How to create offer letters for employees in France

Last Edited

October 16, 2023

Once the interview stage is over and you’ve selected the right candidate from the pool of applicants, the next step in the hiring process is to send this individual an offer letter.

A formal employment offer letter–called a fixed-term portage employment contract in France–is a crucial element when you’re trying to hire an employee in France. In this document, you’ll spell out the specific details of the position, ranging from working hours to job duties and salary, so the new team member is clear on your expectations and the benefits they’ll receive. The offer letter will also ensure you’re protected from the legal ramifications of not remaining compliant with French labor laws.

Here’s everything you need to send a legally compliant offer letter to hire a full-time employee in France.

France job offer letter checklist

  • Collective bargaining agreement. In the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) section, you’ll set forth company-specific terms for the new hire to accept. The agreement should cover bonuses, the probationary period, paid holidays, working hours, notice periods, dismissal compensation, and travel pay.
  • Position (job title), job description, commencement date, and trial period. Let the new employee know if your company requires them to undergo a trial – or probationary – period. In France, the length of time trial periods last depends on whether the job is fixed term or indefinite. If it’s the latter, probation generally lasts for about two to four months. Additionally, clearly state that during this time, the company can let the employee go for any reason.
  • Compensation and benefits.
    • Salary. Specify the employee’s annual salary in euros. You should also break this number down into the gross monthly remuneration and include information about incentive bonuses, business-related fees, and management fees.
    • Paid vacation. Clearly state how much paid vacation time the employee should expect each year, particularly if the company’s CBA offers more than the nationally mandated minimum of 30 days annually.
  • Working time. Let the employee know their expected working hours and the company’s overtime policies. France has strict laws concerning how many hours employees can be expected to work each week: The maximum for a five-day work week is 35 hours, and the daily cap is 10 hours. If their position requires them to work overtime, indicate whether the company will provide financial compensation – which must be a minimum of 110% of their regular wages with a CBA and 125% for the first eight hours without one – or time off in exchange for the extra hours. For more on working hours and overtime, read our guide to hiring in France.
  • Place of work. Indicate whether the new hire will be working on site or from home. Include the company’s policies on remote work, if applicable, as well as what the employee can expect from your organization when they’re setting up their working space (company-provided laptops, amount of monthly allowance for equipment upkeep, etc.).
  • Absence/sick days. Outline the company’s sick leave policy and what the employee can expect under your specific CBA. French labor law only requires employers to pay workers who are on sick leave if the latter is absent more than 3 days.
  • Supplementary pension and provident fund. Give the employee information on the legally mandated supplementary pension and provident fund your company provides, such as the name of the third-party organization you’ve contracted with.
  • Termination policy. Clearly explain your company’s termination policy, including the reasons an employee can be dismissed, how much notice they should expect to receive, and the process of terminating an employee. France does not permit at-will employment; employers must always have a justifiable reason for terminating workers and can be financially penalized for not giving one. Notice periods are based on both the CBA and the employee’s seniority, but they are typically about one to three months.
  • Non-compete and non-solicitation provisions. The employment contract should include information about the company’s policy on taking on multiple jobs. Under France’s Labour Code, businesses are only permitted to put non-compete provisions in place if they can prove that allowing employees to accept other posts simultaneously would directly harm the company. And, if workers are required to sign a non-compete, the company is legally obligated to pay them until the contract ends.
  • Confidentiality. The confidentiality clause should include specifics about company policies, including circumstances under which employees can reveal information considered to be confidential and exactly which materials and what information are included in the clause (resumes, patented applications, investment plans, etc.).
  • Financial guarantor. Inform the employee of the name of the third-party financial guarantor the company has contracted with. French businesses are generally expected to guarantee wages in the event that they go bankrupt or experience financial difficulties that put an employee’s pay in jeopardy.
  • Other legal provisions. This includes language around what work the employee produces will be owned by the company. These should ultimately be decided by your company's counsel.

How to hire and set up employees in France in 90 seconds—with Rippling

With Rippling, offer letters for employees in France, as well as contractor agreements, are automatically localized—no matter where your new hire is from. But that's just the beginning.

Whether you’re a US company looking to hire French workers, a French employer, or an employer based overseas, Rippling can help you hire, onboard, and set up employees in France within minutes through our entities or your own. 

Just click "hire" and Rippling can support your global payroll and hiring right out of the box:

  • Set up a localized France employment agreement
  • Pay employees and contractors in France and around the world—without waiting for bank transfers or conversions
  • Tailor your policies and benefits for France
  • Easily stay compliant with French overtime, leave, and minimum wage laws
  • Automate nearly any payroll process with custom workflows and reminders
  • Manage international employees’ time and attendance in a single system
  • Build unified reports using both domestic and international HR data

Rippling is the only platform that offers everything you need to manage a global workforce, all in a single system.

Disclaimer: Rippling and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any related activities or transactions.

last edited: October 16, 2023

The Author

Carrie Stemke

A freelance writer and editor based in New York City, Carrie writes about HR trends and global workforce management and is the Rippling content team’s expert on hiring know-how in Western Europe.