Collective agreements that apply to seconded employees. Focus on the rights guaranteed by collective agreements in "major industries".

In this section, we will provide information on the options for you, employers or seconded employees, to help understand French collective agreements and the extent to which you can apply or benefit from them when working in France. We also offer assistance in understanding the rights and obligations resulting from the general application of collective agreements, which are applicable in some industries and professional sectors that are known to take on a significant number of seconded employees every year.

A collective agreement, as defined by French law, is a text resulting from a collective negotiation between representative trade unions and employer organisations that determines :

  the conditions of hiring, employment, professional and work training, as well as social guarantees, known as a collective agreement because they deal with all of these subjects
  based on one of the aforementioned subjects, known as a collective agreement

The only texts that apply to seconded employees are the agreements known as branche étendus (extended industries) when created by extension order by the Ministry of Labour, which apply to all companies within the relevant industry.

Determining the applicable collective agreement :

The applicable collective agreement is determined according to the work carried out by the seconded employee during their time working in France. In addition, on the basis of the work carried out by the seconded employees at their workplace in France, the reference agreement is that which applies to French employees who work for a company that’s primary business is the same as that which is carried out by the seconded employee in France.

Once the agreement has been identified, the provisions of this agreement shall apply on two conditions :

  An extension order has to have been concluded in order for it be considered generally applicable and for it to therefore apply to seconded employees
  The provisions must relate to one of the eleven professions listed in article L. 1262-4 of the French Labour Code (code du travail) for employees who have been seconded for less than 13 months.

Specific case for temporary employees : in applying directive 2008/104/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on temporary agency work, the temporary seconded employee with a user undertaking shall ensure, on the other hand, the application of the same agreements, even if they are not extended, that apply in this user undertaking with regard to the duration of working time, overtime, breaks, rest periods, night work, holidays, public holidays and pay.

Consulting the applicable collective agreement

1. First of all, you can visit the collective agreement database website, which can be accessed at the following link. Once on the website, enter the keyword that corresponds to the seconded employee’s work in France (e.g. agriculture) into the tab at the top left.

2. In the event of multiple results from the database and if uncertain, you can request confirmation of the collective agreement that applies to your situation by contacting one or several of the trade union organisations that represent professional industries in France :

3. Lastly, you can access the full text of the collective agreement that applies to your company or situation by searching on the “légifrance” website using keywords :

Rights and obligations that apply to the main sectors affected by employee secondment in France

Please find below a summary document that outlines all employee rights and employer obligations in the industries within the main sectors affected by employee secondment in France.

Public works :