employee benefits from actual leave. You must allow sufficient notice period (2 months minimum).

How to count the days off

When your employee goes on holiday, the 1st day of leave to be counted is the 1st working day when they should have looked after your child and the last day of leave to be counted is the last working day preceding the resumption of custody of your child. A non-working bank holiday included in a period of leave is not counted as a working day.


Your employee works 3 days a week, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

If they go on leave on Wednesday evening, their days of leave will not be counted until the following Monday (the first working day when they should have worked). If they go on leave on Tuesday evening, the count will begin on Wednesday.

When declaring your employee’s hours, you will have space to input holiday hours which will be calculated and taken into account for your final declaration.

As well as finding the perfect match we can also assist families through the legal and contractual steps to employ staff in France and Monaco.

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