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France

Staff

Updated 07/2009

Legal requirements

France's labour code governs the contractual rights and obligations of employees and employers.

Employment conditions

The guaranteed minimum wage (SMIC) is the minimum hourly rate paid to an employee. Since 2009, this has been fixed at €8.82.

The legal working hours are set at 35 hours per week for all businesses.

Employers are required to:

  • prevent occupational hazards;
  • ensure that smoking bans in the workplace are complied with;
  • protect their employees.

Every employee has the right to paid holidays (2.5 working days per month worked).

             Dismissals   can take place on economic or personal grounds.

Employment contracts

The following are the different types of employment contract available:

Foreign workers

             Residence permits   entitling foreign nationals to work on French territory are residence cards mentioning the following:

  • temporary worker;
  • employee;
  • artistic and cultural profession;
  • scientist;
  • trainee;
  • European Community.

There are minimum social rules to follow, especially about non-discrimination, gender equality and health and safety.

Administrative procedures

Starting and ending employment contracts

Employment-related information is recorded in the staff register.

Employers not registered in France must inform the national centre for overseas businesses (CNFE) of any employees working for them who are eligible for French social security (E0 form). The centre then notifies the various social security agencies, with which the business should be registered, in order to collect the relevant social security contributions.

Employer obligations vary according to the type and nature of the employment contract.

Employees also have to undergo a medical before their trial period ends.

Business owners are required to display certain information on the business premises - details of working hours, break times, contact numbers for the works inspectorate, occupational health department, emergency services, etc.   

Employers are expected to provide employees with copies of all relevant hiring documents.

Social security contributions

The hiring statement allows the employer to complete several social security (URSSAF) formalities in one go.

Work permits for foreign nationals

To work in France, foreign nationals must possess a residence permit and work permit. The work permit application is made by the foreign labour services of the department directorates for work, employment and professional training (DDTEFP).

Prior to any hiring, the employer must ensure that the foreign worker has a work permit enabling the person to hold a position. Before hiring, the employer must send a copy of the residence permit, provided by the worker, to the prefect of the department where the hiring is taking place.

The prefect must send its response to the employer within 2 working days of receiving the application. If the foreign worker does not hold a work permit, he/she must apply for this at his/her local Prefecture.

Dismissal

When employers dismiss staff, they must follow certain rules depending on the number of dismissals.

Dismissed staff receive a certificate of employment and a form (ASSEDIC) entitling them to unemployment benefits.

Resources

France's employment ministry has an online portal containing business factsheets and other related information.

Information on social security can be found on the URSSAF website.

The Net-entreprises portal allows businesses to file different types of declaration online.

EURES, the European job portal, offers employers information and support on recruiting across the EU. As well as assisting jobseekers, it helps entrepreneurs find workers from across the EU. In border regions, EURES provides information on cross-border commuting and helps workers and employers with problems that may arise.

Help & advice

Help & advice

The chambers of commerce and industry (CCI) offer practical help and advice to businesses.

SOLVIT helps businesses deal with problems that arise when national authorities wrongly apply EU market rules.

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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