Hire employees and manage payroll in France

Our guide to employing in France.

Country Facts

The French Republic is a member of the European Union and the Eurozone, UN, the Group of Seven, the G20, NATO, the OECD and La Francophonie. Its nominal GDP in 2021 was 2.938 trillion USD, which makes it the seventh largest economy in the world. Its Human Development Index is at 0.901, which is categorized as very high, with a global ranking of 11th.

country

Capital

Paris

Currency

Euro (EUR)

Languages spoken

French

Population size (2020)

67,39 million

Ease of doing business (world bank ranking)

32

Cost of living index(2021)

80,62

Payroll frequency

Monthly

VAT - standard rate

20%

GDP - real growth rate(2020)

-7,86%

Employing in France

When hiring in France it is customary, but not obligatory, to register a local company, or a branch of an international company, when employing in France. A foreign employer not registering a local company is known as a SEF (“sans établissement en France”). Regardless of legal form the employer is obliged to contact the managing authority for French social security known as URSSAF (Union de recouvrement des cotisations de Sécurité sociale et d’allocations familiales). This is to ensure alignment with mandatory health insurance, retirement pensions and family allowances for employees. It is also obligatory to register with a pension organization, depending on the field of business activity.


Before the hiring takes place, minimum 48 hours in advance the company must complete a so-called DPAE (Déclaration Préalable à l’Embauche) which allows the employer to administer all formal activities in one go. It is found and submitted on the URSSAF website. The following components are necessary: copy of employee ID (and residence permit if not a Schengen area citizen), social security certificate, medical examination (obligatory for everyone and includes the employer’s registration with a local occupational health center (“centre de médecine du travail”).

Indefinite contracts are not obligatory, but by far the most common in France. The contract must specify:

  • the number of hours of work (legal working-time is 35 hours a week, or 151.67 hours per month, and hours beyond that are by law considered paid overtime, and specified in collective bargaining agreements).

  • Any probationary periods

  • Name of position occupied

  • Classification and remuneration details


If it is a fixed-term contracts (CDD) or a part-time contract, it must be in writing.

It is mandatory for the employer to subscribe to a health insurance (“mutuelle”) for all employees, which can either be provided by an insurance company or a pension organization. However, fixed-term employees (CDD) employed shorter than 12 months are not included. Depending on the employer’s business activity, it may also be mandatory to subscribe to a private accident and invalidity insurance (“Prévoyance”).

Cases of sick-leave and parental leave are partly paid by social security and depending on collective agreements the employer may have to pay an additional supplement.

List of Public Holidays - 2022

Date Holiday Name

1 January

New Years Day

18 April

Easter Monday

1st May

Labour Day / May Day

8 May

WW11 Victory Day

13 May

Ascension Day

24 May

Whit Monday

14 July

Bastille Day

15 August

Assumption of Mary

1 November

All Saints Day

11 November

Armistice Day

25th December

Christmas Day

Minimum wage

The statutory nationwide minimum wage (known as SMIC) in France is 10.25 euro (gross) per hour, which equals 1.554.58 euro (gross) per month for the standard 35-hour work week. For a 39 hour work week it amounts to 1.776.58 euro (gross) per month, which includes a 10% increase for the overtime hours.

Salary payouts

Salaries are most commonly paid out at the end of the month, but at the latest on the last day of the month. Some employers do however have a custom to pay out salaries at different times in the month.

Taxes in France

Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in France.

Employer

Corporate income tax rate : 26.5% (companies with a turnover below 250 million euro) or 27.5% (companies with a turnover above 250 million euro).

Health, Maternity, Disability, Death : 13.00%

Autonomy Solidarity Contribution : 0.30%

Old Age Insurance : 8.55% (ceiling of 3,311 EUR)

Family Benefits : 2.45% - 5.25%

Unemployment (ceiling of 13,244 EUR) : 4.05%

AGS (Wage Guarentee Insurance) : 0.15%

Total cost for employer : 28.5 - 31.3%

Employee

Old Age Insurance : 7,15% (8,65% if the employee is between 53-62 years old)

Health insurance : 6.90% (ceiling of 3,311 EUR)

Social Security Surcharge : 9.20%

Total Employee Cost : 16.10%

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