Mastering the Art of Vacation Planning: Understanding Paid Leave Rules for a Stress-Free Getaway

On May 5, 2024 , updated on May 5, 2024 - 5 minutes to read

The basics of the right to paid leave

The right to rest is fundamental in labor legislation. In France, each employee benefits from a certain number of days of paid leave per year. These days are acquired for the reference period which extends from June 1 of the previous year to May 31 of the current year. It is therefore necessary to demystify the system in place to make the most of this right.

Acquisition of paid leave

Classically, an employee is entitled to 2.5 working days of paid leave for a full month of work, which amounts to five weeks of paid leave per year. It should be noted that certain branch or company agreements may increase this total. To fully benefit from this right, you must work during the reference period, i.e. a full year.

The period for taking paid leave

Once the leave has been acquired, the period during which it is possible to take it is organized. The arrangements for taking leave may vary depending on the company, but they follow common principles set by the Labor Code. This period begins on May 1 following the end of the acquisition period and generally ends on October 31 of the following year.

The Importance of dialogue with the employer

Dialogue with the employer is essential when planning vacations. The initiative for departure dates on leave belongs to the employee, but the final choice rests with the employer, who can modify these dates for the needs of the company. However, he must respect a notice period of at least one month before the departure date.

Specificities to consider

Various specific situations may lead to adapting the period for taking leave. For young hires, paid leave can be taken even before their official opening, provided they have acquired sufficient rights. Similarly, leave for family events, such as marriage or death, are situations for which the regulations provide for exceptions and adaptations.

Split leave, an advantage for the employee?

Splitting leave entitles you to additional days. If an employee takes part of their leave outside the main period from May 1 to October 31, they can claim additional days, generally 1 to 3 days, depending on the number of days taken outside this period.

Organization of departure and return from leave


There are certain key elements to consider when planning your leave. It is often recommended to allow a margin between the end of the vacation and the return to work, in order to return to the professional rhythm smoothly. In addition, good communication with the team in place ensures a smooth transition.

Postponement of paid leave in the event of illness or accident

If an employee falls ill before going on vacation, or during it, it is possible to postpone their vacation under certain conditions. In the event of an accident or illness justified by a medical certificate, the days of leave not taken due to the stoppage may be postponed until after the date of return to work.

What is the place of rtt in leave planning?

Reduction in working time days (RTT) are in addition to traditional paid leave. They result from the calculation of working time beyond the legal duration and must be taken into account when planning vacations to optimize rest time.

Taking leave at the end of the contract

It is not uncommon for the question of taking leave to arise at the end of an employment contract. When an employee leaves their company, they must be compensated for paid leave not taken. This compensation, known as paid leave, is calculated on the basis of the rights that the employee would normally have had to take.

The possibility of taking unpaid leave

Beyond paid leave, some employees may feel the need or desire to take longer vacations. In these cases, it is possible to agree with the employer to take unpaid leave. Although these leaves are unpaid, they allow the employee to benefit from additional time outside of work.

The rights and obligations of employees and employers

The rights and obligations of employees and employers

Concerning paid leave, the rights and obligations of employees and employers are strictly regulated. The employee has the duty to take his leave while respecting the deadlines and terms provided by his company. The employer has the obligation to grant acquired paid leave and to respect the notice deadlines. A balance between the needs of the company and the right to rest of employees must be found.

Tips for planning your vacation properly

Taking advantage of bridges or public holidays as well as coordinating your vacations with those of your colleagues are strategies that make more rest time possible. Anticipating and communicating with your employer are key steps to ensuring a smooth moment of relaxation in a preserved professional environment.

The role of staff representatives in taking leave

Staff representatives, such as members of the social and economic committee (CSE), play the role of mediator and advisor. They are a valuable resource for employees who encounter difficulties in exercising their right to leave or who have questions on the subject.

Taking paid leave must be the result of thoughtful organization and rigorous planning. A detailed understanding of the rules will allow each employee to take full advantage of their right to rest, while respecting the constraints specific to their company.


Leave a comment

Your comment will be revised by the site if needed.