HR Consultancy Services in France

IRIS HR Consulting has experience helping businesses grow in France. Without expert guidance, it can otherwise be risky and costly to leave local laws and legislation open to interpretation. For a scalable, compliant operation, IRIS can manage your HR in France to help you hire, recruit, and pay staff overseas in new, unfamiliar countries. As a popular destination for businesses, IRIS can navigate local barriers – from culture to compliance – to arrive at a rewarding opportunity for your business to thrive in this exciting marketplace.

Take your business to France with the help of our specialist HR consultants at IRIS.

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    Global Expansion in France

    As the largest country in the European Union, and one that’s geographically interconnected, France has enjoyed its major role as a host to, and stimulus for, foreign investment from around the globe. Not only is France’s setting conducive for strong business, but its developed economy and historical partnerships across Europe make it a favourable destination for business.

    Establishing a business in France can be relatively quick and easy, so long as steadfast compliance is met with local legislation and legal frameworks. France is known for being resourceful (including agricultural activity) and this country has, over the years, attracted investment from a range of industries, such as financial and private banking (HSBC, for example) or aerospace developments. Its culture for innovation and history of economic strength are two key entwining pillars that fortifies investment in France.

    A Guide to Employing Staff in France

    Everything you need to know about the employment laws and compliance requirements in this country


    France’s Trade Relations

    The freedom of investing in France is relatively open and non-restrictive, enabling business growth to continue unimpeded. France has a developed supportive system that will recognise any business structure, meaning that foreign investment and operations in France enjoy robust legal protection. With minimal ‘red tape’, and attractive investment freedoms, projects can develop and grow through France’s inexpensive and simple business environment.

    Establishing Your Business in France

    Embarking on a global expansion is a strategic move to gain extra value from exciting foreign markets, which are constantly evolving and full of opportunity. But the international stage isn’t always easy to navigate.

    For example, French employment law is driven by the Labour Code (or Code du Travail), where the Labour Code is typically supplemented by Collective Bargaining Agreements.

    Before establishing your operation in this French market, you must ensure compliance with employment law.


    French Employment Laws

    When first expanding your business into France, navigating local laws, legislation and rules of employment is no mean feat, especially if you’re unfamiliar with its policies. Throughout Europe, these laws are almost never universal. Rather, employment is dynamic and reflects the country’s social, economic and cultural opportunities.

    Did you know?

    French employees are generally classified into four areas based on qualifications, experience, skills, and the conditions and compensation associated with their role.

    HR in France

    Hiring & Recruitment in France

    When getting your first hire overseas, you will need to negotiate terms of employment. But that requires local knowledge, strict compliance, and an understanding of what to include in an offer.

    For foreign hires, the employer bears responsibility to ensure that all employees are authorised to take up roles in France. Once this is obtained, evidence must be submitted to the nearest Prefecture.

    Those who are EU (European Union) or EEA (European Economic Area) or Swiss nationals will not be required to obtain permits for work, unless they do so on a secondment in France.

    Other non-EEA nationals must obtain permits for employment, which adheres to local labor regulation.

    Work Visas in France

    Residents from the EU and those in the EEA, including Norway and Lichtenstein, do not need a work visa to undertake employment in France. Employees will need to know the proper visa before working in France. Types of visa include:

    • Short-term visa (visa de court sejour)
    • Long stay visa (visa de long sejour)
    • Corporate executive visa
    • Intra-group transferee card
    • EU Blue Card

    Each visa has its own requirements, so it’s important that employees know how visa categories may affect them.

    Employment Rights & Contracts in France  

    The term of employment should justify the contract. In the scenario of a contract on an indefinite term, the contract should be either written or oral. Yet, with fixed term or part-time, a written contract should capture conditions of employment (and contracts should be written in French to validate the employment).

    Typically, a contract should mention the following:

    • Name(s)
    • Date of Employment
    • Company’s registered office and employee’s location of work
    • Employees professional category
    • Job Description
    • Details of remunerations
    • Hours of Work
    • Term
    • Details of notice periods
    • Vacation entitlements
    • Applicable collective agreements
    • Confidentiality Information & Propriety Information Rights

    Equal Opportunities in France

    All working parties are protected and guided under the French Equal Opportunities and Anti-Discrimination Commission (la Haute autorité de lutte contre les discriminations et pour l’égalité or HALDE), thereby responding to any workplace misconduct in the form of discrimination.

    What are the working hours in France?

    Employers must establish working time arrangements, which vary by CBA and employee classification. It is worth reviewing the different working time arrangements available under the applicable CBA in line with an employee’s classification and agree on a scheme that would suit the company’s operational requirements.

    Overtime in France

    Any hours worked over the weekly 35 hour threshold, and expressed by seniority, will be counted as overtime, and payable at the rate of overtime as disclosed by the business.

    Public Holidays in France

    There are in principle 11 public holidays (jours fériés) each year as follows:

    • New Year’s Day – 1 January
    • Easter Monday
    • Labour Day – 1 May
    • Victory in Europe Day – 8 May
    • Ascension Day – 40 days after Easter
    • Whit Monday – 7th Monday after Easter
    • Bastille Day – French National Day – 14 July
    • Assumption Day – 15 August
    • All Saints Day – 1 November
    • Armistice Day – 11 November
    • Christmas Day – 25 December

    Employees are typically entitled to paid leave on bank holidays. 

    Vacation or Annual Leave

    This entitlement typically covers 5 weeks of paid leave per year. Although, ‘holiday’ allowance or annual leave must not deviate from the yearly allowance, and as such unspent vacation will not accrue over time.

    Sick Leave in France

    Where there is a non-occupational injury or illness, employees should notify their employers within 48 hours, including a medical certificate to verify the severity of the condition. During leave, employees are entitled to social sick pay and partial reimbursement of health expenses. 

    Maternity Leave in France

    The mandatory leave for maternity is set at eight weeks in France. Yet, women are entitled for up to 16 weeks of maternity absence (congé maternité); the arrangement is typically that of six weeks prior to birth, and ten weeks thereafter.

    Paternity in France

    For adoptions, fathers can take 3 days absence from work for the birth of a child; new fathers, however, can receive up to 11 (consecutive) days of absence for new-borns, although this must be used within four months of the birth or adoption.

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    End of Service

    HR in France requires compliance not only during an employee’s service, but also at the end of it. End of service might include severance, termination, redundancy, and leaving packages. Or, for globally mobile companies with teams in foreign markets, this could be repatriation services for those returning from an assignment overseas.

    For these more complicated matters, you will need expert HR guidance to navigate French labor laws and remain compliant.

    Working in France

    Termination (including Severance) in France  

    The terms and conditions of termination, including any severance allowance, should be either notified in the contract, including any obligations for the employer and employee, or expressed to the employee orally.

    Social Security

    France has a comprehensive social security system that provides support for the following:

    • Healthcare
    • Injuries at work
    • Family allowances
    • Unemployment insurance
    • Old age pension
    • Invalidity and death benefit

    Typically, contributions are taken from both employer and employee.


    Supplemental Benefits

    Commuter Allowance

    Employees are legally entitled to claim a commuter allowance at 50% of the cost of their public transportation passes/cards that they use to go to work.

    Health Insurance (Mutuelle) – Mandatory

    All employees must be enrolled into a corporate medical insurance plan, as per guiding legislation. These normally provide coverage for the following:

    • Dental
    • Vision
    • Maternity
    • Surgery

    Death & Disability Insurance (Prevoyance) – Mandatory

    Similar to policy regarding health insurance, it is an obligation to enrol employees onto a Death and Disability scheme, known locally as Prevoyance.


    Why Partner With IRIS?

    When entering new, exciting countries around Europe, like France, you will need an employment specialist to navigate the parts of local laws that are mandatory and those that are not. Delivering a compliant solution, IRIS can help your business arrive into new marketplaces whilst protecting your workforce – our partners can discover power and protection through us.

    Overseas expansions can seem risky to those who dare it alone. Understanding the complexity of a fully compliant solution, IRIS can help businesses reach Europe, especially when they build bridges in France.

    Our cost-effective, knowledgeable approach to HR in France makes us an ideal partner to commence your overseas plans.