French Employment Regulations: A Guide For Companies Expanding to Europe

Last updated: 26 March 2024


Expanding a company's operations into France presents many opportunities, but also comes with regulatory obligations. Navigating these regulations is important to establishing a successful presence in the French labour market while ensuring compliance with local laws.

In this guide, we will explore the key aspects of French employment regulations employers should know when hiring and paying French employees.

Getting Started: From the First Employee


As soon as a company hires its first employee in France, it triggers a series of legal requirements:


  • Declaration before hiring (Déclaration Préalable à l’embauche - DPAE): A mandatory declaration must be submitted to relevant authorities before hiring an employee, providing essential information about the employment relationship.

  • Mandatory postings (Affichage obligatoire): Employers must display posters in the workplace informing employees of their rights and obligations, including details about working hours, minimum wage, and safety regulations.

  • Unique personnel register (Registre unique du personnel): Employers should maintain a register containing essential information about each employee, such as their name, position, contract type, and working hours.

  • Health service (Service de Santé au Travail): Employers must provide access to a health service for employees, ensuring their well-being and compliance with occupational health and safety regulations.

  • Professional risk assessment document (Document unique d'évaluation des risques professionnels - DUERP): Employers must conduct and document risk assessments related to workplace safety and health to ensure the well-being of employees.

  • Company mutual insurance (Mutuelle d’entreprise): Employers must provide access to a company mutual insurance scheme for employees, covering various healthcare expenses that are not covered by the national health system.


  • Participation in professional training: Employers must contribute to professional training programs for employees, investing in their continuous development and skills enhancement.


french employment law


Growing Responsibilities: From 20 Employees


Upon reaching 20 employees, additional obligations come into play:

  • Obligation to hire persons with disabilities: Employers must ensure that persons with disabilities represent at least 6% of the workforce, promoting diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.


Scaling Up: From 50 Employees


When a company reaches 50 employees, further requirements emerge:

  • Internal Regulation (Règlement intérieur): Employers must establish and implement internal regulations that govern the workplace, covering aspects such as working hours, leave policies, and disciplinary procedures.


  • Dining Area (Local de restauration): Companies must provide a designated dining area for employees, ensuring their comfort and well-being during meal breaks.


  • Agreement on Profit-Sharing (Accord de participation aux résultats de l'entreprise): Employers must negotiate an agreement on profit-sharing with employees, fostering a sense of ownership and motivation among the workforce.


  • Gender Equality Measures: Employers must implement measures to promote gender equality, including conducting gender pay audits and implementing corrective actions to address disparities.


  • Economic, Social, and Environmental Database (BDESE): Employers must integrate a social balance sheet into the BDESE, providing transparency on social and environmental aspects of their operations.

Must Read: Understanding Employee Benefits in France

Advanced Requirements: From 250 Employees

At 250 employees, additional measures are mandated:

  • Appointment of Referents: Employers must appoint referents to support staff with disabilities and handle harassment cases, fostering an inclusive and supportive workplace culture.

Hiring in France can be complex, but with the right PEO/EOR partner, companies can establish a strong foothold in the market, while fostering a positive and compliant work environment for employees.

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