Can an employee take time off to participate in an election campaign?

Verified 13 August 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

An employee has the right to take time off to participate in an election campaign if he is himself a candidate for a parliamentary or local mandate. The length of absence granted depends on the type of election. The employee must inform the employer of his absence for participation in an election campaign. The absence of the employee during this period may be deducted from the paid leave.

The employee is entitled to a period of absence to participate in an election campaign, provided that he or she is a candidate for a parliamentary or local office.

No seniority requirement is imposed on the employee.

This right is granted to the employee running in the following elections:

  • Municipalities
  • Departmental
  • Regional
  • European women
  • Assembly of Corsica
  • National Assembly
  • Senate
  • Lyon Metropolis Council

The length of absence varies according to the election in which the employee is a candidate, under the following conditions:

Tableau - Number of days of absence allowed depending on the type of election

Election Type

Number of working days authorized absence

Municipal elections


Departmental or regional elections


European elections


Elections to the council of the metropolis of Lyon


Elections to the Corsican Assembly


Elections to the National Assembly


Senate Elections


The employee must notify his employer at least 24 hours before the start of each absence (in writing or orally).

The employer may not refuse the employee's request for absence.

Each absence must be at least half a full day.

If the employee so requests, the duration of his absences may be deducted from paid leave, within the limits of the rights acquired on the date of 1er ballot.

When they are not deducted from paid leave, absences are not paid.

In this case, they may give rise to recovery, in agreement with the employer.

Days absent, paid or unpaid, for participation in an election campaign shall be treated as a period of actual work. Days of absence shall be taken into account for the calculation of seniority and entitlement to paid leave.

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