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France: Suspension of Family Allowances in Case of School Absenteeism

(Feb. 1, 2011) Decree 2011-89 of January 21, 2011, sets forth the modalities under which family allowances may be either suspended or revoked, in totality or partly, when a child fails to attend school as provided by Law 2010-1127 of September 28, 2010, aimed at fighting school absenteeism in France. The Decree took effect on January 24, 2011. (Décret 2011-89 du 21 janvier 2011 relatif aux modalités de calcul de la part des allocations familiales suspendues ou supprimées en cas d'absentéisme scolaire, LEGIFRANCE.GOUV.FR,
; Loi 2010-1127 visant à lutter contre l'absentéisme scolaire, LEGIFRANCE.GOUV.FR,
(both last visited Jan. 28, 2011).)

Under the Law, the parents or the individual legally responsible for the child must notify the headmaster of the reasons why the child is missing school. Legitimate reasons to miss school include, for example, illness, the contagious illness of a family member, a family reunion, or difficulties in reaching the school due to bad weather. When a child misses school for four half-days in a month without any legitimate excuses, the headmaster notifies the school district inspector. The headmaster and the inspector then meet with the parents and give them a warning as to the criminal and administrative penalties that may be incurred. If the warning remains without effect, the procedure of suspension of the family allowance will start. In the case of persistent absenteeism, the allowance will be revoked. If the child attends school with regularity after suspension of the allowance, it will be fully reestablished with retroactivity. (Loi 2010-1127, supra.)