My maternity leaves ended. I have gone back to work since last week, at 80%.
In France certain employees choose not to work full time in order to spend more time with their kids or simply have time to themselves. The most common being:
- Mothers working at 90% to take care of their kids who don't have school on Wednesday afternoon
- Mothers working at 80% to take care of their kids who don't have school on Wednesday (my case)
When Aelig was born, this idea didn't come into mind. But with two kids, it suddenly makes a lot of sense, and I'm really glad that I don't have to work on Wednesday. It is such a huge change, my week is cut into two, I'm happy on Tuesday morning knowing that I don't have to work the next day!
The request to work at 80%, or commonly known as 4/5ème, was simple and straight forward. I briefly told my boss about this intention and I got an oral approval. The HR told me to send them a registered letter two months before my maternity leaves end. I will get an amendment to my work contract, where my salary will be cut off 20%, so do my annual leaves. A lot of people who are already working 80% told me that I would be getting some allowance from the government to compensate my lost of salary. It is a win win situation for the government and the employees, as if kids are with the babysitters, the government will be paying the social charges for the sitters. By taking care of the kids themselves, the charges towards the sitters will be reduced, which in return is being paid to the mothers to encourage them to take care of their kids themselves.
Some mothers did tell me that Wednesday with kids are busier compare to working in the office. I can see that it is true as appointments are being booked now on Wednesday, and as Aelig grows older, I will need to send and fetch her to various activities. I'm still getting information on what to do and where to go on Wednesday, I will share when it is more organized.