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France lower house approves bill to subsidize end-of-life caretakers

[JURIST] The French National Assembly [official website, in French] approved a bill [text, in French] Tuesday to provide government subsidies to individuals who temporarily leave work to care for dying relatives. The proposed law states that family members will be paid a "daily allowance to accompany a dying person" for a maximum of three weeks. Supporters of the bill said in a session meeting of the National Assembly [transcript, in French] that a primary objective in passing the bill was to make it possible for an individual to die at home with family and further encourage family solidarity at the end of life. The National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament [JURIST archive] passed [AP report] the bill with unanimous support. Before it can become law in France, the Senate [official website, in French] must vote to approve the bill, which observers say is likely.

Tuesday's bill will extend the benefits of an existing law that allows for individuals to take as many as sixth months of unpaid leave to care for a dying family member. In the US, the Family Medical Leave Act [DOL backgrounder] requires an employer to grant an eligible employee up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to care for an immediate family member who is seriously ill. There is no US legislation to provide subsidies for workers on leave.

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