France flag France: Operating a Business in France

Work conditions in France

The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 30,438,69130,385,85930,033,626

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

Total activity rate 71.60%72.01%71.82%
Men activity rate 75.66%75.90%75.44%
Women activity rate 67.64%68.22%68.30%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

For Further Statistics
INSEE statistics on work
For Further Information About the Labour Market
ILO, International Labour Organisation
Studies and research of the Ministry of Employment

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
35 hours
Retirement Age
67 years of age, but as soon as the employee has paid enough into the compulsory retirement scheme, she/he can leave her/his job any time after age 62.
Working Contracts
The permanent contract (CDI) is the type of contract which is most often used.
The fixed-term contract (CDD) makes it possible to employ temporary workers.
The Contrat Nouvelle Embauche (New Hiring Contract) is a new form of CDI where the rules for breach of contract are more flexible for employers during the first two years in exchange for the payment of a 10% indemnity for the employee.
Labour Laws
Consult the Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labour regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
In 2022, the minimum gross monthly wage is € 1,603.12 according to Service Public (lastest available data).
Average Wage
In 2020, the average net annual wage reached € 29,070 according to INSEE (latest available data).
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: Employer contribution varies depending on the size, type and location of businesses to about 50% of gross pay.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: About 20% of the gross wage

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Social Partners

Employer Associations
CPME - Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises
MEDEF - Leading Network of Entrepreneurs in France
Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
In France negotiations take place at the national, sectorial and company levels. French labour law provides an extensive institutional role for employee representatives and for organised labour. Strikes are common in France and are part of the social fabric.
Labour Unions
The CGT, general labour confederation
The CFDT, French democratic labour confederation
FO, workers' union
The CFTC, French Christian workers' confederation
The CFE-CGC, management confederation-general confederation of managers
The UNSA, national union of autonomous unions
Unionisation Rate
Today 8% of French employees belong to a union (5% in the private sector and 14% in the public sector). That is twice as few as 25 years ago, yet the unions remain strong and active.
Labour Regulation Bodies
The Ministry of Labour, Employment, Professional Training and Social Dialogue

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Latest Update: May 2024