Global HIRING & employment

Hire employees in France in 90 seconds

Normally, setting up a corporate entity abroad is a long, expensive process. But through Rippling’s EOR entities, you can start hiring and working with people abroad quickly and compliantly.

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Time Zones

Central European Time (CET)


2 additional

3 Time Zones

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1. Hiring in France

Onboarding in France usually takes a week or longer. Contracts must be in writing, in French (or bilingual), and signed by both parties. Rippling EOR takes the guesswork out of contracts by providing locally reviewed employment agreements.

Common hiring mistakes to avoid 

1. Terminating employment at will.

French employers are prohibited from letting employees go without cause. Whether for personal or economic reasons, termination procedures are heavily regulated in France, with mandatory notice periods, formal termination processes, and important paperwork that must be completed. In addition, employees are entitled to a dismissal indemnity or termination payout.

A mutual separation process exists, which allows the employer and employee(s) to mutually end their employment relationship on agreed terms. 

2. Underestimating the complexity of French labor laws.

Employee rights and entitlement are dictated by a combination of France’s labor code and constitution, union-negotiated collective bargaining agreements, and company-level agreements. The laws are both complex and highly protective of workers. 

Foreign employers should verify and inform themselves of legal requirements for employment, social security, benefits, and payroll before taking action. Relying on “common sense” is insufficient in France. 

3. Not consulting the Social and Economic Committee.

French companies who have had 11 or more employees for more than 12 consecutive months must hold elections for a Social and Economic Committee, which needs to be informed and consulted in a number of circumstances, including if a project is restructured or the workforce is downsized. 

4. Minimizing the significance of cultural differences.

Some work cultures extol excessive overtime hours and unused vacation days as virtues.  In France, however, you should expect employees to take all of the vacation days and breaks they are entitled to, and you should be prepared to discuss employees’ workloads with them on a regular cadence. This is directly regulated by the French Labor Code and shouldn’t be assimilated as “nice to have.”

5. Forgoing legal advice.

French labor attorneys can set up adequate worker protections and minimize an employer's exposure to claims. Always seek counsel for special projects like business transformations, restructuring, mergers, acquisitions, and outsourcing.

2. Benefits

Common hiring mistakes to avoid 

In France, most of the mandatory benefits are taken through payroll and social contributions. France has a universal healthcare system. 

  • Healthcare. The healthcare system covers 70% to 100% of most medical costs. Employers contribute to the national plan and must make extra payments towards at least half the cost of private health insurance for all its employees.
  • Providence fund. On top of the healthcare plan, the Providence fund consists of a life and disability plan covering short-term and long-term disability or incapacity, as well as in case of death.
  • Retirement. Employers and employees jointly contribute to France's social security system, which helps fund retirement plans. Companies also contribute a small percentage of an employee's gross salary for a supplementary pension.
  • Unemployment. Employers and employees jointly contribute through payroll to the Unemployment Fund. Depending on the type of termination, the employee may benefit from an unemployment indemnity.
  • Paid time off. This includes vacation, RTT days (extra rest days on top of the annual leave), public holidays, and family events (bereavement, weddings, etc.).
  • Compensated time off. Sick leave, parental leave (including maternity, paternity, adoption), disability leave, etc.

3. Pay

Rippling EOR ensures you’re compliant with minimum wage requirements federally and across France.

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Minimum wage

France's hourly minimum wage for employees aged 18 and older is €11.27 (2023). 

Age of employee

Hourly minimum wage (€) in 2023

18 and above




16 and below


Minimum wages and salaries can also be dictated by the CBA applicable to the employee.


France has a legal work week of 35 hours. Depending on the Employment Agreement, employees can have a work week between 35 and 39 hours. Employees who agree to work beyond that threshold are, based on the French Labor Code, paid 25% more for each of the extra first eight hours, and 50% more for any additional working hours. However, a company agreement can set a different rate but it cannot be less than 10% of the initial hourly rate. Overtime hours are paid each month. 

Depending on the type of employee and the applicable CBA, some employees are on daily working arrangements (forfait-jours) and not eligible for overtime compensation.  

Working week

Depending on the industry and sector of activity, a work week can fall between Monday—Friday or Monday—Saturday. Rest periods must be respected in any case. 

Payroll frequency

France follows a monthly payroll cycle. While not required by law, some French employers provide a "13th month" salary as an end-of-year bonus. 

4. Terminations


Employees can only be dismissed with cause. A real and serious reason must be motivated and justified. 

Some dismissals are based on economic grounds (e.g. redundancy) and others on personal grounds:

  • Disciplinary dismissals based on faults, such as ordinary, serious, or gross misconduct.
  • Dismissals based on other reasons such as poor performance or professional incapacity.

They can also work with employers to terminate their contract by mutual consent, which is formalized by each party signing a government form that must be verified by a work inspector. 

Employers must always provide terminated employees with three documents: 

  • Work certificate to confirm identity, dates of employment, and the position(s) held.
  • A form authorizing workers to claim unemployment.
  • An account balance listing the amount paid to the employee upon termination.

The minimum notice period for termination depends on the length of employment, seniority level, and the applicable CBA. The statutory minimum is:

Employment tenure

Minimum notice period

6 months to 2 years

1 month

2 years and above

2 month


Terminated employees are entitled to severance pay if they've worked at the company for at least eight months. The amount owed depends on the length of employment and is calculated based on the average monthly salary over the last year or last three months, whichever is higher. Employees often get 25% of that value for their first 10 years of service, and one-third of that value for each additional year. 

But the exact terms vary according to different employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements, and can also depend on cause, as well as the employee's level of seniority. The French government has an online severance calculator to help determine what's owed. 

5. Time Off

Rippling EOR automatically flags non-compliant sick leave policies and tells you how to fix it. If you'd like to give your employees more leave to match policies in other countries, you can do that too.

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Sick leave

  • Employees must provide a doctor's note within 48 hours of their sickness, or they will not qualify for the payments mentioned below. 
  • France’s Social Security Health System pays out a daily benefit to employees on sick leave.
    • If an employee has worked for the employer for less than a year, social security will pay up to 50% of the employee’s salary, from the fourth day of illness onwards.
    • However, if they have worked for the employer for more than a year, Social Security will still pay up to 50% of the employee’s wages, and the employer  will pay the difference to equate to a total of 90% of their salary for the first 30 days of illness. After the first 30 days, if the employee’s illness remains the employer’s compensation will drop to 67% for the next 30 days (for one to five years of service).
    • From days one to three, typically no sick payments are owed to the employee from either the employer or Social Security (unless otherwise stated in the CBA or the company agreement). Social Security applies a waiting period of three days before any payments can be made. 
  • The employee will only receive the employer supplement payment on the eighth day of their illness (as there is a waiting period of seven calendar days). However, if it is an occupational accident/disease they should receive the employer supplement.
  • If an employee has five or more years of service, they may have entitlement to longer employer supplement payment periods from day one.  
  • In addition, the employee may be entitled to life and disability compensation through their insurance provider.

Maternity Leave

French employees are entitled to up to 16 weeks of maternity leave: six weeks prenatal and 10 weeks postnatal for a first birth. Employees may choose to reduce their maternity leave, but they're required to take at least eight weeks of leave—six of them after the child is born. Maternity leave is commonly taken in full.

Mothers can get additional time off when expecting a third child (26 weeks), birthing twins (34 weeks) or triplets (46 weeks), or experiencing any childbirth-related health issues. 

The amount paid by Social Security, disbursed biweekly, is equal to an employee's past three months of average income, up to, in 2023, €88.84 net per day (€95.22 gross per day, minus Social’s contribution of 0.5 % for CRDS and 6.2% for CSG). 

Paternity Leave

Employees, as fathers or legal co-parents, are eligible for 25 calendar days of paternity leave compensated by Social Security and three working days of Childbirth Leave, paid by the employer.

Paternity leave can be longer in case of multiple children, up to a maximum of 32 calendar days.

A first mandatory period of four calendar days (paid by Social Security) must be taken right after the Birth Leave of three paid working days from Monday through Saturday (paid by the Employer). The remaining 21 or 28 calendar days (paid by Social Security) may be taken in one go, or in two periods at most, and must be taken during the next six months following the birth. 

The amount paid by Social Security, disbursed biweekly, is equal to an employee's past three months of average income, up to, in 2023, €88.84 net per day (€95.22 gross per day, minus Social’s contribution of 0.5% for CRDS and 6.2% for CSG). 

Parental Education

After maternity and paternity leave, employees with at least a year of service are entitled to unpaid parental education leave. The duration of the leave is one year maximum but can be renewed twice for a single child.

The leave can be taken on a part-time basis or full-time. The employee is eligible for an allowance through the Family Allowance Fund (CAF). 

Paid Time Off

  • Vacation. Full-time French employees get a minimum of five weeks paid vacation every year. Many collective bargaining agreements offer more.
  • Bereavement leave. Employees get seven work days off, paid by the employer, if a child under 25 dies. They get three days upon the death of a partner or close relative.
  • Family leave. French workers get an additional three days of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, four days for a wedding, and one day for a child's wedding.
  • Business creation leave. If employed at the same company for two years, French employees who are starting a new business can take up to one year of unpaid leave.
  • Sabbatical leave. After three years of continuous service, French employees are entitled to between six and 11 months of unpaid sabbatical leave.

"Right to Disconnect"

In 2017, France implemented a law giving employees license to ignore any work-related calls or emails during their time off. 

6. Employer Costs

France Employer Costs

Sickness Maternity Invalidity Death


Supplementary Incapacity Invalidity Death


Retirement Pension


Family Benefits


Unemployment Insurance


Occupational Medicine


Complementary Health Benefit


Workplace Accidents and Occupational Illnesses


Social Security Capped


Social Security Uncapped


Other Contributions


Solidarity Fund


Supplemental Life and Disability

1.5% (up to €43,922) and 0.845% after that

Supplemental Health Insurance (M/D/V)

€68.08 PEPM

“Basic” General Social Security Pension (managed nationally by the CNAV and locally by the CARSAT, which are both state agencies)

10.45% up to £43,922, 1.9% after

AGIRC ARRCO (Mandatory Pension)

6.26% up to £43,922, 14.82% after


48.4% or less + mandatory supplemental benefits and CBA requirements

7. Employee Taxes

French employees pay income taxes at progressive rates ranging from 0% to 45%, plus an additional 3% of any income above €250,000. 

8. Holidays

According to French labor law, the country has 11 public holidays: New Year's Day, Easter Monday, Labor Day, Victory Day, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Bastille Day, Assumption Day, All Saints Day, Armistice Day, and Christmas. 

While Labor Day (May 1st)  is the only statutory paid holiday, it's customary for most employers to grant the other days as paid time off.

French law also provides for a solidarity day, an additional day of unpaid work that was created in order to finance actions promoting the autonomy of the elderly or disabled. Traditionally, it is on Whit Monday but, if the applicable CBA does not require otherwise, employers can designate any other public holiday as the solidarity day, except for May 1st. 

Regions such Alsace-Moselle and DOM-TOM have extra bank holidays, in addition to the holidays mentioned above.

9. Independent Contractor Classification

How to ensure independent contractors are properly classified as such. (And avoid fees, taxes, and fines.)

According to case law, the following factors may be indicative of an employment relationship:

  • The contractor performs the role under the subordination of the company (i.e. the contractor receives orders and instructions from the company, which monitors performance and may discipline the contractor; and the contractor is integrated within the community of employees of the company).
  • The contractor’s compensation is not set on a flat-rate basis but is related to the number of hours of work performed.
  • The company provides the contractor with the tools or material resources needed to perform the mission.
  • The mission entrusted to the contractor does not require a specific expertise or know-how that the company does not have internally.

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.