Gibson Watts Global: PEO & EOR Services


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As a Global PEO & EOR service provider, we pride ourselves on our global reach, in-country knowledge, and ability to swiftly and efficiently mobilize workers around the world. Our robust PEO/EOR covers everything from global HR, payroll, compliance, in-country support, immigration, visas, and more.

Get started and hire in France today with Gibson Watts Global.

  • France is known for its unique foods. In fact, the nation eats 25,000 tons of snails every year!
  • The home of many tourist hotspots, it may not come as a surprise that France is the most visited country in the world. Amassing 89 million tourists every year.
  • Arts are an integral part of French culture, and the nation has won the most Nobel prizes for its literature.

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A fantastic economy with a perfect lifestyle

The home of iconic landmarks, groundbreaking art and literature, great food, ski resorts, and beautiful scenery, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy in France.

Expats and foreign businesses are continuously drawn to France on account of its fantastic economy and lifestyle. Also, as of 2015, setting up a business in France has become easier than ever.

Setting up a business in France is cheaper, quicker, and less laborious than most other nations in the G20 (according to the EY G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer). Partnering with a France PEO partner like Gibson Watts Global can also provide full support every step of the way, allowing foreign businesses to get set up in France without a local entity in the country.

Working in FRANCE

Employment Information

The standard working week for full time employees is 35 hours per week and the maximum working week is 48 per week including overtime. Employees can work up to 220 hours of overtime per year provided they are granted compensatory resting time and paid for overtime.

  • The 48-hour maximum does not apply to many senior and specialist positions.

The minimum monthly wage from 1st January 2021 is €1’554.58 gross per month based on a 35-hour week. Collective agreements may provide for higher minimum wages.

Social Security: Employer social contributions can total up to 60% of the gross remuneration. Employee social contributions total approximately 35% of the gross remuneration.

Employment contract details: Contracts must be written in French to be legally valid. Bilingual wording is permitted if requested by the employee. Contracts must always be in writing and specify the type of employment agreed, trial period, restrictive covenants, bonuses, and notice.

Contract backdating: Contracts must be signed 7 days before starting work. No backdating is possible.

Fixed-term contracts: Fixed-term contracts are permitted in limited circumstances and can be renewed twice without exceeding a total maximum period of 18 months. The use of a fixed term contract may require justification.

Probation Periods: Probation varies according to the position of the employee. Probation for blue-collar employees can be maximum two months; three months for supervisors, technicians, and cadres.

Probation periods are renewable once for two or three months provided it is included in the contract.

Fixed-term contracts can also include a probationary period, but this may not exceed a day per week of the contract duration and must be limited to two weeks in case of a contract lasting six months or less; and up to one month for contracts lasting more than six months.

Holiday and Sickness Leaves

Statutory paid holiday entitlement corresponds to 30 days per year for employees working 6 days a week or 25 for those working five days only. Collective bargaining agreements often provide for an additional holiday bonus related to seniority.

Employee remuneration must be maintained during sick leave for a certain length of time depending on the employee’s seniority. Employees must submit a medical certificate and a document called the ‘work stoppage notice’ to be entitled to pay during sick leave.

The first three days are unpaid and from the fourth day a social security benefit is paid if the employee has at least one year of service and meets minimum requirements relating to contribution. This benefit corresponds to 50% of the employee’s normal basic pay. From the 8th day until the 38th day the employer must top up the social security benefit to 90% of normal earnings and then to 66.66% for the following 30 days. The 30-day payment period is increased by 10 days for every five complete years of service up to a maximum of 90 days.

Parental Leave

Maternity: Minimum maternity leave is 16 weeks. Normally 6 weeks are taken before birth and 10 weeks after the baby is born however the pre-natal leave period can be decreased by up to three weeks so that post-natal period can be increased. Mothers undergoing multiple births are entitled to maximum 24 weeks before childbirth and 22 weeks after childbirth. Collective agreements may grant additional maternity leave.

During maternity leave, employees receive a maternity benefit from the social security authorities if certain conditions are met. The benefit corresponds to the average basic pay of the preceding three months, up to a ceiling of €87.71 (for 2019). Whilst employers are not required to pay salary during maternity leave according to statutory provisions, some collective agreements may bind the employer to do so.

Paternity: Fathers can take a minimum of 11 consecutive days’ paternity leave and up to 18 days in case of multiple childbirths, within four months following the birth. Fathers receive a daily allowance from the social security authorities and the employer is not obliged to maintain the employee’s remuneration during leave although some collective agreements may require the employer to do so.

Parental: Parents share parental leave, which is unpaid and can last between one and three years (depending on the circumstances, such as multiple births, the leave may be extended to six years). It is granted for an initial period of one year, which may be extended twice – until the child turns three. The condition to be fulfilled is that the employee must have at least one year of seniority in the organization at the date of birth of the child. Similar parental leave rights apply in the case of adoption.

Alternatively, if not taking parental leave, an employee may opt to work part-time (minimum of 16 hours per week) for the same period (between one and three years).

During maternity and parental leave, it is customary for employers to compensate the employee with full salary.

Unused sick leave can be carried over into a following year of employment, however employers don’t usually have to pay employees for unused sick leave at the end of an employment term.

Public Holidays (as of 2022)

  • Jan 1 New Year’s Day
  • Apr 18 Easter Monday
  • May 1 Labour Day
  • May 8 Victory Day 1945
  • May 26 Ascension Day
  • Jun 6 Whit-Monday
  • Jul 14 French National Holiday
  • Aug 15 Assumption Day
  • Nov 1 All Saint’s Day
  • Nov 11 Armistice Day 1918
  • Dec 25 Christmas Day

Please note the above lists the national public holidays, additional regional holidays may also apply, Collective agreements may also grant additional days.

Cultural Information

French culture is renowned for its politeness and etiquette. Punctuality is uncommon in France, and it is considered customary to turn up to business meetings and social events 15 minutes late. Food, politics, and art are 3 common topics of conversation, but one should avoid discussing money.

Over half of France’s population align with the Roman Catholic Church, however a minority of these practice the religion.

Generally, expats arriving in France should learn a few French words and not assume that everyone will speak English.

Impacts from COVID-19

Compared to other European nations such as Germany and Italy, adoption of remote working in France has been relatively low. Despite this, advancements in French teleworking have been significant because of the pandemic.

France has also achieved high vaccination rates, with around 79% of the population being fully jabbed against COVID-19 (as of 2022).

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