Answer ... French law provides for a statutory minimum wage applicable to all employees over 18 years old, called the ‘salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance’ (SMIC). This is a minimum hourly salary which is revised according to several readjustment mechanisms set out in the French Labour Code. As of January 2019, the SMIC is €10.03 gross.
In addition, industry-wide collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) generally set forth their own minimum wages per category of employee, which must be followed.
Answer ... Overtime pay is calculated based on the hourly rate applicable to the employee, with a surcharge. The applicable surcharges under French labour law are as follows:
- for the first eight hours of overtime (ie, between 35 and 43 hours per week) – an increased rate of 25%; and
- for all hours of overtime thereafter (ie, in excess of 43 hours per week) – an increased rate of 50%.
There is an annual overtime threshold which constitutes a trigger threshold for a mandatory compensatory rest period: beyond this limit, the employee must be granted a compensatory rest period in addition to the initial overtime payment. This annual overtime threshold is 220 hours, as set out by the French Labour Code.
CBAs may contain specific provisions in this regard.
Answer ... Pursuant to the French Labour Code, employees are entitled to a total of five weeks’ vacation (ie, 25 work days based on a five-day working week or 30 work days based on a six-day working week). The employee accrues 2.5 days every month (based on a six-day working week). In principle, vacation days are accrued from 1 June Y to 31 May Y+1, and are taken during the period from 1 June Y+1 to 31 May Y+2. However, with the employer’s express agreement, it is common practice to take vacation ‘by anticipation’ – that is, to take vacation days during the first year even if the vacation rights for the reference period have not been fully accrued.
In addition, employees are entitled to bank holidays and may have additional holiday depending on the applicable CBA.
Answer ... In France, employees are not entitled to ‘sick leave’ as such.
All employees who work for an employer in France must be affiliated with the French social security system and are thus covered (as well as their spouse, children and other dependants living under the same roof) by health insurance. The principal benefits are:
- reimbursement of a fixed percentage of medical, dental, para-medical, pharmaceutical and laboratory analysis expenses; and
- daily benefits designed to compensate them for any period during which they cannot work due to an illness or accident.
The daily benefits paid by the social security system in case of sick leave do not cover the full amount of the usual remuneration habitually earned by the employee. However, complementary benefits may be paid to the employee by the mandatory death and disability insurance body to which the employer is affiliated and contributes (‘régime de prévoyance’).
CBAs generally set forth specific provisions stating that in the case of employees with a minimum length of service, the employer must continue paying 100% of their remuneration for a certain period of time while they are on sick leave. The employer will then receive directly the daily benefits from the social security system, as well as the complementary benefits paid by the mandatory death and disability insurance body.
Answer ... The statutory age of retirement is 62. In some specific cases, it is possible to retire before that age – for example, in case of a long career or a disability. An employee may be forced to retire once he or she reaches the age of 70.