Employ Candidates Compliantly in France

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  1. Overview: France
  2. Global HR Compliance
  3. Global PEO and payroll
  4. Visa, work permit & immigration support
  5. Contractor vs. employee: which is better?
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Global HR Compliance in France

If you hire international workforce, or plan to hire, then Hiring and Firing Workforce in France Guide below will help you understand the nuances of labor legislation in the country.

There are two main reasons for companies hiring foreign workforce:

  • Expanding into foreign markets to sell company product or products there. In this case, companies hire sales representatives who would exclusively represent their product in the target market and sell it to their local client base.
  • Hiring the right foreign talent with a unique expertise, often related to IT sphere that cannot be found in the home country or that costs less compared to local specialist with similar skills.

After you have found the right candidate, the question is how to hire and provide compensation to this person so you as a business remain 100% compliant when working with global workforce. Another thing to consider is whether you want to keep the talent long-term and how you can do that.

If you need to hire foreign workforce in France so you can expand there, then our Global Employer of Record solution may be of help. We help you legally hire and reward your foreign workforce by making them employees via a global employment outsourcing service. This is simple as employ your in-house workforce with the only difference that workers can live anywhere in the world and Acumen International would be their legal employer on your behalf. This means we would bear all employment risks, not you. Also, we manage bonuses, vacations, sick leave and can rent the office and a car for your foreign sales representatives if that is what you need.

With our solution, you can test new foreign markets before deciding whether you are going to get established there. You gain flexibility and expand with reduced costs, and easily withdraw from the unattractive countries.

We are experts in global workforce employment in France, and our goal is to become your single provider. Instead of working with numerous local staffing agencies and legal advisors, Acumen International can solve your global business challenges and save you time, costs, and resources.

Our team of English-speaking professionals frees you from working through language nuances. Acumen International works 24/7 and can assist you whenever you need, regardless of time zones. Our goal is to create tailored labor solutions for you that are managed legally and in full compliance with the local employment laws.

With our knowledge and deep understanding of local nuances, you easily satisfy your need for skilled professionals in your global industry. With our qualified local partners, you can trust that your global workforce satisfies all local tax, social security, and immigration requirements in France.

Hiring and Firing Workforce in France Guide

Doing business in France could be onerous, owing to a lot of factors including legal business environment of the country. However, these challenges can be mitigated by simply hiring the services of an express global employment company. Being familiar with the regulatory makeup of the country we are readily available to lead you through every day challenges of doing business in France.

In this paper there is a quick guide on how to hire and fire an employee in France.

# Employment contracts

There are five main types of business contract in France:

  • Temporary work contract (used when short-term activities are required),
  • Part-time contract (for part-time jobs),
  • Full-time fixed term contract (for jobs that require a specified length of employment term, usually with nine months as the minimum),
  • Full-time permanent contact (for jobs that do not require a fixed term of employment, mostly long-term with three months of trial period),
  • Intermittent employment (for seasonal jobs).

Notwithstanding the type of contract, all the terms of employment should be clearly specified in a written contract and can only be amended (for economic reasons) after a notice has been given to the employee through a registered letter.

The employee on receiving the letter of amendment reserves the right to accept or refuse the proposal, one month from the day the letter is issued, otherwise, the employer can proceed with the amendment. In the case of refusal, the employer will have two options of either proposing a compromise or terminating the contract. The employee will be given a notice of dismissal and a redundancy pay (if he is over the minimum length of service).

# Minimum (Statutory) Employment Rules and Regulations in France

# Hours of work:
In general, working environment in France is remarkably flexible, especially with regards to working hours and days. According to the employment law in France, the working week is Monday to Friday and the working hours are between 8:30-9:30 and 17:30-19:00 a day (with an hour for lunch). The specific working days are selected based on the different needs, the type, size, location, culture of a company.

Most people in France work in average 40 hours a week. However, the standard working hours are 35 hours per week. Based on this standard, the number of working hours per month is 157.67 hours and employers can choose to adapt these hours to suit their distinct needs. This simply means that in different companies, employees can work more than 35 hours per week or less depending on their respective needs. However, employers must be careful to make sure no employee works more than 180 extra hours per year.


# Probation period:
The maximum employee trial period in France vary for different levels of position: for executives – four months, for supervisors and technicians, three months, for workers and employees, two months. These probation periods, based on the terms of the employment contract, can be renewed once (for the same duration).

An employment contract can be terminated during the trial period. To do this, an employer will have to give the employee 2 weeks’ notice in case the employee has over 1 month of continuous employment and 1 month if the period of employment exceeds 3 months.


# Annual leave
Employees are eligible for 30 days of paid vacation per year, ( 2.5 vacation days for each month worked out). This means that when an employee works for 24 months in a company, he/she will have the right to 2 months’ paid leave.

Some periods such as periods of absence due to an occupational accident, maternity or paternity leave, leave to compensate for overtime, leave for family reasons, etc., are considered as working period.

The period of annual leave can be flexible in that it can be based on the contractual agreement that is applicable to a given company. However, these periods must include the period between 1st May and 31st October. Based on the statutory employment provisions, an employee must take at least 12 working days of his/her main vacation consecutively, but, cannot take more than 24 working days leave at a time. Moreover, employees on annual leave are entitled to a pay equal to 1/10th of his/her total remuneration.


# Parental leave
Fathers take 11 consecutive days’ paternity leave for the birth of a child. Mothers, on the other hand, have the right to 6 weeks’ maternity leave -prior to the delivery date or 8 weeks leave in the case of complications, as well as 10 weeks leave after childbirth. For multiple births, mothers are entitled to 12 weeks’ and 24 weeks’ pre-natal leave respectively, as well as 22 weeks’ post-natal leave. If it is the third child, then the mother is expected to have leave of 8 pre-natal and 18 post-natal weeks. Child adoption attracts 10 weeks leave and in the case of multiple adoptions, the mother is entitled to 22 weeks leave and extra 18 weeks if the child is the third in the house.


# Sick leave
The amount to be paid during a sick leave largely depends on the employment type and type of sickness. For an employee to enjoy this benefit, he/she must first present a proof from the doctor and necessary authorities and make sure to comply with the rule specified by those authorities.


# Overtime
Every extra time worked by an employee attracts overtime payments which are usually fixed by contractual agreement. Employees who work extra hours are eligible for extra payment, which in most cases is 25% of their usual pay per hour for every first 8 hours and 50% rate for any additional hours. This overtime rate is not applicable to part-time employees or any other employees whose contract allows for extra working hours.


# State minimum salary
The standard minimum wage in France is € 1480.27. The basic salary must be agreed upon by both the employer and the employee prior to the employment appointment and should be included in the contract. Employers are obliged by the employment law to pay their employees their monthly payroll before or on the last day of the month as the latest.

# Employment termination

# Grounds
Employment contract termination which can be motivated by several reasons which might include but not limited to economic factors (e.g. Inability of the employer to pay the employee, technological changes, etc.), inability of an employee to fulfill his/her own part of the contract (e.g. incompetency at work), offensive reasons (e.g. dangerous behaviors to other employees and company at large), company liquidation, employee’s personal decision to discontinue with the terms of the contract, etc.

Irrespective of the reason for an employment contract termination, employers in France are never allowed to terminate their employees’ contract based on unreasonable reasons as discrimination, predilection, religious, political, ethnic reasons, etc.


# Termination procedures
For an employer to dismiss an employee, he must first invite the employee for an interview to discuss his dissatisfaction (reasons for the contract termination) and allow him to him/her to either accept or object the termination. As the employer decides to dismiss the employee, he must present a dismissal notice to him/her a day after the interview with the employee.


# Minimum entitlements
In case an employee feels he/she is unfairly dismissed, he has the right to report the dismissal to employee/union representative or employment tribunal. The employer might be requested to withdraw the dismissal and if he refuses, then he will be under obligation to pay the employee a compensation fee amounting to a compensation for damages (if the employee has worked for less than years) or nothing less than 6 months’ salary (if the employee has worked for 2 years or more).

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