APF supports the bill aiming at providing social recognition to 8.3 million caregivers in France (“loi pour la reconnaissance sociale des aidants”). This proposal responds to the main requests of APF concerning carers’ leave: its financial compensation and its duration (one year per person they take care of).
The APF supports this bill, which provides a real answer to the needs of caregivers. Indeed, for several years a shift has been observed from national solidarity to individual solidarity, with laws on the donation of days (compensatory days or days of leave not taken) between colleagues. These laws create inequalities between employees due to the different sizes of companies or the different lengths of leave, and may be seen as a resurgence of charity at the expense of basic rights.
This legislative proposal is meant for all employed carers. By offering compensation for carers’ leave, it allows maintaining a professional life without making caregivers dependent on the generosity of their colleagues (47% of caregivers are employed and only 8% use existing leaves). In addition, it takes into account the possibility of caring for a child, a spouse and or a parent, and does not limit this leave to one year over a whole professional career, but to one year per person taken care of.
The APF stresses that caregivers who are forced to stop working to take care of a dependent person are mostly women. National solidarity must enable them to maintain their professional lives, which means that they must be financially compensated for the leave. However, we should not overlook the need to develop quality professional care for all people with disabilities.
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