Childhood cancer diagnosis: 2 days leave for parents

Childhood cancer diagnosis 2 days leave for parents

Since December 17, 2021, parents who learn that their child is suffering from cancer or a chronic illness can benefit from specific leave for a period of 2 days. Conditions and procedures.

In France, between 1.5 and 4 million children aged 0 to 20 suffer from chronic diseases and approximately 2,500 children are diagnosed with cancer. The World Health Organization defines chronic disease as a “health problem that requires support over a period of several years […] creating a need for medical care, psychological help, education or adaptation“. Since the law of December 17, 2021, parents who learn that their child is suffering from chronic pathology or cancer can benefit from a specific leave for a period of 2 days, like what has already been provided for in the labor code since 2016 for parents who learn of their child’s disability. This text is the result of a bill tabled in February 2021 by MP UDI Beatrice Descamps. A bill that theNational Assembly voted unanimously in March 2021 and that the Senate adopted without modification in early December 2021.

Definition: what is this new specific leave?

The law creates a specific leave for parents learning about chronic pathology (requiring therapeutic learning) or their child’s cancer, like what has already been provided for in the labor code since 2016 for parents who learn of their child’s disability. This bill is brought by the deputy Béatrice Descamps. For civil servants, it will be a special leave of absence (ASA). “Civil servants in service benefit from special authorizations of absence linked to parenthood, the announcement of a chronic pathology requiring therapeutic learning or cancer in children and on the occasion of certain family events. These special authorizations of absence are not taken into account in the calculation of annual leave“according to the text of the law published on Legifrance. This leave does not lead to a reduction in remuneration or the number of paid holidays but will be assimilated to effective working time for the determination of the duration of the annual paid holiday..

What is this leave for?

This leave should allow parents to take care of their child without this absence being deducted from their number of days of paid leave and resulting in a loss of salary. The leave must also improve exchanges between the educational team and parents. The law also establishes a teachers’ awareness of the issue of chronic pathologies in children. According to the law “with the consent of the pupil’s legal guardians or of the latter if he is an adult, a meeting relating to the methods of implementing the individualized reception plan is organised, if possible, in a period of twenty-one days from the announcement of the diagnosis a chronic pathology or cancer or before the child’s arrival in the establishment. This meeting is held in the presence of the legal representatives, the student, if he so wishes, except if he is an adult, in which case his presence is compulsory, the director or head of the establishment, the teacher or the head teacher as well as, as needed, a representative of the competent local authority. Other professionals accompanying the child during school or extracurricular time may take part in this meeting. The presence of a health professional or school medicine is recommended“. Finally, we can read at theitem 5 : “when a child suffering from a chronic pathology or cancer experiences a hospitalization or prolonged absence from school, parents can request that someone from the medical or associative sector organise, jointly with the teacher and before the child’s return, a exchange time within the establishment. This meeting aims to facilitate the child’s transition and return to the classroom to ensure its inclusion. During the exchange, the speaker, the teacher, the students of the class and, if the child requests it, the parents are present..”

How long is the leave?

This leave is two working days minimum for employees. Its minimum duration of 2 days can be increased by agreement or collective company agreement, or in the absence of branch according to Public service.

Who can benefit from it and under what conditions?

Family event leave is extended to parents who learn of the occurrence in their child of:

  • of one Cancer
  • of one chronic pathology requiring therapeutic learning, that is to say requiring heavy drug treatment and hospitalization.

The list of chronic pathologies (such as diabetes or epilepsy) giving entitlement to this new leave will be specified by decree to be published shortly. These are long-lasting, progressive pathologies with a strong impact on daily life.

To qualify, parents must present a proof to their employer.


“Leave granted to parents of children who develop certain chronic pathologies or cancers”, January 13, 2022 – Directorate of legal and administrative information (Prime Minister)

Law of December 17, 2021 aimed at supporting children with chronic illnesses or cancer, amended on December 20, 2021,

LAW n° 2021-1678 of December 17, 2021 aimed at supporting children with chronic pathology or cancer,

Bill aimed at supporting children with chronic disease or cancer, presented by Mrs. Béatrice Descamps, Deputy. Registered at the Presidency of the National Assembly on February 9, 2021