Size Matters: Employer Obligations for Companies with 1-49 Employees

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When it comes to employing people in France, 50 is the magic number.  This is because companies with 50 or more employees must adhere to a raft of legal obligations that do not apply to smaller businesses with fewer staff.

However, companies with 1-49 employees still have certain employer obligations that must be complied with, as we will summarise here.

An annual contribution must be made to fund vocational training for staff and job-seekers.

Known as the Contribution à la Formation Professionnelle, the contribution amount is calculated in line with the company’s gross payroll: 0.55% for companies with 10 employees or fewer, 1% for those with 11 or more.

A contribution must be made to support people for housing purposes.

The Fonds National d’Aide au Logement (FNAL) is a tax paid by all employers, regardless of the size of the business (for SMEs the amount is 0.10% of the gross payroll) which is collected directly by the URSSAF.

Companies with more than 10 employees must contribute towards the financing of public transport.

This is known as versement mobilité: a payroll-related tax that varies by region.  Contributions are directed to the local government authority responsible for organising public transport.

It is mandatory to display certain information in the workplace.

This includes information relating to:

  • the work inspector and occupational health doctor,
  • fire and safety instructions,
  • equality, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies,
  • collective work schedules, working hours, and rest periods,
  • relevant collective agreements,
  • assessment of professional risks,
  • smoking bans.

Postings must be updated regularly, and in some cases sent directly to each employee.  Non-compliance is subject to a fine of 450-10,000€, plus one year in prison.

Each month, the company must report the number of its employees who have disabilities.

This declaration must be made via the company’s Déclaration Sociale Nominative (DSN).  Companies with more than 20 employees must confirm that 6% of its workforce is registered disabled, with a social security contribution payable for not meeting this quota.

The Document Unique d’Evaluation des Risques Professionnels (DUERP) is mandatory in all companies once the first employee is hired.

Similar to a UK risk assessment template, the DUERP, or single occupational risk assessment document, is a detailed record of the outcome of the assessment of various workplace health and safety risks.

Employees’ working hours must be monitored.

Monitoring ensures that working time obligations are adhered to and the relevant payments made, as well as offering firm evidence in the event of an employee dispute. Indeed, employers are responsible for working hours so it is important to understand and monitor employees’ working hours so they meet legal or contractual working times.

(It is well worth companies investing in and implementing a formal working time monitoring system, as this will help to manage overtime and reduce the possibility of mistaken or fraudulent claims).

Professional development interviews must be held with each individual employee.

Focused solely on training, career, and salary progression, an interview must be held every two years.  Every six years, the employer must produce an individual written evaluation, a copy of which must be given to the employee.

Occupational health visits must be organised and monitored for every employee.

In France, all employees are obligated to undergo medical monitoring.  However, since personal medical information is highly confidential, their employers will only be informed of any reasonable adjustments required in the workplace.

All employers are responsible for organising medical examinations for their employees, which must take place every 3-5 years (dependent on role and the determined level of risk).

All private sector companies must provide supplementary health insurance to their employees.

Mutuelle health insurance provides ‘top up’ cover for health costs not automatically reimbursed by the CPAM.  Prévoyance is additional insurance that covers cases of sickness, disability, and death.

Usually, the Convention Collective will set out a minimum level of health cover that must be provided to all employees (if it does not, a DUE – or unilateral employer statement – must be published as a legal basis for the schemes).  Employers are free to choose the insurer and negotiate the contract themselves.

Can we help you navigate employer responsibilities in France?

Our knowledgeable team of bilingual HR consultants are ready to answer your questions and offer insightful advice, to ensure your company remains fully compliant.

Please contact us to arrange your free initial consultation.

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