Paternity leave in France is to be rebranded as "child welcome leave" to ensure same-sex partners have equal rights to paid leave following the birth of a child.

The move was approved overnight Thursday by the social affairs committee of the national assembly in line with a request made five years ago by a state anti-discrimination body following a complaint by a lesbian couple.

The change is expected to be formally approved by parliament in a vote next week. It will mean any partner of a new parent is entitled to 11 days paid leave or 18 days in the case of twins or other multiple births.