Work and Wages

Minimum Wage

The wage paid by the employer cannot be less than the national minimum wage (SMIC). In 2019, the gross monthly SMIC, for a 35-hour working week, is €1,525.25 (for more recent wage rates, please refer to the section on minimum wages). The collective agreement applicable to the contract of employment may also specify a minimum wage depending on the employee's classification. Employee participation in the economic development of the nation is assured by fixing the minimum wage each year with effect from 1 January (Article L3231-6). The minimum wage applies to all salaried workers, including those working in both public and private businesses of an industrial or commercial nature. (Article L3231-1).

The national minimum wage (SMIC) can be adjusted in two ways: indexing of SMIC to the consumer price index (CPI) so that when the CPI increases by at least 2%, minimum wage is increased by the same percentage and the setting of a new SMIC by Government through a decree following the opinion of National Committee on Collective Agreements. The Committee is made up four representatives each from government, workers and employers side.

The criteria for increase in the minimum wage takes into account the needs of workers and their families; cost of living in the country; level of wages and income in the country; and economic.

Compliance with provisions of Labour Code including minimum wage provisions is ensured by the labour inspectors. The labour inspectors may work together with police officers for ensuring the compliance. A worker may initially report to the staff representative for payment of wage at a lower rate. The staff representative can then decide to forward the complaint to the labour inspector regarding payment of wages at a lower rate than those specified under the minimum wage law or collective agreement.

Failure to pay the stipulated minimum wage rate results in the penalty of 1524 euros for each worker that has been paid at a lower rate. The penalty is applied as many times as there has been a violation.

Regular Pay

In accordance with Article L3241-1 of the Labour Code, an employer is under the obligation to pay the worker his/her wages in cash or by crossed check or by transfer to a bank or postal account. If an employee has worked for less than a month, then remuneration can be paid in cash on employee's request but beyond a monthly amount determined by decree, the salary is paid by crossed check or by transfer to a bank or postal account. The wage period is set as a month and workers are paid wages on monthly basis. Those employees not receiving wages on month basis are paid at least twice a month to sixteen days in intervals. For piecework whose execution lasts longer than a fortnight, the payment dates may be fixed by mutual agreement. However, the employee receives payments every two weeks and is paid in full within fifteen days following the delivery of the item.

El Khomri law allows employers to provide electronic pay slips to the workers (after workers’ consent).  However, employees still have the right to ask for paper pay slips. 

(Art. L3242 of Labour Code)

Regulations on Work and Wages

  • Code du travail français, version consolidée du 22 juillet 2017 / French Labour Code, Consolidated Version on 22 July 2017
  • Décret n° 2013-1190 du 19 décembre 2013 / Decree No. 2013-1190 of 19 December 2013