An employee is not allowed to work more than 10 hours per day except in certain circumstances;
• At the request of the employer, subject to the agreement of the labor inspector
• In case of emergency due to a temporary increase in activity
Employees cannot work more than a total of 48 hours in one week. Over a 12 week period, this cannot exceed 44 hours per week on average.
Employees are allowed a 20-minute break once they have worked 6 consecutive hours.
An employee is classed as a night worker if they work complete 3 hours of work at least twice a week, or 270 hours over a period of 12 consecutive months, between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am.
Employees can not work more than 8 hours at a time unless otherwise agreed with the employer. The total hours worked in a week cannot exceed 40 hours per week, based over a period of 12 consecutive weeks.
The minimum wage in France is a flat rate of €10.03 per hour. There are however some exceptions based on age:
• 17 to 18: 10% reduction (€9.03 per hour)
• Under 17: 20% reduction (€8.03 per hour)
Standard working hours in France are set to 35 hours per week or 1,607 hours per year. Any extra hours completed outside this would be deemed as overtime.
Unless agreed between the employer and the employee, there are set hourly rates for overtime:
• Increase of 25% for the additional first 8 hours worked in one week
• Increase of 50% after the initial 8 hours
If an employee is off sick, they can receive a daily allowance from their primary healthcare provider. The amount varies depending on the employee’s salary. Employees can also receive compensation of up to 90% of their salary from the employee.
For employees who are off on long term sick there are a few requirements depending on the length of sickness:
• They have worked at least 150 hours in the 90 days before going off sick
• Or to have paid social security contributions based on gross earnings equivalent to 1,015 times the minimum hourly wage in the last six months before going off sick
• They have worked at least 600 hours in the last 12 months before going off sick
• Or paid social security contributions based on gross earnings equivalent to 2,030 times the minimum hourly wage in this period
Employees in France receive 2.5 days of paid holiday for every month they work. This equates to 5 full weeks of holiday allowance a year. There are some limitations to when employees can take their holiday:
• Days taken at once cannot exceed 24 working days
• Employees must take 12 or more working days at once as their main holiday
There is a total of 11 public holidays in France unless you live in the Alsace region or the Moselle department that has an addition 2 days:
• New Year’s Day – 1st January
• Good Friday – Varied date but always a Friday (Alsace and Moselle only)
• Easter Monday – Varied date but always a Monday
• May Day – 1st May
• Victory in Europe Day – 8th May
• Ascension Day – Varied date but always a Thursday (39 days after Easter Sunday)
• Whit Monday – Varied date but always a Monday (50 days after Easter Sunday)
• Bastille Day – 14th July
• Assumption Day – 15th August
• All Saints’ Day – 1st November
• Armistice Day – 11th November
• Christmas Day – 25th December
• St Stephen’s Day – 26th December (Alsace and Moselle only)
Maternity leave lasts for 16 weeks, with 6 weeks being taken before the expected due date and 10 weeks once the baby is born. The duration of leave depends on the number of children the mother is waiting to have and how many she has already.
For example a family of 2 and waiting for a 3rd, the mother will receive 26 weeks maternity leave, with 8 weeks being taken before the birth and 18 weeks after.
If the mother is expecting multiple babies, then extra maternity leave is allowed:
Twins: 34 weeks with 12 weeks before and 22 weeks after
Triplets: 46 weeks with 24 weeks before and 22 weeks after
Paternity leave is given to an employee who is going to be a father or to the employee who is in a relationship with the mother. Paternity leave lasts 11 calendar days in a row and must begin within 4 months after the birth.