France, officially the French Republic, is a country located in northwestern Europe with a real GDP growth rate of 7% in 2021. The country borders the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel between Belgium and Spain, to the southeast of the UK bordering the Mediterranean Sea between Italy and Spain. It is the largest agricultural producer in Europe and is among the world’s largest economies. France is a part of many organizations and plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G-7, the G-20, the EU, and other multilateral organizations.

 

*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in France.

Capital :
Paris
Currency :
Euro (€, EUR)
Languages spoken :
French
Population :
67.62 million (2022 est.)
Minimum wage 2022 :
€11.07 (Hourly)
Cost of Living index :
$$$$ (19 of 139 nations)
Payroll Frequency :
Monthly
VAT - standard rate :
20%
GDP - real growth rate :
7% (2021 est.)

Statutory Holidays

The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2022.

In France, 11 public holidays are provided for by law. The Alsace region and the Moselle department observe two additional days. Unlike most countries, these holidays do not shift when they fall during a weekend.

Date
Holiday Name
Extra Information
January 1
New Year’s Day (Jour de l’an)
April 18
Easter Monday (Lundi de Pâques)
Movable, Easter is on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon - the vernal equinox
May 1
Labor Day (Fête du premier mai)
May 8
World War II Victory Day (Fête du huitième mai/Jour de la Victoire 45)
May 26
Ascension Day (Jour de l’Ascension)
Movable, 40 days after Easter
June 6
Whit Monday (Pentecost Monday/Lundi de Pentecôte)
Movable, |50 days after Easter
July 14
Bastille Day (Fête nationale)
August 15
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Assomption)
November 1
All Saints’ Day (La Toussaint)
November 11
Armistice Day (Jour d’armistice)
December 25
Christmas Day (Noël)

Contract Sharing Time


The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in France is 4 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.

NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.

What You Need To Know


  • Since August 30, 2021, in certain professions, the employee must be able to present a health pass to go to their place of work. In the absence of presentation of this proof, the employer can suspend the employment contract of the employee. 
  • Fixed-term contract employees can benefit from allowances and special measures to compensate for the precariousness of their job.
  • Executive employees who have entered a so-called “forfait-jours” are not subject to the usual rules concerning working time.
  • “Keyloggers” which allow remote recording of all actions performed on a computer are considered illegal by the Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL).
  • In companies with at least 50 employees, the employer consults the Social and Economic Committee (CSE) of their company when they decide that employees should be placed in telework. There is an exception in cases of force majeure when they are allowed to consult soon after the implementation of telework.

Labor Conditions


Working Hours
  • Employees are subject to a legal working time of 35 hours per week.
  • The actual working time must not exceed the maximum duration of 10 hours per day, with exceptions.
  • A break of at least 20 consecutive minutes is granted to the employee, as soon as they have worked six consecutive hours.
  • All workers must be allowed a daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours and weekly rest period of 35 consecutive hours.
Overtime

Any hour of work accomplished, at the employer’s request, beyond the legal duration of 35 hours is an additional hour. The senior executive and employees working on “forfait-jours” are not affected by overtime. In the absence of a collective agreement or company agreement, the overtime worked beyond the legal weekly duration is increased by:

  • 25% hourly rate for the additional first eight hours worked in one week (from the 36th to the 43rd hour);
  • 50% hourly rate for the following hours.
Probation Period
  • For a fixed-term contract called “CDD” of six months maximum, the trial period is one day per week without being able to exceed two weeks.
  • If the CDD is for contracts longer than six months, the probation period can be a maximum of one month.
  • The fixed-term contract with a defined object is reserved for the recruitment of engineers and executives. Lasting between 18 and 36 months (without possible renewal), it normally ends with the achievement of the object for which it was concluded after a notice period of at least two months. 
  • The maximum duration of trial periods varies as per employment type (employee, supervisor and technicians, and executives).
Termination Notice Period

The notice period served by the employee or the employer varies according to their seniority in the company, under the following conditions:

Employment TenureNotice Period
Less than 6 months’ tenureNo legal minimum period
6 months to 2 years1 month
More than 2 years2 months

 

Collective agreements for managers generally set higher notice periods: around two months at nine months tenure, three months at four years, and four months at 20 years. There are prescribed notice periods for fixed-term contract employees and employees under probation as well.

Leave / Time Off

Annual Leave

The total duration of the required leave may not exceed 25 working days (for five-day workweeks and five weeks) for a full year of work (from June 1 to May 31 in the absence of another period fixed by a company or a conventional agreement). The main holiday (i.e. a maximum of four consecutive weeks) cannot be taken in its entirety during the holiday period (from May 1 to October 31). The main leave is then split. The employee can benefit from additional days of leave known as split days, under certain conditions.

Sick Leave

  1. In France, companies are not obliged to pay workers who take sick leave for the first three days away from work. 
  2. Social Security pays benefits to employees (or to the employer if the pay is maintained for 50% of salary from day four).
  3. From day eight, the employer must top this up to 90% of salary, not capped, for 30 days, and 66% for the next 30 days, but only after one year of service. These 30 days increase by ten days every five years of seniority.
  4. The employer’s life and disability coverage reimburses 80% of gross salary (but not the contributions), not capped, as long as sick leave is prescribed, after 30 days in case of sickness or four days in case of accident or hospitalization.
  5. In case of illness, an employee must notify the employer no more than two working days (48 hours) later. 
  6. To recoup any pay, employees require a doctor’s note from day one.
  7. Employees with a seniority of at least one year are entitled to an indemnity payment paid by their employer to complement the social security sick pay.

Parental Leave

Parental leave is offered as an additional leave over the annual leave. Employees under the age of 21 on April 30 of the previous year benefit from two additional days of annual leave per dependent child. This leave is reduced to one day if the legal leave does not exceed six days. There is also additional leave in case of education and sickness of a child that is provided on an unpaid basis.

 

Maternity Leave

The pregnant employee has the right to 16 weeks of maternity leave (in principle, six weeks before the expected date of childbirth and 10 weeks after). To qualify for maternity benefit, the employee must have been insured for at least 10 months before their pregnancy began. In the event of a pathological condition certified by a medical certificate, maternity leave may be extended by two weeks before the expected date of childbirth and by four weeks after it.

 

Adoption Leave

Adoption leave is 16 weeks. This leave is increased to 22 weeks for the adoption of more than one child. If the adopted child is at least the third child in the household, the leave period is extended to 18 weeks.

 

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave has been lengthened as of July 1, 2021.The duration is different for single and multiple births. 

  • If one child is born, leave has been lengthened from 11 to 25 calendar days and is divided into two separate periods:
    • A mandatory period of four calendar days that must be taken immediately after the father’s/partner’s three-day birth leave;
    • And another period of 21 calendar days.
  • For multiple births, leave has been lengthened from 18 to 32 calendar days and is divided into two separate periods:
    • A mandatory period of four calendar days that must be taken immediately after the father’s/ partner’s three-day birth leave;
    • And another period of 28 calendar days.

All leave must be taken within the six months following the child’s birth.

 

 

Other Types of Paid Leave

Bereavement Leave

A new category of leave, compensated by maternity insurance, is offered when a child or a dependent under the age of 25 dies as of January 1, 2020. The three-day waiting period necessary in sick leave is waived off for this leave. The leave is prescribed following the child’s death within 13 weeks of death. It must be taken within one year of the death and lasts a maximum of eight or 15 days, which can be divided up depending on the insured’s professional situation.

Statutory Benefits

As of January 2022, the following social security statutory deductions are payable by the employer: 

 

*This rate varies based on company size and risks.

**The rate of 3.45% applies to businesses eligible for the general decrease in contributions and to annual salaries lower than or equal to 3.5 times the legal minimum wage (SMIC).

***The upper limit is equal to four monthly social security ceilings (4 x 3,428 €).

 

Benefit
Employer Rate (% of total earnings)
Ceiling
Social Security
Health, maternity, disability, death
13% or 7%
Not specified
Autonomy solidarity contribution ("Contribution solidarité autonomie"/ CSA)
0.3%
Not specified
Old-age insurance (with upper limit)
8.55%
€3,428
Survivor allowance
1.9%
Not specified
Accidents at work*
variable
Not specified
Family benefits**
5.25% or 3.45%
Not specified
Unemployment***
4.05%
€13,712
AGS
0.15%
€13,712
Supplementary pensions (Agirc-Arrco scheme) 
Bracket 1
4.72%
€3,428
CEG (Overall balance contribution)
1.29%
€3,428
Bracket 2
12.95%
From €3,428 to €27,424
CEG
1.62%
From €3,428 to €27,424

Health Insurance

Employees working in France are eligible for health insurance through their social security contributions (cotisations socialise). 

  • Certain members with no employment income or whose income from employment in France amounts to less than 20% of the annual Social Security ceiling (i.e. less than €8,227 in 2021), are liable to a 6.5% alternative health care contribution (“cotisation subsidiaire maladie”/ CSM), on an earned-income and asset-tested basis. 
  • The calculation basis for this contribution is capped at eight times France’s annual social security ceiling.

Social security also pays for daily cash benefits during certified sick leave. This benefit is paid at 50% of the basic average salary for a maximum of 360 daily benefits over any three-year period.

Other Insurances

Accident Insurance

The eligibility rules for accident-at-work benefits in kind are the same as those for in-kind health insurance benefits, with the exception that all care (medical, surgical, and pharmacy) in this case is covered by the Fund at a rate of 100% while it is 70% for regular health insurance. 

 

ConditionBenefitLimit
Day of accidentFull daily wage paid by the employer.Not applicable
The first 28 days of prescribed medical leaveA daily allowance of 60% of daily wage€205.84 per day
29th day – 3 monthsA daily allowance of 80% of daily wage€274.46 per day
More than 3 monthsThe claimant’s benefit rate can be revised upward in the event of a general wage rise.Daily net wage

 

Unemployment Insurance

To qualify for unemployment benefits (Return to employment benefit /”ARE”), the claimant must meet the following seven requirements:

  • Be registered as a job seeker;
  • Not to have reached the age and number of quarters required for a full-rate pension or not qualify for early retirement;
  • Effective December 1, 2021: Have worked at least six months (i.e. 130 days or 910 hours) over the previous 24 months;
  • Be involuntarily unemployed or a proven, genuine, substantive career change plan;
  • Be physically fit for work;
  • Be engaged in a substantive ongoing search for employment;
  • Reside in the geographical area covered by France’s unemployment insurance program.

Public Pension

The French pension system is made up of three pillars:

  • State pension
  • Compulsory supplementary pensions
  • Voluntary private pensions

A French pension is typically available to those who have lived and worked in France for a set number of years (must have worked for at least 10 years) and meet other conditions. The maximum pension amount can only be claimed after working in France for 40–43 years. However, earners can also pay into a supplementary pension and/or private pension plan for more pension security.

Other Statutory Benefits

Family Benefit

The employer pays 5.25% or 3.45% of the total earnings.

A variety of family benefits are provided under French law from an “Infant welcome benefit” to Family, Housing, Maintenance, and Special Education allowances. Family allowances increase may be granted as per the child’s age.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this Country Guide is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The contents of this Country Guide contain general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this Country Guide without seeking the advice or representation of a licensed attorney. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on any content included in this Country Guide.

Information provided in this Country Guide is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. WorkMotion Software GmbH periodically adds, changes, improves, updates, or removes information without notice, and assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the contents of this Country Guide. This Country Guide may contain links to other websites. WorkMotion Software GmbH disclaims all liability for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.

Employer of the Future 2022

10th October – in Berlin & Remote

1000+ of the best minds in HR & Tech
will come together this October.

Join the conversation!