Contracting in France

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If you’re looking for a fresh, new challenge, contracting abroad could be just what you need. There are plenty of opportunities in France, but there are a few things you need to be aware of before you hop on a flight abroad.

Registration of EU citizens working in France

The rules outlining registration in France (enregistrement des citoyens européens) states that EU citizens do not need a visa or work permit to work in France. If you’re only working in France for less than 90 days, your employer or client will need issue you with a temporary work permit. This permit is approved by the French Ministry of Labour and authorisation is sent to the French embassy in the UK where you can apply for your visa.

Travelling within France

France is a signatory of the Schengen Treaty. The 15 Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. As a citizen of an EU, EFTA, EEA country you will effectively have a Schengen visa and may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen zone.

Visit our Contracting Abroad Hub

You might also find our other country guides to working abroad as a contractor useful too:

Taxation rates in France

French Income Tax rates for 2019 are as follows:

Euros earned

Tax Payable

Up to €9,964

0%

€9,964–€27,519

14%

€27,519–€73,779

30%

€73,779–€156,244

 41%

Your marital status and number of children may change this in your own case.

In addition to Income Tax, homeowners or residents may also be subject to dwelling or property tax and wealth tax.

There are certain deductions which are permissible.

Individuals will be regarded as a tax resident if they have their own home which is their principal abode in France, also if they are working as an employed person or independently in France. They will also be regarded as a tax resident if their centre of economic interest is in France.

Health Considerations in France

European Council Regulation 1408/71 underpins the right of EU Nationals to work in another EU State in keeping with the principles of the free movement of labour enshrined in The Treaty of Rome and subsequent treaties.

The free movement of labour can only be realistic if social benefits can also be transferred, including health insurance coverage.

Forms have used that act as a certificate of entitlement to health care in another EEA country.

As of May 2010, the ‘E’ Forms have been replaced by ‘A’ and ‘S’ Forms with the number of forms is being reduced. The forms mean that you will not need to pay French health insurance service E106/S1 contributions for the duration covered on the form.

E101/A1 can be obtained and renewed once issued. They are for those people whose work is regarded as temporary. If you and your family are moving to France and one of you temporarily commutes back across the French border to the UK to work, then an E106/A1 is normally available for health cover in France for one year and then is renewable.

These can be obtained for those who live in one country and wish to work in another to obtain health cover where their family lives (France). It is important for contractors to remember that only approximately 70% of costs are covered in this way.

Graphic of a contract on a clipboard with two signatures

Other useful information about contracting in France

  • Only 2% of French workers work in Agriculture with the vast majority (74%) working in services.
  • The industries only employ less than a quarter of the working population.
  • The Employment Law or Code du Travail is the primary basis for labour laws. Associated collective and works agreements or reglement interieur dictate worker’s rights. Most employment contracts are an open term (contrats a duree indeterminee) and a major legal distinction exists between ‘cadres’ (top managers) and ‘employes’ (lower grade staff).
  • The standard working week is 35 hours in all types of companies.
  • All bank holidays in France are only paid days if they fall on a working weekday. The exception is May Day.

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