Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites

Nicola Harrington

Looking after a sick child in France is simpler than in the UK if both parents work.

My friend Monica called this morning:

“Nicole, could you do me a favour please? Gwendal has a temperature and severe earache, I have an appointment with the doctor at 8.45. Could you let Marie (his teacher) know?”

“Of course, I will call round later to see how he is.”

This afternoon, I called in to see Monica (she is the only French woman I know who is truly passionate about Earl Grey tea… but that is another story!). Gwendal has been given antibiotics by the doctor and has to stay off school for 2 more days.

“But don’t you have to work tomorrow?” I ask. “Gwendal can stay with me, I’m desk bound tomorrow. It’s no trouble” I offer.

“Thank you, but I have a medical certificate from the doctor. Yann will take the day off to look after Gwendal”.

I look puzzled, so Monica explains.

In France, every mother and father has the right to take ten days off work, paid, to look after a sick child as long as they have a certificate from the doctor.

“Wow, that’s brilliant”.

“C’est normal”.

That system certainly didn’t exist when I worked in the UK… but maybe things have changed…

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