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Basic Economic Summary

France is a developed country that ranks the world's 7th largest economy by nominal GDP and 9th largest regarding PPP. The country consistently performs well in international rankings of education, healthcare, life expectancy, and human development. This has made it a preferred place for employees and employers worldwide to expand their businesses in France. The leading sectors that are known to significantly contribute to the country's GDP include agriculture, tourism, energy, transport, science and technology, fashion design, education, and art.


  • Local Languages: French
  • Capital: Paris
  • Major Economic Hubs: Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Lille, Nice
  • Currency: Euro
  • Population: 67,055,854 (2019)
  • Time Zone: UTC+1 (Central European Time), UTC+2 (Central European Summer Time)
  • Date Format: dd/mm/yyyy

Useful Information

  • GDP Per Capita (in USD): 44,995
  • Exchange Rate (EUR/USD): 1.2
  • PISA Ranking (2018): 26
  • Number of University Graduates (2018): 1.6 million

Local Universities

University Rankings
Université de Lyon I / Université Claude Bernard (comUE Université de Lyon) Ranking in France: 1

World Ranking: 256

Sorbonne Université (ComUE Sorbonne Universites) Ranking in France: 2

World Ranking: 257

Université Grenoble Alpes (Communauté Université Grenoble Alpes) Ranking in France: 3

World Ranking: 279

Université de Strasbourg Ranking in France: 4

World Ranking: 310

Université d’Aix Marseille / Aix Marseille Université Ranking in France: 5

World Ranking: 324

Salary Data

Average Salary of Jobs (Per Month)

France is expected to experience higher demand for professionals in the following industries: Information Technology, Finance, Supply Chain & Procurement, tax, Legal & Compliance.

Below are the average salaries of some jobs in France for 2021. Please refer to Salary Explorer for more information.

Job Title Average Salary (EUR)
Accounting Manager 73,700
Engineer 43,400
Attorney 94,700
Product Manager 52,600
Sales Representative 31,200

An employee working in France on average earns about 49,500 EUR per year.

Talent Sourcing Tips


Employer Payroll Tax

Type of Tax Tax Rate
Health, Maternity, Disability, Death 7% or 13%
Autonomy Solidarity Contribution 0.30%
Old-Age Insurance 8.55%
Family Benefits 2.45% or 5.25%
Unemployment Insurance 4.05%
Wage Guarantee Insurance 0.30%

Employee Payroll Tax

Type of Tax Contribution
Old-Age Pension 6.90%
Social Security Surcharge 9.20%
Social security debt reimbursement contribution 0.50%

Employee Monthly Income Tax

Income Group (in euros €) Contribution
€0 - €840 0%
€841 - €2,142 11%
€2,143 - €6,126 30%
€6,127 - €13,177 41%
Over €13,177 45%

Minimum Wage & Payroll

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in France is €10.03 per hour or €1521.22 per month on a 35 hour working week. 

Payroll Cycle

Employees are usually paid their salary per month


13th month salary

It is customary but not mandatory to pay the 13th month bonus at the end of December.

Employee Stock Options

Only listed companies may grant stock options or free shares as defined by the French Commercial Code. 

For corporate officers who do not have an employment contract, the French Commercial Code provides for some limits in the event of free shares or options awards. The incentive plan must comply with those limits in order to benefit from the favorable tax and social regime.

Read more on ESOP taxation here.

Working Hours & Statutory Leave

Working hours

The standard work hours in France is 35 hrs a week but collective bargaining agreements may set a different standard.

The maximum working hours are :

  • Not more than an average of 44 hrs a week during 12 consecutive weeks
  • 48 hrs during any given week
  • 10 hrs a day

Overtime pay

The companies are entitled to compensate employees for overtime hours worked in the following structure:

  • 25% surcharge for the first 8 hrs during the week
  • 50% surcharge incase overtime exceeds 8 hrs during the week.

Public Holidays

The list of public holidays can be found here.

Annual Paid Leave

An employee who has worked for 12 months in continuance, is entitled to 5 weeks of paid leave annually.

Sick Leave

The social security health system in France pays an employee on sick leave a daily benefit, and the employee is legally required to only make up the difference between that benefit and the employee's normal compensation.

Parental Leave

Maternity Leave
Pregnancy Type Period of Leave
Normal 16 weeks
Third Child 26 weeks
Twins 34 weeks
Triplets or more 46 weeks

Paternity Leave

Employees are entitled to 3 working days of leave for the birth of their child. In addition to this, they are further entitled to 11 days of paid leave.

Offboarding & Termination

Termination Process

The termination process is moderately simple.

A valid reason is necessary for termination accompanied with a reasonable notice period unless termination is due to misconduct in which no notice is required.

Notice Period

Years of Employment Notice Period
6 months - 2 years 1 month
> 2 years 2 months

Severance Pay

Years of Employment Pay Rate
≤ 10 years 25% of gross monthly salary
≥ 11 years 33.33% of gross monthly salary

Probation period

Job Type Maximum Probation period
Blue-collar and White-collar Employees 2 months
Supervisors and Technical Employees 3 months
Managers and Professional Employees 4 months


It is mandatory for employers to provide insurance benefits to employees with a minimum of 1 year of service. The contribution must be 1/5th of one month's salary for each year of service plus an additional 2/15th of one month's salary for every 10 years of service (1 month of salary after 10 years' seniority).

Contribution = ⅕(1 month salary)(every 1 year) + 2/15(1 month salary)(every 10 year)

Companies are required to maintain health, life, and disability coverage for their former employees up to 9 months when the work contract termination happens.


The standard VAT in France is 20%. However, the reduced rates for certain sectors and industries are 10%, 5.5%, 2.5%, 0% respectively.

Any queries or suggestions?
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