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Hiring minor employees for the next summer season?

Hiring a minor employee for summer season

Would you like to hire a minor for the next summer season ?

Here are the rules to follow! 

1. Minimum legal age

You can hire a minor as soon as he or she reaches the minimum legal age to work, which is set at 16.

Indeed, as from their 16th birthday, you can hire a minor employee under whatever employment contract (CDD – short term contract or CDI – indefinite contract).

However, exemptions exist in regard to the minimum legal age.

Thus, you can hire a minor between 14 and 16 under a CDD contract set within the school break periods. However, you must respect an interrupted rest period of at least half of their school break periods – e.g. if their school break is two weeks long, you should provide a week of rest period.

If any of the above-mentioned rules in regard to the minimum legal age are not respected, the penalty will be the invalidation of the employment contract as well as a fine of €1.500 for a physical person or €7.500 for a moral entity!

2. The hiring formalities of a minor employee

Minors that are not emancipated cannot be hired unless an authorization from their legal representative is given.

 For minors under 16, authorization is also mandatory as well as the authorization from the Labor Inspector.

The employer must send its request to the Inspector at least 15 days before the initial hiring date.

In both cases, the medical and prevention check-up visit must be done before the start of the minor employee.

Your request must include the following:

  • The total duration of the employment contract
  • The definition (nature) and conditions of the job
  • The timings and schedule
  • The wage
  • The written authorization from the minor’s legal representative

The Labor Inspector has 8 days to let you know if the request if refused. Without any answer on their part, the authorization is then given.

As any other employees you are hiring, don’t forget the following steps when hiring a minor:

  • 8 days prior to the hiring, you must send the DPAE – The Prior-to-Hiring Declaration– to the URSSAF center
  • You must register your minor employee in your internal Staff Registry (Registre du Personnel)
  • Draw an employment contract
  • Security & Safety training must also be provided
  • Make sure to send the minor to the prevention and medical check-up visit.

3. Minors and working time

As a general rule, the maximum daily working time is 8 hours for a total of maximum 35 hours a week.

However, you can exceptionally request minors between 16 and 17, to perform overtime with a limit of maximum 5 hours a week. In this case, you must request the authorization from the Labor Inspector as well as to the Labor Doctor.

Please note that for minors under 16 working during school breaks, it cannot be asked to:

  • Work more than 7 hours per day
  • Work more than 35 hours per week
  • Perform overtime

Moreover, minor employees cannot work more than 4h30 without breaks. Hence, when the daily work duration is higher than 4h30, the minor must get an interrupted 30-minutes break.

In addition, the minor must receive the following rest:

  • Daily, a minimum of 12 hours interrupted rest if the minor is between 16 to 18 (increased at 14h if below 16).
  • Weekly, two consecutive days of rest, including Sundays.

Unless the Collective Agreement provides exemptions, the minor cannot work:

  • From 8pm to 6am (for minors under 16)
  • From 10pm to 6am (for minors between 16 and 18)

However, besides exemptions, the minor cannot work Sundays nor Public holidays.

4. Forbidden activities

It is strictly forbidden to hire minors for work that exposes them to any risks for their health, safety, morality or pushing the use of their strength. However, few exemptions exist.

5. The wage

Unless your Collective Agreement provides better conditions, minors are paid the minimum legal wage (SMIC) set by the government, however, adapted to their age.

The hiring rules for a minor are several and if any of them are not complied with, severe sanctions can apply.

Reach out to Claire Molina, Payroll and Social Security Manager at French Business Advice, for a personal assessment.

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