Labor Law in France

In France is the shortest working week in EU – only 35 hours in all types of companies. 

Contract of work
Entering into an open-ended contract of employment is not subject to any formal conditions. It does not therefore need to be in writing and can be in any form agreed to by the parties. Under French law, the essential aspects of a contract of employment are traditionally the identities of the parties, the employee’s job title, the pay and the place of work. The employee must be by the France law informed in writing of certain aspects:
• identities of the parties
• place of work
• title, grade, nature or category of the work
• date of commencement of the contract
• expected duration of the work if it is a temporary contract
• amount of paid leave
• length of periods of notice
• information regarding the salary and the frequency of its payment
• working hours
• collective agreements governing the conditions of employment

Working hours
In France is since 1 July 2002 the legal length of the working week 35 hours in all types of companies. The working day may not exceed 10 hours. The maximum working day may be extended to 12 hours under a collective agreement. In principle, no more than 48 hours a week may be worked. Overtime payments are:
• 25 % an hour for each of the first eight hours of overtime
• 50 % extra for each hour after that
Night work performed between 21 hours and 6 hours may not in principle exceed 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week (44 hours if governed by decree or collective agreement). Night work is compensated with weekly rest days or extra pay.

Minimum wages
The minimum wages in France is since 1. 7. 2008 the amount 1 321 EUR per month.

Ending employment
The contract can be terminated in various ways:

  • by expiry of the agreed term
  • notice by employer or employee
  • termination by mutual agreement
  • setting aside of the contract by the cantonal court
  • death of the employee

Reasons for termination of contract in France are, for instance:
• resignation
• termination by mutual consent
• retirement
• individual dismissal
• judicial termination
• settlement
The employer in France can decide to retire any worker at age 65.

In France all workers have a right to paid leave once they have worked at least 1 month during the years. Workers are then entitled to two-and-a-half working days leave for each month worked five weeks of paid leave per year worked. France has 10 public holidays.

Bc. Petr Gola

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