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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure FR-2021-3/1907 – measures in France

COVID-19: sick leave within the waiting period

COVID-19: arrêt maladie dans délai de carence

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 10 January 2021 – 31 March 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 16 May 2021 (updated 27 May 2021)

Background information

As part of the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, and in order to encourage people to self- isolate as quickly as possible, the government announced on 8 January that the waiting period for compensation for work stoppages (normally three days, during which the employee is not compensated) has been waived for employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, or who are symptomatic.

Content of measure

A decree published on 9 January sets out the details of this arrangement. Thus, the three-day waiting period is waived for the benefit of social security allowances and for supplementary allowances paid by the employer as from 10 January and until 31 March 2021. An online declaration is available on the website of the health insurance and the agricultural social mutuality.

The following will be eligible for daily social security benefits and the employer's supplement without a waiting period:

  • insured people considered to be vulnerable who cannot be placed in a situation of short-time working;
  • insured people who are parents of a child under 16 years of age or of a disabled person who are subject to isolation, eviction or home maintenance measures and cannot be placed in short-time working;
  • insured people who are subject to an isolation measure as a "contact at risk of contamination";
  • insured people with symptoms of COVID-19, provided that they have a screening test carried out within two days of the start of the work stoppage, and for the duration of the period until the test result is obtained;
  • insured people with a positive test result for COVID-19;
  • insured people who are placed in isolation or quarantine on arrival in Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Reunion, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin or Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

Use of measure

It applies to all employees of the private sector.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Seasonal workers
Cross-border commuters
Other groups of workers
Older people in employment (aged 55+)
Disabled workers
Workers in care facilities
Female workers
Migrants or refugees in employment
Workers in essential services
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


As social partners on national level manage the National health insurance, they are consulted wen the government takes such measure.

Views and reactions

Not available.


  • 08 January 2021: Décret n° 2021-13 du 8 janvier 2021 prévoyant l'application de dérogations relatives au bénéfice des indemnités journalières et de l'indemnité complémentaire prévue à l'article L. 1226-1 du code du travail ainsi qu'aux conditions de prise en charge par l'assurance maladie de certains frais de santé afin de lutter contre l'épidémie de Covid-19 (


Eurofound (2021), COVID-19: sick leave within the waiting period, measure FR-2021-3/1907 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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