Paid leave: additional support for companies impacted by the crisis

Paid leave: additional support for companies impacted by the crisis

[Updated on 11/01/2021]

On January 8, the Ministry of Labor published a fact sheet on exceptional paid leave assistance. It details the practical details of this assistance.

In addition, the Ministry states on its website that an amending decree extending the period for taking paid leave until March 7, 2021, if employees are placed in partial employment, is currently under consultation with the social partners. A new text should therefore be published shortly.


[Updated on 04/01/2021]

In the Official Journal of December 31, 2020, le decree 2020-1787 of December 30, 2020 relating to the exceptional aid granted to companies welcoming the public for paid vacations taken by their employees between January 1 and 20, 2021, is published.

It is not certain that the date of publication of the decree will allow this aid to reach its peak...

Reminder of the principles :

In order to provide support to professionals who encounter difficulties in coping with the financing of paid leave accumulated during periods of partial activity, the Government announced, in a press release issued by the Ministry of Labor on December 2, 2020, a one-time, non-renewable economic aid targeted at sectors that have been heavily impacted.

Reminder: the period of partial activity has no impact on the acquisition of paid vacation. Thus, vacation pay counters continued to grow despite administrative closures and sharp declines in activity.


1/ Eligibility criteria

The aid is intended for companies whose main activity involves reception of the public. To be eligible for this aid, companies must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

- The activity has been partially or totally interrupted for a total duration of at least 140 days since January 1st, 2020 due to an administrative closure (restaurants, gyms...) ;

- A loss of at least 90% of revenue generated during the periods when the state of health emergency was declared (from March 24, 2020 to July 10, 2020 and since October 17, 2020) compared to revenue generated during the same periods in 2019.

These two thresholds make it possible to make eligible, in particular, cafés and restaurants, but also hotels that have not been administratively closed but that have been forced to close due to a lack of customers during periods of travel restrictions (provided that they meet the criterion of reduced activity).

According to the Ministry of Labor, it will also concern the sectors most affected by the administrative closures and the consequences of the crisis, such as events, nightclubs and gym facilities, as long as they also meet these criteria.


2/ Aid limited to 10 days of paid vacations

The aid is set at a maximum of 10 days of paid leave per employee.

These days must be taken between January 1 and 20, 2021.

ATTENTION: The decree excludes from the scheme paid leave compensated by the paid leave funds.

According to our information, the days must be counted in working days or working days, according to the existing practice in the company.


3/ Compensation for paid leave

The employee will receive from the employer a vacation pay, calculated in accordance with the legal conditions. Thus, the employee will receive 100% of his or her salary on the paid vacations taken.

The amount of the aid, for the company, is equal to 70% of the vacation pay calculated according to the rule of salary maintenance, reduced to an hourly amount, within the limit of 4.5 times the SMIC.

The decree does not mention any exemption from social security contributions on the difference between the vacation pay and the amount of the aid.

For the payment of this assistance, the Government will use the partial activity payment channels via the Service and Payment Agency (ASP).


4/ Terms and conditions

In its press release of December 2, 2020, the Ministry had recalled the rules on paid vacations:

- for the days of leave acquired during the reference period N-1, the dates are set by the employer according to the terms and conditions provided for by the Labor Code (obligatory one month's notice);

- for the days of leave acquired since June 1, 2020, it would be a question of leave taken in advance, which would require the agreement of the employee.

However, according to our information, the Ministry considers that the health situation may be an exceptional circumstance that justifies non-compliance with the 30-day notice period. Thus, this period could be waived (under the control of the judge). It is therefore advisable to have the employee's agreement to take this leave in January.

For the purposes of this system, each day of paid leave is converted into a number of hours corresponding to the usual daily working time with respect to the schedule applicable to the employee or, if this cannot be determined, to 7 hours.

This assistance will be declared on the portal of the partial activity. A specific checkbox will be created for this purpose. The employer will declare the amount of vacation pay corresponding to these days, which will have to be converted into hours (reference is made to the usual working hours, and for specific cases, such as lump sums, the conversion rules set up for the partial activity apply).

In order to benefit from the aid, the employer who has a partial activity authorization, sends a request for aid, by dematerialized means. This application specifies the reason for using the planned aid.

The employer must inform the social and economic committee, if applicable, of the request for payment of the aid.

The administrative authority may ask the employer for any additional information necessary to examine the application for assistance. The Services and Payment Agency may ask the employer for any additional information necessary for the payment of the assistance.

It may ask the employer to reimburse the Service and Payment Agency, within a period of not less than 30 days, for the sums paid as aid, in the event of overpayment. Reimbursement may not be required if it is incompatible with the economic and financial situation of the company.


Our experts are constantly monitoring regulatory changes providing support to businesses. Our articles are updated by midday on the basis of press releases and the publication of decrees by official bodies, which are deciphered by our experts. There may sometimes be a couple of hours delay between the official texts and our publication, the purpose of which is to provide you with preliminary answers to your questions.