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Employment in France
- Updated : 08/04/2022
- With many refugees and foreigners, it is difficult to find a job rapidly in France without speaking and writing a basic level of French.
- The associations of the Ukranian and Russian diaspora will be alternative sources of information on how to find jobs.
- POLE EMPLOI, the national job agency will be an important place for local job offers and to enroll to professional training.
- In very small cities or villages, the mayor “MAIRE” is likely to do his/her best to help you as an Ukranian refugee.
You will find below simplified information on how to find a job in France and key aspects of employment in France:
Do not work illegally
Do not work illegally without a contract and a pay document (“Bulletin de Salaire”).
It puts you and your employer at risk in case of accident or control by official services (“Contrôle URSSAF”).
You can be asked to repay up to 5 years of social taxes and aids if you get caught !!
Your legal stay status could be revoked !!
Usually signs of illegal work include not receiving paperwork and being paid in cash.
In France, the vast majority of jobs have pay at the end of the month by transfer to your bank account (or sometimes checks to be deposited at the bank)
The need to learn french
The ukranian and russian diaspora in France is relatively small . Thus, they may not be able to help everyone.
The daily life in France is conducted in French. Thus, learning french and the french culture should be your top priority. Some classes will be provided by the Government, non-profit organizations and job center for free.
Choose a region wisely
Not all regions have the same industries or opportunities. It is important to understand the geography of France and choose wisely a region to increase your chances to find a job quickly.
Chosing a region with low unemployment is important.
- The North of France offers more opportunities than the South,
- The West offers more opportunities that the East,
- Regional cities will have more opportunities than smaller cities and villages (you will absolutely need a car in villages or tiny cities).
If you are seeking managerial job positions, favor the largest cities (Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux). Yet, be prepared to pay expensive housing.
Networking, public service exams
Networking is very important in the french culture. Many job offers are not advertised. Jobs often are obtained by recommendations from family and friends.
The role of diplomas and exams is very significant in the french culture. Certains schools and trainings are required for certain jobs.
In villages, the local mayor may be aware of some jobs in his village as well.
Many public service jobs require national exams. Some administrations are offering temporary positions without exams.
While discrimination is illegal, it is unfortunately prevalent.
Ukranian refugees benefit from the European Union temporary protection .
With temporary protection, you are allowed to look for work immediately after registration with authorities at "Préfecture" .
When you start a new job, the employer must declare your work on a form to government services (“Déclaration URSSAF”).
Current labor shortages in France
Labor shortages are found in the agriculture, industry and construction industries.
Women are allowed work in all activities. It is not usual in some industries but men are more and more encouraging women, in construction, driving delivery trucks, etc. Often male jobs pay better.
In some sectors and regions of France, there is so much shortage they will accept beginners with good work ethics and train them.
So do not limit yourself !
Current list of shortages:
- Cleaning crew
- Adjunct nurses and nursing home staff
- Housekeepers for elderly
- Restaurant and Hotel industry
- Engineers and IT professionnals
- Unqualified workers in order preparation and logistics
- Qualified Nurses
- Security guards
- Carpenter (wood)
- General practitionner doctors
- Car body repairers
- Car mechanics
Where to find job offers
With your temporary protection, you can register with the government job agency POLE EMPLOI.
They will offer professional french classes and help you train if needed.
Le Bon Coin
A very popular website for jobs in France is LeBonCoin :
Interim / Temporary work
Temporary work is extremely common in France. It is the main choice for newcomers.
Some will be willing to train beginners for jobs in shortages.
Adecco has setup a special website for job offers for ukranians :
The biggest in the country are :
Many local interim companies exist.
International companies may work in English in France at managerial positions level.
A specialized agency exists. If you have university diplomas or previously worked in a managerial job position, it is best to have an appointment with APEC
Cadre Emploi is a private website specialized in managerial position jobs : Cadre Emploi
Minimum Salary and working conditions
The minimum salary (SMIC) for a full time job is 1269 EUR after social contributions per month. The hourly rate is 8,37 EUR per hour.
People working minimum salary may under certain conditions receive tax aids.
In France, we are working 35 to 39 hours per week.
People have 5 full weeks of vacation per year for full time job.
People have right to sick leave and other benefits.
If you are sick you have to see a doctor and he will write a document to give to the employer to justify you cannot work “Arrêt Médical”
In factories, it is common to work with two or three teams doing 8 hours shifts.
It is common for certain type of jobs (cleaning crews, housekeepers) to have several employers. Sometimes employers can be individuals.
People working in government or big companies have better pay and/or working conditions than in small companies.
Sexual or physical or behavioral harassement by bosses or colleagues is prohibited by law. Ask other people for advice if you experience it.
France has a complex labor law.
Labor unions for workers (CFDT, CGT, FO, SUD, UNSA) or management level employees (CFTC, CGC) representatives can help you understand your rights.
You will be required to go through an employment doctor visit (free).
Benefits are usually agreed by negotiations in sectors, industries and companies between Labor Union and Employers Unions. Individual benefits cannot be less than what is defined by the sectory, industry and company rules.
URSSAF is the government agency collecting money from employers.
It is not uncommon for Police/Gendarmerie to work with URSSAF and other government agencies to control on site. They will verify your identity and your work permit.
In the construction sector, employees have to wear an additional identification that is mandatory on site : "carte BTP"