The National Assembly approved on Friday the principle of broadening the criteria for benefiting from leave dedicated to caregivers, and to compensate it at the minimum wage, so that more people can support an elderly, sick or disabled loved one.

Amendments to this effect by the government and the majority were adopted by 52 votes in favor, as part of the examination of the 2022 Social Security draft budget, at first reading.

The measure strengthens its old age component carried by the Minister for Autonomy Brigitte Bourguignon and which is deemed insufficient by the oppositions.

Few real beneficiaries 

Implemented for a year, the compensated caregiver leave, intended for employees or civil servants having to interrupt their activity, is struggling to be deployed.

Less than 5,000 people have benefited so far.

The leave is of three months which can be divided, and renewable up to a total duration of one year over a career.

According to the National Family Allowances Fund (CNAF), more than 15,900 caregiver leave applications have been submitted, but most did not meet the award criteria.

Brigitte Bourguignon explained having studied "why people do not resort to it" and proposed to lift the "brakes".

The daily allowance will increase to 58 euros net

The aim is to extend this leave "to family caregivers of people whose disability or loss of autonomy may, without being particularly serious, require regular help" such as people with GIR 4 dependency level - currently only GIR 1 (heaviest handicap) to 3 are covered.

The same widening of criteria will be applied to the donation of leave to a college caring for a loved one who has lost autonomy.

In addition, the amount of the daily caregiver allowance will be revalued to the level of the minimum wage, ie to 58 euros net.

The amount is currently 43 euros per day for a caregiver as a couple, 52 euros for a single person.

The same adjustment will be applied to leave for a seriously ill child.

Millions of caregivers in France

These measures, the cost of which is estimated at 40 million euros annually, must come into force no later than January 1, 2023. MP LR Thibault Bazin referred to a vote that goes "in the right direction", but was worried about funding when there is currently no "sustainable model" for the management of loss of autonomy.

At the origin of several measures on the subject under this five-year term, the deputy Agir Paul Christophe praised the “tenacity” of the minister and welcomed this “capital” amendment.

"It remains to look at the duration of the leave" for the caregiver, noted the Communist Pierre Dharréville.

In France, 8 to 11 million people take care of a loved one with a loss of autonomy, whether an elderly parent, a disabled person or suffering from a chronic or disabling disease.

Many cannot devote themselves exclusively to their vulnerable loved one: according to a recent study by Drees, the statistical service of social ministries, some 725,000 carers must support their elderly parents while still having dependent children.

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Keywords: principle, caregivers, criteria, wage, people, leave, measure, loved one, caregiver, amendments, brigitte bourguignon, national assembly, the national assembly, votes, part