Hiring Your First Employee In France

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For all employees except cadres a maximum working time is 35 hours per week. The working time of cadres can be extended beyond 35 hours per week and is be subject to a yearly quota of days, called “forfait jours” (usually from 216 to 218 days) which is usually more flexible than the 35 hours. Working time has become an extremely technical area of French employment law and you should seek advice if you wish to extend working hours beyond 35 hours per week.

How long would you like the trial period to last?

A recent law has extended the length of time for probationary periods applicable to indefinite term contracts. The maximum duration of the probationary period depends on whether the employee is a cadre or not.

A cadre can be given to a 4-month trial period whereas ouvriers et employés” (blue collars workers) can be given to a 2-month trial period and “agents de maîtrise” (technicians and lower supervisors) to a 3 month-trial period. The trial period can be renewed once for the same duration if provided for in any applicable collective bargaining agreement and explicitly in the contract of employment.

Like in England, the trial period is a key period during which the employer will assess the suitability of new employees to the job. During the trial period employers do not have to provide genuine and serious reasons for dismissal and therefore face less risk of claims for unfair dismissal.

If you decide to dismiss your employee during the trial period, you will nevertheless have to give notice to the employee. Statutory minimum... continued on page five >



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