Employing someone in France

9 Replies

We have a small business in Biarritz. Its tourist related and as such very seasonal. We feel we have grown big enough to employ someone although we are a bit nervous. It might very well be that we end up in winter not needing anyone. We have heard that the french government has come up with a new concept, a cheque or sorts that you can use to pay your staff with. Using this cheque you can avoid social charges and lay-off your staff in winter. Is this true?

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AlexR-94307 1123865463



However, this is really only good for someone like a cleaning lady who works maybe a couple of days a week.

I suggest you check with the URSSAF.

I think what you need is to establish a "contrat à durée déterminée" covering those months when the person works for you.

Unfortunately, French labour law is absurdly restrictive, and one musn't wonder at the high level of unemployment...

I run a small business, and I find advice given by my chartered accountant (expert comptable) very precious. Everything to do with labour relations is very tricky here, so I suggest you make sure before you take any steps.

Best regards,
Alex R.

Martin-94098 1123936530

Artichoke, to add to AlexR's comments, here is an INFOrmation Page covering the subject:

Employing Casual Labour in France

mike-94072 1123949945

A business-specific version of the chèque emploi is said to be on its way, but for the moment your only real choice for seasonal employeed is a CDD.


benh-94269 1123953250

We have used the "cheque d'emploi' for years for gardeners and the like.  You are legal, it does not seem to be more expensive than being "on the black", it counts towards the person's "NI" AND you can claim tax back if you pay tax in France.

You just go to your bank and ask for them.  You get a special cheque book and behind each is a form you send off to an office (addressed envelopes supplied).

It is very simple.

mike-94072 1123954205

Yes, but the chèque emploi isn't applicable for businesses employing staff; it's really only appropriate for part-time domestic employees.


artichoke-94308 1124020852

This has been very helpful. I would still like to know a little more about the new law the the new prime minister is pushing through. As I understand it, one will be able to employ someone on a CDD for two years and be able to sack them for no reason during that 2 year period. This way I could break through the 6 month CDD barrier and gain an extra month. I was sure there was a cheque book of sorts that came with the scheme that lightened the admin burden on engaging someone.

mike-94072 1124041988

There isn't a 6-month CDD barrier...


artichoke-94308 1124096630

Can't think why I was under the impression you could employ someone for two 3 month terms under a CDD before being compelled to engage them under a CDI.

Wendy-Brighton-973406 1614073719

so you employ your staff on zero hour contracts ?

shame on you 

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