Emmanuel Macron intervened himself Saturday to put an end to the controversy: after the initial refusal to extend the leave after the death of a child, the government has admitted a “mistake” and the LREM deputies are ready to vote again.
In a rare call to order, “the president asked the government to show humanity” on the matter, said the Elysee.
In fact, this also amounts to judging the majority, whose vote Thursday in the National Assembly caused an uproar, from the extreme left to the employers.
According to the government’s opinion, the deputies had rejected a UDI-Agir proposal which aimed to increase the leave of an employee who had just lost a child from five to twelve days.
The proposal was narrowly rebutted by 40 votes to 38, the majority considering in particular that the bereaved employee could benefit from days of leave offered by his colleagues.
The rapporteur Guy Bricout (UDI-Agir) had judged that five days were “not up to the task” to “get back on track after the death of a child”, calling for the “humanity” of his colleagues. He recalled that each year in France, 4,500 children die before reaching the age of majority.
The Minister of Labor Muriel Pénicaud then put forward that the text as drafted was not based on national solidarity, but on leave “paid 100% by the company”.
These words had aroused indignation in the hemicycle. “We are talking about the tragedy of tragedies”, had launched François Ruffin (LFI), denouncing a “mean” majority, while Pierre Cordier (LR) denounced a “shame”.
Friday morning, it was the president of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, who asked for a new vote in favor of the twelve days.
– “amateurism” –
Faced with this bronca, Muriel Pénicaud and the Secretary of State responsible for child protection, Adrien Taquet, had announced a “concertation” to “determine the relevant measures to support parents in the event of the loss of a child, including better organization of leave “.
Secretary of State for Gender Equality, Marlène Schiappa, had expressed her disagreement, telling BFMTV to wish “that there be a new vote, which is more worthy”.
After the intervention of the Head of State on Saturday, the response accelerated. “The government recognizes an error that it intends to quickly correct,” said the Minister of Labor to AFP.
“As a minister and as a mother, I believe that there is no greater sorrow than the loss of a child. In the face of mourning, we need psychological support and we will strengthen it. But we must also a break, “she insisted.
Ms. Pénicaud agrees “to find in the next few days solutions to reduce this respite from 5 days today to 12 days”.
New deliberations of the Assembly? Amendment to another text? LREM MEPs, who have received numerous testimonies from often outraged parents on social networks, are “ready to vote again quickly”.
On Twitter, the macronist group however asks for “a broad agreement between @gouvernementFR, companies and parliamentary groups”, “all guided by an objective of humanity”.
Vice-president of LR, Virginie Duby-Muller pinned on the same social network “a coaster which illustrates once again an amateurism of the government”.
Bruno Retailleau, patron of LR senators, also told him that he would propose “to all the political groups in the Senate to jointly table and vote on this bill”, “a question of humanity”.