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Sunday work of a private sector employee

Verified 02 December 2019 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Coronavirus: adaptation of labor law

Ordinance No. 2020-323 of 25 March 2020 on emergency measures relating to paid leave, working hours and rest days provides for the possibility of temporarily and exceptionally derogating from the maximum daily and weekly working time.

This derogation may not extend beyond 31 December 2020.

Sunday is a legal day of rest. However, you may be required to work on Sundays when your employer is allowed to waive the principle of Sunday rest. There are a number of derogations allowing work to be organized on Sundays. Depending on the type of trade, Sunday work may be compulsory or optional. Special provisions apply to Alsace-Moselle.

Retail sector

If you work in the retail sector, there are many exemptions allowing you to work on Sundays. Depending on the type of trade (and the type of derogations), Sunday work may be compulsory or optional and in some cases impose compensatory measures.

If you work in a food retail business, you may be required to work on Sundays under different conditions depending on the type of business you work in.

Warning  

if you are under the age of 18, you cannot work on sundays unless you are an apprentice in certain areas of the food retail trade.

The ban on Sunday work for young apprentice workers shall not apply in the following sectors: hotels, restaurants, caterers and reception organizers, cafes, tobaccos and beverage outlets, bakery, pastry shop, butcher's shop, cold cuts, dairy-creamery, fish shop, natural flower shop, gardening and grain stores.

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On-site trade in food products for immediate consumption (examples: bakery, pastry)

Do you have to work on Sundays?

Yes, at the employer's request.

Is the salary increased?

No, unless treaty provisions or collective agreements provide for it or in the event of agreement of the employer.The

Do you benefit from compensatory measures?

No, unless provided for by collective or treaty provisions or by agreement of the employer.

Other trade (examples: general food, butcher, cheese)

Trade with a sales area exceeding 400 m² (supermarket or hypermarket)

A supermarket or hypermarket is a self-service retail establishment established most often on the outskirts of cities.

Do you have to work on Sundays?

Yes, at the request of your employer, up to 1 pm maximum.

You can also work on Sundays, from 1pm, if you are an employee of a business located:

  • in a tourist area (ZT), an international tourist area (ZTI) or commercial area (ZC)
  • or at a train station with exceptional traffic

In this case, from 1 pm, you benefit from the specific conditions applicable to shops located in one of these zones.

Is your salary increased?

Yes. You receive a salary increase of at least 30%..

Do you benefit from compensatory measures?

Yes. You get a whole day's rest. This day is fixed by rotation and fortnight.

Trade with a sales area of 400 m² or less

This type of business includes food stores that meet the common needs of a neighborhood clientele.

Do you have to work on Sundays?

Yes, at the request of your employer, up to 1 pm maximum.

You can also work on Sundays, from 1 p.m., if you are an employee of a business located:

  • in an international tourist area (ZTI)
  • or at a train station with exceptional traffic

In this case, from 1 pm, you benefit from the specific conditions applicable to shops located in one of these zones.

Is your salary increased?

No, unless provided for by collective or treaty provisions or by agreement of the employer.

Do you benefit from compensatory measures?

Yes. You get a whole day's rest. This day is fixed by rotation and fortnight.

Hotels, cafes and restaurants

Do you have to work on Sundays?

Yes, at the employer's request.

Is the salary increased?

No, unless treaty provisions or collective agreements provide for it or in the event of agreement of the employer.The

Do you benefit from compensatory measures?

No, unless provided for by collective or treaty provisions or by agreement of the employer.

If you work in a non-food retail business, you may be required to work on Sundays, under conditions that vary depending on the type of waiver that caused the implementation of Sunday work.

Derogations from the principle of Sunday rest may be granted:

  • In order to avoid harm to the public or to the normal functioning of the institution or undertaking 
  • Due to geographical considerations, in a tourist area (ZT), an international tourist area (ZTI), a commercial zone (ZC) a station with an exceptional number of visitors 
  • By decision of the Prefect 
  • By decision of the mayor

Warning  

if you are under the age of 18, you cannot work on sundays unless you are an apprentice in some retail sectors.

The ban on Sunday work for young apprentice workers shall not apply in the following sectors: hotels, restaurants, caterers and reception organizers, cafes, tobaccos and beverage outlets, bakery, pastry shop, butcher's shop, cold cuts, dairy-creamery, fish shop, natural flower shop, gardening and grain stores.

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Establishment whose opening on Sunday is related to the constraints of production, activity or public needs (e.g. furniture or DIY business, florist...)

Do you have to work on Sundays?

Yes, at the employer's request.

Is the salary increased?

No, unless treaty provisions or collective agreements provide for it or in the event of agreement of the employer.The

Do you benefit from compensatory measures?

No, unless provided for by collective or treaty provisions or by agreement of the employer.

Trade located in a tourist zone (TZ), an international tourist zone (ITZ), a commercial zone (TZ) or a train station with an exceptional influx

Do you have to work on Sundays?

No. You may refuse to work on Sundays. Such refusal may in no case constitute a fault or a ground for dismissal, nor justify a discriminatory measure in the course of your work.

You must give your written consent.

You can ask to stop working on Sundays (or less often: 1 Sunday worked per month instead of 2, for example).

Is your salary increased?

Yes. The rate of the wage increase is fixed by an agreement (collective, territorial or negotiated by a mandated employee).

Do you benefit from compensatory measures?

Yes. The Agreement provides for measures on the following points:

  • Facilitate reconciliation between work and personal life
  • Compensation for childcare workers (if you are concerned)
  • Taking into account the evolution of your personal situation

Prefectural derogation from Sunday rest

The Prefect may grant derogations from the principle of Sunday rest in order to avoid prejudice to the public or to the normal functioning of the undertaking or establishment.

The authorization granted may be extended to several or all establishments in the same locality carrying on the same activity and serving the same clientele.

The exemption shall be granted by virtue of a collective agreement applicable to the undertaking or establishment or a unilateral decision of the employer approved by referendum.

Trade affected by mayor's waivers

If you work in a business where all employees are usually at rest on Sundays, the mayor may provide for exceptions to Sunday rest. It's called mayor's sunday..

These derogations may not exceed 12 Sundays per year.

The list of Sundays covered by the derogation must be drawn up before 31 December of year N-1.

Warning  

the maximum number of sundays opened following the mayor's derogation can be lowered for supermarkets and hypermarkets.

Do you have to work on Sundays?

No. You may refuse to work on Sundays. Such refusal may in no case constitute a fault or a ground for dismissal, nor justify a discriminatory measure in the course of your work.

You must give your written consent.

Is your salary increased?

Yes. The remuneration shall be at least doubled in relation to the remuneration normally due for an equivalent period.

Do you benefit from compensatory measures?

Yes. You get an extra rest equivalent in time (a working day on Sunday is equivalent to a rest day in compensation). The conditions under which such rest is taken shall be laid down in the decree establishing the list of Sundays which may be worked.

Other Sector

You may have to work on Sundays if you are an employee in an establishment whose operation or opening is necessitated by the constraints of production, activity or the needs of the public (and provided you are at least 18 years old).

This includes:

  • Health and care facilities (clinics, thalassotherapy, balneotherapy...)
  • Recreational, cultural and sports activities (shows, museums, exhibitions, casinos, amusement parks...)
  • Newspaper and news companies

Do you have to work on Sundays?

Yes, at the employer's request.

Is the salary increased?

No, unless treaty provisions or collective agreements provide for it or in the event of agreement of the employer.The

Do you benefit from compensatory measures?

No, unless provided for by collective or treaty provisions or by agreement of the employer.

You may be required to work on Sundays if you are an employee in an establishment authorized to waive Sunday rest by collective agreement. Such authorization shall be provided for when the work is continuously organized for economic reasons.

If this is the case, the counterparties, including wages, are fixed by the collective agreement.

Alsace-Moselle

The departments of Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin and Moselle are not subject to the same legislation as the other French departments with regard to Sunday work.

Some activities may open on Sundays but only at times, times of year and times determined according to prefectural or municipal decree.

This is the case for butcher shops, fishmongers, grocery stores, glaciers, bakeries, pastries, service stations, retail shops, florists, newsagents.

Other derogations may be granted for work to be carried out immediately in the event of a serious need, installation, cleaning or maintenance operations, work necessary for the production, monitoring of the operation or the carrying out of inventories.