What collective agreement is my French company subject to?

Collective agreements in France

Are you creating a company? Are you expanding it? Is your main activity changing? If so, then you might have to determine what collective agreement you’re subject to. Here are just a few tips to ensure you don’t get it wrong!

What are collective agreements?

Collective agreements are basically a collective set of rules that apply to a certain region, a certain activity, etc. They can define employment conditions, employee training conditions, as well as the conditions for social guarantees.

How do I find my collective agreement?

The quickest way to do this is to log onto the official website, and to search for your collective agreement by typing your main activity, or keywords. In principle, the APE code that the Insee gave you should tell you what your main activity is (if you don’t know what the APE code is: The APE code, The NAF code… What is it?).

You can find the website here: legifrance.gouv
Though, keep in mind: the website is in French!

Remember to make sure that it does apply to you!

Most collective agreements operate on a national level. However, some of them only cover certain regions.

When do I have to follow the rules laid out in the collective agreement?

If you just discovered that your company was concerned by a collective agreement, before you panic, remember that you don’t necessarily have to follow its rules unless:

  • Your company is affiliated to an employer organization that signed a collective agreement
  • You formally decide to follow the rules of a collective agreement
  • The Ministry of Labour has extended the collective agreement to all companies of the sector

As such, it’s helpful to remember that, when searching for your collective agreement, you can perform an “expert search”, which allows you to look specifically for extended agreements!