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Hiring In France – Country Guide

Guide to Recruitment in France

Hiring in a new country can be a complex and challenging process, with unique laws, regulations, and cultural differences to consider. This guide is designed to help you navigate the employment system in France, providing an in-depth overview of the job market and recruitment landscape – from contractual nuances, up to financial implications and immigration considerations. Our resource outlines the components you will need to create a comprehensive recruitment plan for your local hiring needs.

Overview

France has established itself as a prominent player in economic growth and employment opportunities. With its advantageous business climate, highly skilled workforce, and wide range of industries, the country stands out as an attractive destination for international companies aiming to expand their operations in Europe.

In the face of global economic challenges, France has maintained a relatively stable job market – as of May 2023, the national unemployment rate stands at 7.1%, outperforming the average rate in the European Union. This rate indicates a favourable environment for job seekers, further solidifying France’s position as an attractive destination for employment.

One of the key contributors to France’s employment landscape is its thriving tech industry. The country is home to numerous successful startups and established tech companies, offering lucrative employment opportunities in fields such as engineering, data science, and software development. This vibrant sector not only fosters innovation but also contributes to job creation, providing further incentives for international professionals to seek opportunities in France.

Additionally, the finance industry in France is experiencing significant growth, leading to increased job openings in areas such as accounting, banking, and investment management. The expanding economy has resulted in a higher demand for finance professionals with specialized skills. This trend presents valuable opportunities for individuals seeking careers in the financial sector.

To ensure proper labour relations, France has established a comprehensive legal framework governed by the French Labor Code. This code covers various aspects of employment, including hiring, termination, working hours, and leave entitlements. Furthermore, collective bargaining agreements negotiated between employers and labour unions, or employee representatives can influence employment policies, such as wages and working conditions. Statutes like the Working Time Act, Minimum Wage Act, and Social Security System Act provide additional regulations specific to employment.

In terms of employment agreements, France offers a range of options. These include standard employment contracts with indefinite durations, fixed-term contracts for seasonal or project-based work, as well as civil law contracts for specific services or self-employment arrangements. This flexibility allows for various types of employment arrangements to cater to different business needs.

For foreigners seeking employment opportunities in France, there are several permits and visas available. The Talent Passport, for instance, allows highly qualified foreign workers to work and reside in France. The Intra-Company Transfer Permit enables employees of multinational companies to transfer to a French branch or subsidiary. Additionally, the European Blue Card permits highly skilled non-European professionals to work and travel within the European Union. These options provide opportunities for foreign workers to contribute their expertise to the French labour market.

While labour costs in France may be higher compared to some other EU countries, the country remains competitive due to its favourable labour market conditions and flexibility. French employers can adapt to changing economic conditions more easily, ensuring a stable environment for businesses.

Recruitment practices in France have been rapidly evolving, influenced by technological advancements and changing workforce trends. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work and flexible schedules. As a result, employers are adapting to these new trends by incorporating innovative technologies into their recruitment processes. Furthermore, there is an increasing emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and soft skills when seeking top talent. Strong communication and leadership abilities are highly valued by employers, reflecting the growing significance of soft skills in recruitment strategies.

On the other hand, specific industries in France, including IT, engineering, and healthcare, face labour shortages due to high demand for skilled professionals. In response, many employers choose to collaborate with recruitment agencies. Such partnerships allow for increased job posting visibility, reduced costs, and simplified job applications, and help businesses navigate the job market and stay compliant with employment laws.

As a whole, France’s labour market is generally considered resilient, as evidenced by its low unemployment rate and it presents businesses with an abundance of opportunities to develop global teams while tapping into a diverse talent pool.


 

Recruitment in France

Job Market Overview

Digital recruitment avenues such as social media, online job postings, and virtual interviews are becoming increasingly popular in France, but traditional methods including job fairs and recruitment agencies remain widely used.

Notably, employment in France is heavily regulated and governed by strict labor laws. Employers must comply with a variety of requirements, such as minimum wage levels, working hours, and employee benefits.

Job Benefits: Mandatory & Common Optional Benefits

Employment benefits in France refer to added entitlements provided to employees on top of their basic salary. They are covered by the employer and vary depending on the company, industry, and work contract.

  • Mandatory benefits:
    • Social security: Healthcare, retirement benefits, and unemployment insurance.
    • Paid holidays: Minimum 5 weeks of paid vacation per year.
    • Paid sick leave: Compensation for illness or injury.
    • Parental leave: Time off for child’s birth or adoption, with partial pay.
    • Maternity leave: At least 16 weeks of paid leave for female employees.
  • Common optional benefits:
    • Complementary health insurance: Extra coverage beyond social security benefits.
    • Retirement savings plans: Pension or other long-term savings options.
    • Transportation subsidies: Assistance for commuting expenses, such as public transit passes or parking expenses.
    • Training and development opportunities: Skill enhancement and career advancement programs.
    • Flexible work arrangements: Telecommuting, flexible schedules, etc. to support work-life balance.

Remote Work

The Working from Home Policy in France enables employees to work fully or partially outside company premises, including from home or remotely. Further on, the specifics of remote work are established through collective agreements, employer-provided charters, or individual agreements between the employer and the employee.

Employees whose positions allow it have the right to request that they work from home. The request can be communicated verbally or in writing to the employer, and if it is denied, the employer must justify the decision. Teleworking does not require modifications to the employment contract.

The following list outlines the essential guidelines for remote work:

General Guidelines:

A remote work policy must contain the following elements:

  • Eligible positions for remote working.
  • Conditions for transitioning to and from remote working.
  • Terms and conditions for implementing remote working.
  • Methods for controlling working hours and regulating workload.
  • Contact hours when employees must be available and when contact is permitted by the employer.

Employers’ obligations for remote work include:

  • Informing employees of computer and communication equipment restrictions as well as the consequences of non-compliance.
  • Conducting annual meetings with employees working from home to discuss working conditions and workload.
  • Providing a work-from-home allowance, typically €80 to €100 per month, exempt from income tax up to €580 per year.
  • Covering expenses associated with employees’ personal space used as an office, such as furniture, storage, internet, and telephone. Coworking spaces must also be reimbursed if no office is provided.
  • Supplying necessary equipment and maintenance for remote work without cost to the employee.
  • Respecting employees’ private life and contacting them only during agreed-upon working hours.
  • Maintaining regular communication to share decisions and acknowledge employees’ work.

Health and Safety at Home:

  • Employers are responsible for accidents during remote work, including those that happen at home.
  • Home offices should be treated as an extension of the company’s office, requiring risk assessment and prevention.
  • Employees need to be informed about potential physical and mental risks while working from home.
  • Since employers have limited access to home offices, employees are responsible for complying with health and safety guidelines.
  • In case of an accident, employees must promptly notify the company.
  • The employer or the SEC (Social and Economic Committee) may access the home office with prior consent and employee notification to ensure health and safety.
  • Employees have the right to request inspection visits for their home office.

Information Security:

  • Employers are responsible for ensuring data security, even in external data centres.
  • Best practices for remote workers recommended by the CNIL include configuring internet boxes correctly, changing passwords regularly, using encryption, connecting to trusted networks, using VPNs, installing antivirus and firewall software, and avoiding transmission of confidential data.

Remote employees should be guaranteed the same rights as their peers, including access to training, respect for privacy, health and safety provisions, participation in social activities, union access, and other benefits.

Employers must inform employees in advance of implementing monitoring systems, consult with the Works Council (CSE), and comply with data processing requirements. Continuous surveillance or demanding constant proof of presence behind the screen is prohibited.

Adherence to the standard 35-working hours per week, as well as daily and weekly rest periods, is required and overtime is only permitted at the employer’s request.

Employment Hubs in France

France has several major employment hubs, each offering a variety of job opportunities and economic activity. Main places of interest:

While some rural regions in France may have fewer job opportunities, the government has implemented initiatives to promote regional development and job creation. These initiatives contribute to regional development and aim to ensure a more balanced distribution of job opportunities throughout the country:

  • Regional Investment Funds (FIR): Financing and support provided to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in various regions to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.
  • Regional Innovation Agencies (ARI): Supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in regional areas through funding and resources for startups and SMEs.
  • French Tech: Promoting the technology sector and assisting digital startups in regions across France to drive economic growth and employment.
  • Regional Development Agencies (ARD): Supporting economic development and job creation in different regions by offering funding, training, and resources to businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Regional Strategic Plans (PSR): Setting out a strategic vision for economic development and job creation in specific regions, focusing on sectors like renewable energy, digital technology, and tourism.

Recruitment Landscape

France’s recruitment landscape is competitive and diverse, making use of multiple recruitment channels methods for attracting and hiring candidates. Recruitment agencies are widely used as they are effective in matching candidates with job openings, especially for high-level and specialized positions. Besides agencies, online job boards and social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are also popular avenues through which job seekers actively pursue employment opportunities.

In recent years, we have seen a growing trend of large international recruitment agencies outsourcing their recruiters to specific companies, establishing subsidiaries in various locations across the country. These subsidiaries specialize in verticals such as IT, marketing, sales, and more, operating within their respective regions.

Recruitment agencies in France typically operate on success fees or retained contracts, which typically range from 15% to 30% of a candidate’s annual salary.


 

French Labour Market Overview

According to the European Commission in 2021, 27,728,000 people were employed. The employment rate of the population aged 15 to 64 was 67.3%, the highest rate since 1975.

In 2021, employers reported 2.72 million After an exceptionally high rate in 2020 (before the health crisis), the number of planned recruitments has therefore returned to a level that is slightly higher than it was in 2019 (+1.1%).

According to the European Commission in 2021, the employment status in France is as follows:

  • The total number of employed people in France was 27,728,000.
  • The employment rate for the population of working age reached its highest rate since 1975.
  • In 2021, employers reported 2.72 million planned recruitments, slightly higher than the 2019 level (+1.1%).

As of this report:

  • 3% of French adults aged 15 to 64 were employed.
  • 7 % of people in the same age group were unemployed.

Gender Divide across industries

While the gender gap in the workplace may seem slight at first glance, with females accounting for 48.9% and males for 51.1% of the workforce, significant disparities in gender representation persist across various industries.

Average Tenure

According to LinkedIn’s latest data, the median tenure for professionals in France is 1 year. This does tend to vary by industry, and recent insights from HR experts suggest that employees under 25 are switching jobs more quickly than other age groups.

What sectors are the most popular?

The largest industry sectors in France, according to are:

Talent map

France’s talent map highlights major concentrations of professionals in key cities. Paris, with over 2.5 million professionals, stands out as the primary talent hub. Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, and Bordeaux also demonstrate significant clusters of professionals, reflecting their economic importance and diverse employment opportunities across industries.

Emerging locations such as the Greater Bordeaux Area, Greater Marseille Area, and Greater Rennes Area show promising potential for employment growth, as the supply of professionals surpasses the demand in these areas.

Source: Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques

Rank of titles in high demand

LinkedIn data analysis of the most popular skills, measured by hiring demand in parity to numbers of professionals

Rank of skills in high demand

LinkedIn data analysis of the most popular skills, measured by hiring demand in parity to numbers of professionals

Main job boards and channels for sourcing candidates

Below are the top 10 job seeker websites in France in 2022, ranked by monthly visitor count (in millions):

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1300417/france-leading-online-job-boards-by-traffic/

  • Pôle emploi: pole-emploi.fr (unpaid)
  • Indeed France: indeed.fr (unpaid)
  • APEC: apec.fr (unpaid for managers and executives)
  • Cadremploi: cadremploi.fr (paid for job postings for managers and executives)
  • RegionsJob: regionsjob.com (paid for job postings)
  • Neuvoo (now talent.com): fr.talent.com/ (paid for job postings)
  • Jooble France: fr.jooble.org/ (unpaid)
  • Meteo Job: meteojob.com/ (paid for job postings)
  • Job Rapido: fr.jobrapido.com/ (paid for job postings)
  • Job Teaser: https://www.jobteaser.com/fr (paid for job postings)

 

How do I hire an employee in France?

There are different options for hiring qualified people in France, which we will discuss below. But first let’s understand the division of people across temporary employment, permanent employment, and self-employment:

According to research conducted by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, the estimated number of employed individuals in France is approximately 29.9 million.

Permanent Employment

Employment agreements in France are defined by the French labor code as legally binding contracts between employers and employees that outline the terms and conditions of the working relationship, including job responsibilities, working hours, compensation, benefits, and other relevant provisions.

Also known as a contract à durée indéterminée (CDI), permanent work contracts constitute an ongoing employment agreement without a specified end date. These contracts are the most popular among employers.

A distinctive feature of permanent contracts is that termination beyond probation is only permitted for valid reasons recognized by law, such as misconduct, poor performance, or economic reasons. This ensures that employees are protected under CDI.

Permanent placement offers employers a stable and loyal workforce with legal protection. CDIs provide job security while granting employees access to benefits and social security coverage. This employment model fosters collaboration, professional growth, and a committed workforce, ensuring long-term stability and success for employers.

Key benefits:

  1. Stability and Retention: Hiring permanent employees in France promotes stability within your workforce, as they are committed to long-term employment and less likely to seek other opportunities.
  2. Rights and Productivity: Permanent employees have access to benefits and rights, such as paid time off and parental leave, which contribute to their well-being and job satisfaction. This, in turn, enhances productivity and loyalty to your organization.
  3. Legal Compliance: Hiring permanent staff ensures compliance with French labor laws, including proper termination procedures. This reduces the risk of legal issues and potential penalties for wrongful termination.

Full-time permanent positions don’t always require contracts in written form, whereas for part-time roles they are necessary. These contracts formally establish the obligations of both the employee and employer, and while written forms are not mandatory, providing one allows the employer to secure their recruitment. In some cases, collective agreements may require a written contract.

For legal purposes, permanent contracts must be drafted in French, but foreign employees can request a bilingual version or a translated copy for informational use. The French copy of the contract is the version of record.

Temporary & Fixed Term Employment

Temporary employment in France describes an agreement between an employer and an employee that that sets a predetermined duration at the time of hiring. This option is often used to meet temporary staffing needs, such as seasonal work, projects, or covering employee leaves. Temporary employees have rights and benefits that include similar working conditions to permanent ones in similar roles, proportional paid leave, and social security coverage.

Temporary employment contracts, known as “contrat à durée déterminée” (CDD), are often facilitated through temporary work agencies. In this arrangement, the agency hires an employee and assigns them to a client company for a specific and time-limited role. To formalize this arrangement, a secondment contract is signed between the agency and the client company, also referred to as the “user company.”

Under the secondment contract, the employee is placed under the authority and control of the head of the user company. They receive a salary on the same terms as other employees in the company and enjoy the same rights throughout their assignment, including facilities like catering and transport. Temporary workers are subject to the rules and regulations of the user company, ensuring compliance with working time regulations, night shifts, rest periods, public holidays, and workplace health and safety measures.

A CDD can be issued in various situations, such as when a permanent employee is on leave (including maternity or sick leave), during temporary business surges, or in specific industries and youth employment schemes, including the construction industry.

Key benefits:

  1. Flexibility in Staffing: Temporary workers allows businesses to adapt to fluctuating business demands without the commitment of permanent hires and easily adjust their workforce to meet seasonal peaks or project-based work.
  2. Cost Control: In hiring temporary workers, employers avoid the expenses associated with benefits, social security contributions, and long-term employment obligations.
  3. Access to Specialized Skills: Employers can access targeted skill sets and expertise on a short-term basis, allowing them to bring in workers for specific projects or needs, without long-term training or development investments.

Day-rate contractors, LTD contractors, or self-employed persons 

Day-rate contractors are short-term or project-based professionals who offer their services to clients at a daily or hourly rate. They can work through agencies or directly with clients and handle their own taxes and finances. A written contract is necessary to outline the work scope, duration, and compensation, but not the working time or location.

With a LTD (Limited) contract, contractors are responsible for their own social security, health insurance, and taxes, eliminating employer contributions. This makes LTD contracts more cost-effective for employers compared to other employment contracts. However, LTD contracts are not governed by labor law but by civil law, meaning individuals on LTD contracts do not receive benefits like paid leave, sick leave, parental leave, or notice periods unless specified in the contract.

Self-employed persons work for themselves and operate their own businesses or provide services as independent, without long-term commitment. Self-employed persons have autonomy in managing their work, setting their own rates, and determining their working hours. They are also responsible for their own taxes, social security contributions, and business expenses.

Key benefits:

  1. Flexibility: Hiring contractors provides employers with the flexibility to adjust their workforce based on project needs and business demands.
  2. Specialized Skills: Contractors bring specialized expertise and experience to the table, offering employers access to a diverse pool of talent and specialized knowledge.
  3. Cost Savings: Engaging contractors can lead to cost savings for employers as they are responsible for their own taxes, social security contributions, and benefits. This alleviates employers from financial obligations associated with permanent employees.

It should be noted that while LTD contracts offer flexibility in terms of working hours and contract duration, benefitting both employers and contractors, freelancers lack the stability and commitment of permanent employees, often working on a project basis or through temporary arrangements.

Key Elements in a French Contract 

A French employment contract typically includes several key elements that are legally required by the French Labour Code:

  • Identification of employer and employee
  • Job title and description
  • Working hours
  • Salary and benefits
  • Contract duration
  • Termination clause
  • Non-compete and confidentiality clauses
  • Collective bargaining agreements (if applicable)
  • Probationary period (if applicable)
  • Legal and regulatory compliance



 

Visas–Permits

Employees who hold French nationality or citizenship of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland do not require special visas or permits to work. However, when a company in France wishes to hire individuals from outside the EEA or Switzerland, specific permits are necessary.

Permits and visas available for various employment situations include:

  • Long-stay visa for salaried workers: This visa is designed for individuals who have received a job offer from a French employer allowing them to work for up to one year, with the possibility of renewal.
  • Intra-company transfer visa: Intended for employees of multinational companies being transferred to a branch or subsidiary in France, this visa is issued for a period of up to three years.
  • Professional card: While not technically a visa, this residence permit is required for specific types of employment in France, such as for self-employed individuals, entrepreneurs, or artists. It is usually valid for up to three years.
  • Seasonal worker visa: They are geared towards individuals engaged in seasonal work, such as in agriculture or tourism an are generally granted for up to six months.
  • European Blue Card: Reserved for highly skilled workers from outside the European Union, this special visa allows them to live and work in France for up to four years, with the option for renewal. The European Blue Card is comparable to the US green card system and grants holders the freedom to travel within EU states for up to 90 days.

Requirements for an EU Blue Card

Employers considering the EU Blue Card for highly qualified employees must comply with the following:

  • A valid work contract or a binding job offer for highly qualified employment with a minimum duration of one year is necessary
  • The employee’s salary should meet the minimum threshold set by the relevant Member State (currently €53,836.50 per year).
  • For regulated professions, compliance with national legal requirements should be demonstrated through appropriate documentation.
  • For unregulated professions, the employee’s higher professional qualifications should be validated through supporting documents.
  • The employee must possess a valid travel document, an appropriate visa (if required), and a valid residence permit or national long-term visa (if applicable).
  • Proof of sickness insurance or evidence of its application should be provided. Employers should also ensure that the employee does not pose a threat to public policy, and in some cases, the employee’s address in the Member State may be required during the application process.

 

Employment tax & costs in France

How much does it cost to employ someone in France?

On average, employers contribute approximately 40% of the employee’s gross salary. And it is their responsibility to deduct and withhold both the employer’s and employee’s shares of the French social security charges.

In France, both employers and employees contribute to the social security system, with specific employer contributions determined by factors such as business type, size, and location.

Key figures include:

Social Security Ceilings (PASS):

  • Annual value: €43,992 in 2023
  • Monthly value: €3,666
  • Daily value: €202
  • Hourly value: €27

Employer Payroll Contributions:

  • Health, Maternity, Disability, Death (rate varies based on income): 13.00% or 7.00% (depends on income)
  • Autonomy Solidarity Contribution: 0.30%
  • Old Age Insurance (ceiling of €3,665.50 to €43,992 annually): 8.55%
  • Pension: 1.90%
  • Family Benefits (rate varies based on income): 3.45% to 5.25%
  • Unemployment (ceiling of €13,712): 4.20%
  • AGS (Wage Guarantee Insurance): 0.15%
  • Supplementary Pension & CEG (depends on income per month): 6.01% to 14.57%
  • Total Employment Cost: 31.56% to 54.11% (*Additional employer contributions might be applied in conjunction with the employee’s level)

Employee Payroll Contributions:

  • Old Age Insurance (ceiling of €3,666 taxable income per month): 6.90%
  • Pension: 0.40%
  • Social Security Surcharge: 9.20%
  • Supplementary Pension & CEG (depends on income): 4.01% to 9.72%
  • Total Employee Cost: 30.23%

Tax Brackets:

  • 0.00%: Up to €10,777
  • 11.00%: €10,778 to €27,478
  • 30.00%: €27,479 to €78,570
  • 41.00%: €78,571 to €168,994
  • 45.00%: More than €168,994

 

French Employment Laws

French employment laws encompass a wide range of regulations that govern the relationship between employers and employees, covering important aspects such as recruitment, employment contracts, working hours, minimum wage, paid leave, termination procedures, and workplace health and safety.

The Ministry of Labor, as part of the French government, plays a central role in formulating and implementing employment regulations in France through the primary legal framework known as the French Labor Code. This code outlines the rights and obligations of employers and employees, serving as the comprehensive legal framework that governs the employment relationship.

Likewise, collective bargaining agreements between employers and unions have an impact on specific employment conditions. In addition to protecting workers’ rights, these laws and agreements promote fairness, ensure social security coverage, and foster a productive environment.

Probation in France

A probationary period in France refers to a specific period of time at the beginning of the work relationship, during which the employer and employee assess each other’s suitability for the position. Its timeline varies based on the type of employment contract and the employee’s position.

For permanent contracts, the probationary period can last up to 2 months, while executives or managers may have a period of up to 4 months.

During this time, either the employer or the employee has the right to terminate the contract without notice or justification. However, it must be noted that termination during this period must be non-discriminatory and not abusive. If completed successfully, the employment contract becomes permanent, and the standard notice period and dismissal procedures apply.

For temporary employment contracts, a probationary period may be included based on collective agreements or specific agreements within the company. If not explicitly defined, the length of the probationary period depends on the duration of the temporary contract:

  • Contracts up to one month: 2 days
  • Contracts between one and two months: 3 days
  • Contracts exceeding two months: 5 days

Probationary periods may be extended once if both parties agree to do so.

Notice Period in France

The notice period (préavis de départ) is the amount of time that either the employer or employee must give before terminating an employment contract. This notice is a legal requirement for both parties, unless there are specific circumstances where immediate termination without notice is permitted, such as serious misconduct.

The duration of the notice period depends on various factors, including the employee’s seniority, the type of employment contract, and the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that covers the employee’s industry or sector:

For employees with an open-ended contract (contrat à durée indéterminée):
• Less than 6 months of service: 1 week’s notice.
• 6 months to less than 2 years of service: 1 month’s notice.
• 2 years to less than 8 years of service: 2 months’ notice.
• 8 years or more of service: 3 months’ notice.

For employees with a fixed-term contract (contrat à durée déterminée), the notice period is generally equal to the remaining duration of the contract.

In some cases, the notice period can be reduced or waived by mutual agreement between the employer and employee, however, it cannot be waived unilaterally by either party.

Maternity & Paternity leave in France

Paid maternity and paternity leaves are designed to provide parents with time to bond with their child and take care of their family responsibilities. These leaves are protected by law, and employers must allow employees to take the designated time off and provide the corresponding allowances or benefits.

In France, the following types of leave are available for employees:

  • Maternity leave (congé maternité):
    • Duration: Minimum of 16 weeks
    • Start: Up to 6 weeks before the due date
    • Post-birth: Must continue for at least 8 weeks
    • Maternity allowance (indemnité de maternité): Based on salary, capped at a certain amount
  • Parental leave (congé parental):
    • Duration: Up to 3 years
    • Shared between parents
    • Unpaid
  • Paternity leave (congé paternité):
    • Duration: 25 days
    • Eligibility: Within the first 6 months after birth or adoption
    • Allowance (allocation journalière de paternité): Daily allowance provided by the French social security system
  • Family leave (congé familial):
    • Duration: Up to 3 months
    • Purpose: Caring for a sick child or family member
    • Unpaid

Sick Leave in France

Sick leave, also known as “arrêt maladie,” is a period during which employees are unable to work due to illness or injury and it allows them to take time off and recover without the risk of losing their job or income.

During sick leave, employees receive a daily allowance from the French social security system to compensate their loss of income. The duration and terms of sick leave are determined by the employment contract and collective bargaining agreement that cover the employee’s industry or sector.

  • Key points to note:
    • Sick leave can last up to a maximum of 6 months within a 12-month period.
    • Employees receive a daily allowance (indemnités journalières) from the French social security system during their sick leave.
    • The daily allowance is typically around 50-60% of the employee’s average daily salary.
    • The first 3 days of sick leave are unpaid, but after that, employees are entitled to receive the daily allowance.
    • To qualify for sick leave, employees must provide a medical certificate (certificat médical) from a qualified healthcare provider.
    • The medical certificate should state the nature of the illness or injury and the expected duration of the absence.
    • Employers may request periodic updates on the employee’s condition and expected return-to-work date.

Redundancy Payment in France

Employees who have been working for the same employer on an open-ended contract for a minimum of eight months are entitled to receive severance compensation if they are dismissed for economic reasons or personal circumstances. However, severance compensation is not applicable if the dismissal is due to misconduct or negligence.

The law establishes minimum standards for severance payments, ensuring a fair level of compensation., which is calculated based on the employee’s gross monthly salary before the termination of the contract and cannot be lower than the following thresholds:

  • 25% of gross monthly salary multiplied by years of seniority (up to 10 years).
  • 33.33% of gross monthly salary multiplied by years of seniority (11 or more years).

Gross monthly salary is calculated using the most favourable formula for the employee is used, which can be either:

  • Average monthly salary for the 12 months prior to termination (or all months if less than 12 months of service).
  • One-third of the monthly salary for the three months before termination.

In the latter case, any annual or exceptional bonus received by the employee should be considered proportionally to the period for which the bonus was paid. The severance payment is also adjusted based on the length of time the employee worked on a full-time or part-time basis.

 

Standard recruitment fees (retention)

Recruitment agencies in France typically charge a standard fee ranging from 20% to 30% of the total gross salary, which includes holiday pay. The specific percentage within this range can vary depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the role, the level of specialization required.

In the case of temporary recruitment, the fee is calculated differently, taking into account the specific costs associated with this type of employment.

 

Challenges when recruiting in the French market

The French recruitment process is particularly susceptible to certain obstacles and factors, such as increased competition for talent and complex labour laws, that must be navigated to ensure recruitment success.

Here are some key challenges employers may encounter when recruiting:

  • Strict labour laws: France has comprehensive labour laws that cover various aspects of employment, making compliance complex and time-consuming for employers unfamiliar with the French legal framework.
  • Language barrier: Despite English being widely spoken in multinational companies and major cities, language can still be a barrier during recruitment as many candidates prefer to communicate in French.
  • Competitive job market: Certain industries in France, such as technology, finance, and engineering, face talent shortages, making it challenging for employers to attract top candidates for specialized roles.
  • Cultural differences: Adapting to the French work culture, which emphasizes work-life balance, job security, and formalities, is vital for successful recruitment.
  • Administrative requirements: Hiring in France involves specific administrative obligations, such as obtaining work permits for non-EU nationals, which can be time-consuming and require assistance from legal and immigration experts.

In dealing with these aspects, working with legal advisors and recruitment experts familiar with the French market is extremely beneficial. Plus, investing in employer branding, networking, and maintaining a positive employer reputation are as well all important steps in attracting and retaining top talent.

 

Benefits of using Recruitment Agencies v Employer of Record Services

An Employer of Record (EOR) is an organisation that acts as an employer for legal and tax purposes. The EOR is legally responsible for paying international employees, as well as handling employee taxes, insurance, and benefits. The business where the employee works retains control over business operations.

A recruitment agency can also provide similar services but is usually responsible for hiring directly for the jobs and employees themselves, as well as managing contracts between employer and employee.

At Allen Recruitment, we are equipped to support various types of contracts, including permanent, temporary, and contract positions. We provide a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet the needs of both employers and employees. In France, we offer a complete in-house service, ensuring seamless operations and support. Our team includes local, bilingual staff who are ready to provide ongoing assistance. To accommodate the needs of our clients and employees, contracts are issued in both English and French, ensuring clear communication and understanding.

Our legal entity in France ensures local compliance with registration procedures, employment contracts, payroll, HR regulations and tax law.  We are equipped to source/headhunt and manage employees across France as well as hire and employ pre-identified candidates on your behalf. Our temporary employees are fully insured by us for the work they do for you.

We pay temporary workers on time, irrespective if you have paid us or not. Our billing solution is simple and convenient – we can bill clients in their preferred location and currency. We provide a full breakdown of fees with no hidden charges and at a lower cost than employer of record services.

To ensure a seamless onboarding experience, our team delivers localized support and can assist with additional services such as relocation support and governmental documentation. Temporary workers can also utilize our office facilities if needed, and we provide local technical support to equip them with the necessary tools for success.

We are experienced in sourcing and employing temporary staff for some of the biggest multinational companies in the world. We pride ourselves in proving the best experience for our client’s and temps, check out our reviews on Glassdoor to see for yourself!

 

Choosing Allen Recruitment

We think differently about recruitment and possess technological advantages that enable our recruiters to find better candidates faster. How? Our technology-led solution is built on leading machine learning search and automated communication/scheduling software.

Our solution is described as the future of recruitment and allows us to find and engage with the potential candidates that are currently considering changing positions.

Not only do we target local talent but also suitable candidates across many countries that may be interested in your role, company, and location – our candidate reach is truly global.

Our software also allows us to follow up with extensive pools of passive candidates who may be interested in your role or company but are currently sitting on the fence.

Trusted by many of the leading technology and finance companies across the globe since 1998, supporting their recruitment programs across multiple countries from our offices in Ireland, the UK, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Sweden and Belgium.

Sourcing in permanent, temporary and contract jobs with multinationals, early stage and local indigenous companies, providing an unrivalled and established recruitment service for our candidates and clients alike.

We specialise in a variety of areas, with experienced insights into areas such as desktop/network admin, software development, sales/marketing, business support, finance, customer service and HR/recruiter roles and much more.

 

Are you interested in learning more about employing fantastic talent in France, but you’re not sure where to start? Or perhaps you simply need a little help to get on your way? Then please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] or contact our Senior Growth Specialist, Orla:

Phone:                +33186260480 Ext 503
Email:                 [email protected]
Calendar:           https://calendly.com/orla-o



 

Employment cost comparison per country:

The data below is based on the role of Data Analyst with medium level experience (between 3 to 8 years). Employment cost calculation does not include potential costs, which might occur during and after termination of the employment such as: sick leave, severance pay, or similar.

The employment cost comparison is subject to change.

Country Gross Annual Salary (local currency) Gross Annual Salary in EUR Total Cost in EUR*
Ireland  EUR 50,030.00  € 50,030.00  € 55,558.28
United Kingdom  £ 61,521.00  € 69,159.45  € 79,666.77
Poland  PLN 111,360.00  € 23,750.30  € 28,376.90
Netherlands  EUR 55,216.00  € 55,216.00  € 65,350.24
Sweden  SEK 805,104.00  € 71,727.92  € 94,837.04
Spain  EUR 54,511.00  € 54,511.00  € 72,811.72
Belgium  EUR 84,060.00  € 84,060.00  € 125,239.80
France  EUR 72,289.00  € 72,289.00  € 110,244.69

* Total Cost in EUR = total employment cost for Employer (including taxes)

 

Local Terminology Reference Guide:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Blog / France

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