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Work in France

Work in France

Published on November 13, 2007

The Ministry of Labor’s Authorization to work

An employer in France who wants to hire an American citizen must obtain an authorization from the French Ministry of Labor. The authorization is a prerequisite document for the issuance of a long stay visa by a French Consulate in the United States. If the Ministry approves the contract, it is forwarded to the Office des Migrations Internationales (OMI) for transmission to the appropriate French Consulate in the U.S.. The Consulate then notifies the applicant who can proceed with visa formalities. After entering France with the proper visa, he or she must apply at the local Préfecture of Police for a Carte de Séjour.

Ministry of Labor
Service de la Main d’Oeuvre Etrangère
127 Boulevard de la Villette, 75010 Paris
Tel: 1-44-84-42-86

Employment Contracts

In France there are three types of employment contracts:
- Temporary employment contract
- Fixed term contract (contrat à durée déterminée - CDD)
- Permanent contract (contrat à durée indéterminée - CDI)

Temporary employment contract

The employee is hired and paid by a temping agency. Temporary employment contracts may be renewed once, on the condition that the total days of employment doesn’t exceed 18 months. The temping agency recruits to replace an employee on a temporary basis, to cover a temporary increase in work or for seasonal workers.

Fixed Term contract (CDD)

A fixed term contrat must state in writing the duration of the contract.

The probationary period for a contract of less than six months may not exceed 2 weeks and for contract of over 6 months the probationary period may not exceed 1 month. The CDD is fixed for a defined period of time up to a maximum of 2 years.

Permanent contract (CDI)

When you are employed you will be given a copy of the contract signed by both parties. The contrat will stipulate the date of employment, social security details, the company details and the place of work, the remuneration, notice period, lenght of probationary period (1 to 3 months) and of course the position occupied.

Labour law

A new law on working time (35-hr workweek) was adopted by the French Parliament on December 15, 1999. The law has been in effect since February 1, 2000.

Holiday entitlement

The employee will be required to have worked at least 1 month (4 weeks or 24 days) before getting his first holidays. You earn two and a half days holiday per month worked, which is 5 weeks per year.

Maternity leave

You are covered by the Social Security Office during your maternity leave which is: six weeks before giving birth and ten weeks after. On the birth of your third child, the maternity period is increased to eight weeks and eighteen weeks after the birth.

Embassy of France in the U.S.