Sick Child Leave

Specific leave is granted to parents when the child's chronic illness is announced

Publié le null - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Parents who learn that their child is suffering from a chronic disease or cancer can now benefit from a specific leave of absence of at least 2 days. A law enacted on December 18, 2021 at Official Journal provided for the first details of this measure. A decree of 27 March 2023 clarifies the list of pathologies that entitle the person to this leave.

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Already planned since 2016 for employed parents learning of their child's disability, the 2021 law extended a specific leave to parents who learn of the occurrence of their child's disability:

  • cancer;
  • a chronic pathology requiring a therapeutic training, that is to say requiring heavy drug treatment and hospitalization.

The list of chronic conditions giving entitlement to this specific leave is specified in the decree published in Official Journal of 29 March 2023. Disorders include the following:

  • disabling stroke;
  • type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes;
  • severe forms of neurological and muscular disorders (including myopathy), severe epilepsy;
  • severe chronic respiratory failure;
  • Alzheimer's disease and other dementias;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • cystic fibrosis;
  • multiple sclerosis;

Find the complete list by consulting the decree no. 2023-215 of march 27, 2023.

These are long-term, progressive pathologies with a strong impact on daily life.

Employees in the private sector, regardless of the type of their contract, can benefit from this new leave on presentation of proof. Its minimum period is 2 working days, which may be increased by collective agreement or company agreement, or in the absence of a branch.

This absence does not result in a loss of wages and is not deducted from paid leave. The leave shall be paid by the employer and shall be treated as actual working time for the purpose of determining the duration of the annual paid leave. In the case of officials, such leave shall be considered as a special leave of absence (SAA).


In France, between 1.5 and 4 million children aged 0 to 20 years are estimated to have chronic diseases, and around 2,500 children are diagnosed with cancer.