France is one of the largest tourist destination in the world, but it is also a hub of global business expansion and growth. With the 7th largest economy in the world and a sophisticated workforce and infrastructure, France offers companies huge opportunities for international growth.

France has unique labor laws and employee protections, which makes payroll in France one of the most difficult and complex processes. France has specific requirements for business communications to be conducted in French, and requires that workers have unemployment contracts that meet local standards and are drafted in the French language. The standard work week is no more than 48 hours, but 35-hour weeks are the norm. Taxes must be paid every year on February 28th.

New sick leave policies enacted regarding COVID-19:

  • Employee has to see the doctor, or call the ARS (“Agence régionale de santé”), who draft a work stoppage form
  • Employee has to send the ARS form to the social security and to employer
  • Employer sends a salary certificate to the social security
  • Employee is paid the first 3 days: receives daily allowances from the social security, as well as an allowance from the employer in order to maintain salary (if more than 1 year of seniority)
  • The standard sick leave policy has a 3-day waiting period before payment begins.

The French government is heavily involved in privatized business. Companies must complete incorporation to register the business as a subsidiary company, branch office, or liaison office. A subsidiary company is the most common entity among foreign investors. Businesses must register with the French Patent and Trademark Office, and publish incorporation approval in the public newspaper.

The tax year ends on December 31st, but extensions are available for online reporting. Tax declarations must be made in May.

The following reports must be submitted:

  • Shares & BIK (Benefit in kind): Expenses and reimbursements paid throughout the year need to be reported in the Annual Declaration of Reconciliation of Wage
  • Declaration Annuelle des Donnees Sociale (DADS): This is a statement employers complete that summarizes the benefits and total salary paid to employees. This must be submitted to the Caisse Régionale d’Assurance Maladie (CRAM)
  • Fiche Fiscal/Employee Summary of Earnings: This document is not mandatory to provide to employees, but employers can distribute if they choose to do so
  • ASSEDIC – Unemployment Social Security Annual Summary: This report details employee unemployment contributions to USSRAF (expats have to submit reporting to GARP)
  • URSSAF – The Social Security Annual Summary: This documentation is submitted to the Unions de Recouvrement des Cotisations de Sécurité Sociale et d’Allocations Familiales
  • Declaration Nominative Annuelle (DNA): The ‘Annual Nomination Statement’ provides the accuracy of wage contributions to benefit schemes. Reports are submitted to MEDERIC
  • Gras Savoye: Detailing medical and life assurance contributions, reports must be submitted by the February 28th

Individuals must file by May (extensions are sometimes available for online tax returns). Missing the deadline will result in a fine of 10% of total tax bill.

To manage payroll in France, it is vital to have a partner to help navigate the complex payroll and compliance regulations as well as cultural and language differences. Blue Marble Payroll provides one cloud-based platform with customized reporting to view your payroll in real-time and ensure compliance. Our hybrid service model gives you direct access to in-country experts and a dedicated US-based team to help when questions come up. To simplify payroll in France, talk to our team – click here to get started