This article reviews policy debates and output on employment rights for fathers in France, focusing on paternity leave and the debates leading to reform of leave in 2014. Since the extension of paternity leave to 10 days in 2002, take-up has increased but a minority of fathers, particularly those in managerial positions, find it difficult to access. The new law on parental leave enjoys public support but has been politically controversial. Policy debates around paternity and parental leave indicate an unfinished revolution in French family policy and law. Evidence of attitudinal change and workplace initiatives suggests that existing tensions are inevitable given the strength of a 'hyper-maternalised' policy tradition and also that such tensions may themselves be part of a longer-term process of 'lagged adaptation'.