Hiring Process

What you need to know and do to hire an employee in France.

You have done your interviews and you finally found the right candidate for the job. Now what?

Engagement letter

If the employment contract is not yet ready it is a common practice to write an engagement letter to your future employee.

However, be very careful. This letter will be legally binding. Should you decide not to continue with your future employee he can go to court and a claim heavy indemnity. The law considers an engagement letter as an employment contract.

Therefore, should you write the engagement letter we strongly recommend that you limit your wording to the legal requirement. These requirements are:

  • Job description
  • Expected starting date

Employment contract

Legally a signed employment contract is not necessary. However, if you do not sign an employment contract the employee will considered as a full-time employee on an undetermined term contract.

Since the employment contract will establish the basis of your relationship with your employee, we strongly recommend that it be drafted by a lawyer.

The employment contract must be signed by both parties as soon as possible.

French Payroll Expert very strongly recommend that you have the contract drafted before the first day of your new employee. You will then be able to have the employee sign the contract at least on his first day on the job.

Employee data

To hire a new employee, you will need to know a lot of information about him. A simple resume with a name and an address is largely inadequate.

The best way to collect of these data is to have an employee file temple that your employee will file in on his first day.

You will find at the end of this post the temple French Payroll Expert is using.

Employee documents

Even if trust and loyalty are a very important part of the employer/employee relationship, you will need your employee to provide you with documents to prove his words.

These documents will also be need for some of the registration process. They are the following:

  • ID card and/or passport
  • Social security attestation (we recommend you do not limit yourself to the social security card)
  • Work permit (do not forget to send a copy of the permit to the authorities for authentication)
  • Disabled worker attestation
  • Public transportation attestation
  • Bank detail
  • Attestation of affiliation to a mandatory health insurance (if an exemption is possible and requested)
  • Children(s) school certificate (if they are over 16 for registration to the life insurance)

We recommend that you request the employee to come with originals of which you will make copies.

Employee registration

To the social security

You (or your payroll service provider) will need to do the employee’s registration to the social security.

This registration is a very simple process done via the internet on this web site: https://www.due.urssaf.fr it is called the DPAE.

You will automatically receive a receipt to be keep. It will be asked in case of an URSSAF audit or a labour inspection.

This registration does not need any signature therefor it can be done by a third party.

To the retirement fund

The registration of the employee to the retirement fund is automatically done with the social declaration. Neither you nor your payroll provider need to do anything.

The life and health insurance

Registration to the life and health insurance is mandatory. To register your employee, you will need to file a registration form.

These forms are specific to the insurance company. You may have one per contract or you both contracts are provided by the same insurance only one.

However, there are some elements that will not change.

For the life insurance, the employee will need to indicate who will be the beneficiary of this insurance. He will also need to sign this document.

For the health insurance, the employee will need to sign the document. He may also have to indicate he his/her children and/or spouse are to be affiliated to the insurance. He will then have to provide the requested school certificate.

AS these documents require the action of the employee they cannot be done by a third party. However, preregistration can sometime be done via the internet on your insurance companies web site. Do not hesitate to contact your insurance company about that.

In 2017 the registration process is supposed to change with the DSN declaration. However, most of the insurance company are not yet ready and document and information from the employee will be required. Therefore, we recommend you do not yet throw away your registration template.

Occupational medicine

Every new employee must go to a medical check-up done by the occupation medicine doctor before the end of his trail period.

The registration of a new employee is usually done with the request for the 1st medical check-up.

This request can be done by email or via the medicine web site or even by a simple phone call.

The check-up must be done within working hours. If you have variable planning, you need to make sure that the individual doing the booking knows the employee’s planning.

Employee information

Somme mandatory information needs to be given to the employee. For each one of them you will need to have a signed receipt from the employee. They are the following:

  • DSN information letter.
  • Life and health insurance coverage details.
  • Life and health insurance DUE (employer’s unilateral declaration).

This receipt may be requested by the URSSAF or the labour office in case of an audit or an inspection.

Best practice

In theory, the best practice for hiring a new employee is simple. Once your interviews are finish you must:

  1. Send the engagement letter.
  2. Send the DPAE to the social security.
  3. Draft the employment contract.
  4. Inform the employee of the data and documents needed on his first day.
  5. Fill in the employer part of the life and health registration documents.

On the employee’s first day you must:

  1. Have the employee sign the employment contract.
  2. Have the employee provide you with his personal data.
  3. Have the employee provide you with the needed documents.
  4. Have the employee fill in the life and health registration documents.
  5. Give the employee the DSN letter.
  6. Give the employee the life and health insurance coverage details.
  7. Give the employee the life and health insurance DUE.
  8. Book the employee’s first medical check-up.

In real life we all know that it is not that simple. Document are missing information are incomplete…

This is why French Payroll Expert recommend that you have check list for the entire process. And that this check list is kept open until it fully checked. You will find with this post the check list we are using for our clients.





Download our hiring process file on our database.

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