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26/ Mar

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Labour law

New maternity leave for self-employed workers affiliated to CAMTI (Law no. 1.558 of 29 February 2024)

Law no. 1.558 of 29 February 2024 instituting maternity leave for self-employed workers affiliated to CAMTI (Caisse d'assurance maladie des travailleurs indépendants) (JDM no. 8684 of 1 March 2024) stems from bill no. 1086 received by the Parliament (Conseil National) on 22 November 2023 and passed on 22 February 2024.

Prior to the reform, the scheme for self-employed workers includes maternity insurance, which covers the reimbursement of medical expenses incurred throughout pregnancy, but does not provide any entitlement to daily maternity benefits.

The implementing rules are set out in Ministerial Decree no. 2024 148 of 15 March 2024 implementing Law no. 1.558 of 29 February 2024 instituting maternity leave for self-employed workers (JDM no. 8687 of 22 March 2024).

In this respect, the Parliament reiterated (Report on draft law no. 1086, pp. 4-5) its wish "that self-employed women benefit from a maternity leave scheme as favourable as that currently enjoyed by women in the private and public sectors", taking into account the specific constraints of self-employed activities, namely:

  • the possibility of taking leave before and after the birth ;
  • setting the amount of daily allowances under conditions as favourable as those applicable to other categories of workers;
  • the guarantee of full flexibility by being able to claim all or part of the days to which the benefits give entitlement;
  • compensation regardless of the proportion of leave used: no minimum length of maternity leave imposed for self-employed women to receive their benefits, unlike in some European countries.

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Three new articles (23-1 to 23-3) are inserted into Law no. 1.048 of 28 July 1982 instituting a system of social benefits for self-employed workers.

Women who are pregnant on the date the law comes into force are able to take advantage of the new provisions.

¤ The duration of maternity leave is set at 18 weeks (art. 23 1 L. 1.048, art. 1 AM n° 2024 148)

Maternity leave comprises:

  1. theoretical prenatal leave of 8 weeks before the presumed date of childbirth;
  2. theoretical postnatal leave of 10 weeks after the presumed date of delivery.

The provisions are based on the arrangements applicable to female employees, "for the sake of consistency". The duration of maternity leave is set at 18 weeks for salaried employees by Law no. 870 of 17 July 1969, and for civil servants and state employees by Ministerial Decree no. 2019-558 of 2 July 2019, amended by Ministerial Decree no. 2023-212 of 11 April 2023.

¤ Maternity leave may be extended in the following cases (art. 1 AM no. 2024 148)

  1. for a single pregnancy: if the woman is already the mother of at least 2 viable children or if she or the household is already effectively and habitually responsible for the upbringing and maintenance of at least 2 children, the theoretical postnatal leave is extended to 18 weeks;
  2. for a twin pregnancy: the theoretical antenatal leave is increased to 12 weeks and the theoretical postnatal leave to 22 weeks;
  3. if more than two children are to be born: the theoretical prenatal leave is increased to 24 weeks and the theoretical postnatal leave to 22 weeks.

¤ From the first day of the 6th month of pregnancy, if a pathological condition, certified by a medical certificate as resulting from the pregnancy, so requires, the total duration of the prenatal leave is increased by the duration of this pathological condition, giving entitlement to the same benefits as those provided for maternity leave (art. 5 AM n° 2024 148)

¤ The cash benefits provided for maternity leave correspond to a flat-rate daily allowance (art. 23-2 L. 1.084, art. 7 AM no. 2024 148).

The amount of the lump-sum daily benefit is calculated by multiplying by a coefficient of 2.7 the daily salary determined on the basis of a reference monthly salary of €1,460, corresponding to the value in force for the financial year 2023 2024 of the basic monthly salary provided for in Article 8 ter of Law no. 455 of 27 June 1947 on employees' pensions.

This monthly reference salary is revalued on 1st October each year by ministerial decree issued on the advice of the Control Committee of the Caisse d'Assurance Maladie, Accident et Maternité des Travailleurs Indépendants, on the basis of the change in the consumer price index excluding tobacco in May of the previous financial year.

Applications for cash benefits for maternity leave, accompanied by documents proving the conditions required to obtain them, should be sent to CAMTI.

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Foundations of the reform

The Explanatory Memorandum to Bill 1086 recalls that the introduction of maternity leave in the self-employed workers' scheme was initiated by the CAMTI Supervisory Committee during its review of the 2020-21 balance sheet.

With a view to refining the "corresponding terms, conditions and financial projections" presented by the Caisses Sociales de Monaco in 2022, the Committee set up an ad hoc working group in March 2023 made up of representatives of the Government, the Caisses Sociales de Monaco and self-employed workers sitting on the Committee.

As the work "led to the conclusion that its introduction would have little financial impact on the CAMTI scheme, and therefore on members' contributions", the Committee decided to introduce maternity leave in September 2023.

The Explanatory Memorandum stresses the will to "promote a more balanced society that protects everyone's rights" and to "adapt to the needs and realities of this specific sector", pointing out that self-employed workers "are one of the driving forces of the country, its economy and its competitiveness". However, the "temporary interruption of activity on a personal basis" and the accompanying "reduction in resources" "can constitute a personal or entrepreneurial peril".

Including maternity leave in the scheme for self-employed workers means equal rights with female employees in the private and public sectors who "have already enjoyed them for a long time", as well as helping to improve maternal and child health, financial stability and female entrepreneurship.

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