Social coverage in France is very largely made up of contributions to funds which are fixed by law or by the collective bargaining agreement and are thus the same for all companies in the same area of activity.

Consequently, unlike in many other countries, employees do not normally try to negotiate these statutory benefits during the hiring phase.  They are more likely to focus on base salary, variable compensation and expenses.

Social Security (URSSAF)

In a nutshell, Social Security in France covers the following areas:

  • Healthcare costs : generally refunds patients around 50-70% of most healthcare costs, or 100% in the case of costly or long-term illness.  Medical costs are managed by local centers called CPAMs (Centres Primaire d’Assurance Maladie –
  • Maternity and sick leave : sick leave is paid from day 4 onwards and is capped at 50.58€ net/day, while paternity leave (11 calendar days) and maternity leave (16 weeks) are capped at the double of sick leave.
  • Disability insurance : compensates for loss of income if the ability to work is impacted. Amount of indemnity depends on level on disability.
  • Basic pension fund paid from age 62 (sometimes earlier if born before 1951), and also paid to surviving spouse upon death (60% of pension amount).
  • Life insurance : a forfeitary amount of 3 681€ since 2022 paid out to heirs of deceased employee.
  • Work accidents : benefits for work-related injury or sickness (100% reimbursement of medical costs and better sick leave pay than for ‘normal’ sickness).
  • Family benefits include assistance with childcare costs and the costs incurred with a new birth (PAJE : infant accommodation benefit)
  • Housing benefits paid out to support social housing and housing aid for low-income households.

Spouses and dependent children of an employee or retired person are also covered if they reside in France.

There is the same level of coverage whatever the level of salary for healthcare costs.  For the other benefits, the level of coverage is proportional to salary, but capped.

For an extensive explanation of your employees’ rights in France, please visit the CLEISS website.

Unemployment benefits (Pole Emploi)

This covers loss of employment (except in the case of resignation) and benefits are proportional to salary.

In general, if an employee is made redundant, or concludes an amicable termination agreement with his employer, he/she will get 57 % of average gross salary as unemployment benefits for up to 2 years (or 3 years if over 54 years old).

Please read the European Commission’s documentation on unemployment benefits in France, in English, for more details.

The ‘Pole Emploi’ also provides a wide variety of programs and financial aid for employees creating a business, training, etc.

Pension plans

These are additional pension funds (referred to as the ‘AGIRC-ARRCO’ funds), on top of the basic pension provided by the Social Security.  The contribution rules are set by law, are identical for all employers and are proportional to salary and employee ‘status’.

Pension funds are managed by organisations, usually private insurance organisations, which are designated according to a complex system which depends on the activity branch of the company, collective bargaining agreement, geographic area etc.

More information is available in French here on the official website, or in English here on the European Commission website.

Life & disability coverage (‘Prévoyance’)

Covers death, prolonged sick leave and disability risks.

Contrary to URSSAF, Pole Emploi and Pension funds, the rates are not determined by law, but by branch, through the collective bargaining agreement applicable to your activity branch.

The rates (and consequently the coverage) are also a minimum and the employer can choose to cover more.
The only legal minimum applicable to all employers is that for cadre (management-level) employees. Contributions are a 1.5% rate on the first bracket of their salary (up to SS cap – 3 666 € in 2023), for minimal death capital coverage.

In our Neteem PEO package

We provide an improved coverage contract, for a slightly higher coverage than of Syntec collective bargaining agreement minimum (this CBA applies to all consulting & IT companies in France, although we apply the Portage Salarial CBA, most of our employees come from this CBA and expect this coverage), the detail of which can be found below. It provides a very good benefit/cost ratio of coverage.

Coverage under Neteem’s PEO contract includes for our consultants :

  • Death capital : if the employee dies, heirs will receive 320% of annual salary, doubled in case of accidental death, with a minimum of 340% of annual SS limit (i.e. 149 572€ minimum in 2023) +96% annual salary per dependent child and +100% annual salary in case of simultaneous death of spouse
  • Education allowance : if the employees has dependent children in school/university when he dies, a yearly education allowance for children under 26 of :
    • 12% of annual salary (minimum of 24% of annual SS limit i.e. 10 558 € in 2023), for children under 18 and
    • 15% of annual salary (with a minimum of 30% of annual SS limit i.e. 13 197 € in 2023), for dependent children 18-26 yo
  • Disability/long-term sick leave income : if the employee has an accident/sickness which prevents him/her from working, the insurance fund will supplement the person’s Social Security benefits up to 80% of annual salary for long-term sick leave (after a wait period of 3-30 days, depending on whether it is an accident/hospitalization or sick leave), and between 40-80% depending on the level of disability for permanent disabilities.

Details of Neteem’s coverage can be downloaded here.

Health coverage (or ‘Mutuelle’)

Covers part or all of the difference between actual healthcare expenses and the part covered by the Social Security – which already covers approx. 100% of all ‘serious’ healthcare costs and around 70% of ‘everyday’ healthcare costs.

As of 2016, it has become compulsory for employers to provide a private health insurance to complement the healthcare reimbursements of French Social Security.

This is provided by private insurers with a variety of coverage levels/rates, with minimums set by law and collective bargaining agreements. This coverage will thus be slightly different from one employer to the next – but bear in mind the vital and major part of healthcare costs are already reimbursed through Social Security in France.

In our Neteem PEO package

Neteem provides the level of coverage negotiated by the Syntec collective bargaining agreement (applicable for all consulting & technology companies, even though we apply the compulsory Portage salarial CBA, this is the level expected by our consultants who usually come from Syntec-backgrounds). The benefit/cost ratio of this coverage is good (48.88€/month in 2023, split 50/50 between employee and employer). The children of the employee are automatically covered for that cost.

The employee can also opt to register his spouse or partner and can also choose a higher level of coverage if need be. The extra cost of these will be his sole responsibility (up to 48.90€/month extra for coverage of employee & children, and between 35€-72€ for spouse coverage in 2023). The contributions for the options will be dealt with through payroll, deducted from net pay.

The base coverage is legally compulsory, and thus must be proposed to any new employee.
However, there are a few cases when the employee can refuse the coverage (e.g. if they are already covered by their spouse’s compulsory coverage, or if they are on a short-term contract and want to keep their own coverage etc.)

Details of the levels of coverage and options/costs available can be downloaded here.

International travel insurance

Employees on business trips are covered by our international travel policy. This covers:

  • Medical expenses abroad
  • Repatriation assistance
  • Incidents / trip cancellation
  • Baggage and personal effects insurance
  • Legal assistance
  • Accidental death and disability coverage – €150,000.00
  • Civil liability for private life
  • Crisis management and security
  • Pre-travel services and administrative assistance

Financial guarantee

Neteem is covered by the ‘portage salarial’ financial guarantee covering 10% of the previous year’s employment costs, for payment of the employees’ salary and contributions (Art. L. 1254-26), on top of the AGS protection (Assurance Garantie Salaires) that every employer in France must provide.

Professional liability

Insurance that covers physical and immaterial damages that our consultants cause to a third party during the course of their activites.
Detailed coverage available in our certificates