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Partial or technical unemployment (partial activity): application

Verified 01 mai 2022 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Labour

In the event of partial activity within a company, employees affected by a loss of wages are compensated (also called unemployment or technical unemployment) by the employer. To benefit from this arrangement and obtain the State's allowance corresponding to the said hours nonworking, the employer must make representations to the Dreets (formerly Direct).

In order to cope with a drop in activity in the company, the employer may use the partial activity in the following cases:

  • Economic Conditions
  • Procurement challenges
  • Exceptional disaster or weather
  • Transformation, restructuring or modernisation of the company
  • Any other exceptional circumstances (Covid-19 for example)

It can take many forms:

  • Decrease in weekly working hours
  • Temporary closure of all or part of the establishment

The employer may collect its employees a partial activity allowance up to:

  • 1000 hours per year per employee whatever the branch
  • 100 hours per year per employee if the partial activity is due to the modernisation of the company's facilities and buildings

Employees concerned

An employee with a contract of employment under French law (CDI, CDD (in particular) benefits from partial unemployment, whether:

  • Full-time or part-time
  • Package agreement in hours or days of the year
  • Traveller, Representative and Placer (VRP)
  • Employee employed in France by a foreign company without establishment in France
  • Paid at the stamp
  • Acting employee on assignment contract following suspension, cancellation or termination of a signed contract of supply
  • In the framework of the salary carry
  • Executive in case of total closure of the company or part thereof (e.g. closure of a company workshop or service)
  • Home worker paid for the job
  • Freelance journalist

Excluded employees

The following employees do not benefit from partial unemployment:

  • Employees whose reduction or suspension of work is caused by a collective labour dispute (e.g. strike)
  • Employees with a contract of employment under French law who work at the foreigner
  • Expatriate employees with local law contracts

In companies 50 or more employees, the employer must consult for advice, Social and Economic Committee prior to applying for a partial activity administrative authorisation.

The consultation covers the following topics:

  • Grounds for partial activity
  • Occupational categories and activities concerned
  • Level and criteria for implementing schedule reductions
  • Proposed training actions or other commitments made by the employer

The ESC shall be informed at the end of each authorisation period of the conditions under which the partial activity was implemented.

  Please note : in the event of a claim or exceptional circumstances, the employer shall have 2 months to consult and send the opinion of the SSC in support of its request for prior authorisation.

Application procedure

Circumstances of exceptional character (Covid-19)

The employer must send an application for a partial activity authorisation to the departmental management of the economy, employment, labour and solidarities (DDETS or DDETS-PP, ex-Direct) of the establishment.

The employer must submit its application within 30 days of the placement of its employees in partial employment.

This must be done online.

Application for prior authorisation and partial activity compensation

Service and Payment Agency (ASP)

The application shall specify:

  • Reason for the partial activity
  • Predicted period of subactivity
  • Detailed circumstances and economic situation giving rise to the request
  • Number of employees involved

It shall be accompanied by the prior opinion of the Social and Economic Committee (ETUC).

In the event of a claim or exceptional circumstances, the employer has a period of 2 months to consult and send the notice of the ESC in support of its request for prior authorisation.

Administration has a response time of 15 calendar days upon receipt of the request for authorisation. An acknowledgement of receipt of the SDD or SDD-PP shall specify the period after which the absence of a reply shall be considered an authorisation.

Where the application is refused, the decision shall state the reasons for the refusal.

The status of the folder statement can be tracked online.

Once the administrative authorisation has been obtained, the employer can reduce or suspend its activity and put its employees on a technical unemployment. It is this authorisation that allows him to obtain reimbursement of the allowances paid to employees.

Disaster and Weather

The employer must send an application for a partial activity authorisation to the departmental management of the economy, employment, labour and solidarities (DDETS or DDETS-PP, ex-Direct) of the establishment.

The employer must submit its application within 30 days of the placement of its employees in partial employment.

This must be done online.

Application for prior authorisation and partial activity compensation

Service and Payment Agency (ASP)

The application shall specify:

  • Reason for the partial activity
  • Predicted period of subactivity
  • Detailed circumstances and economic situation giving rise to the request
  • Number of employees involved

It shall be accompanied by the prior opinion of the Social and Economic Committee (ETUC).

In the event of a claim or exceptional circumstances, the employer has a period of 2 months to consult and send the notice of the ESC in support of its request for prior authorisation.

Administration has a response time of 15 calendar days upon receipt of the request for authorisation. An acknowledgement of receipt of the SDD or SDD-PP shall specify the period after which the absence of a reply shall be considered an authorisation.

Where the application is refused, the decision shall state the reasons for the refusal.

The status of the folder statement can be tracked online.

Once the administrative authorisation has been obtained, the employer can reduce or suspend its activity and put its employees on a technical unemployment. It is this authorisation that allows him to obtain reimbursement of the allowances paid to employees.

Other

Prior to partial activation, the employer must send a prior request for authorisation of partial activity to the departmental Directorate of Employment, Labour and Solidarity (DDETS or DDETS-PP, ex-Direct) for the establishment.

This must be done online.

Application for prior authorisation and partial activity compensation

Service and Payment Agency (ASP)

The application must be accompanied by the prior opinion of the Social and Economic Committee (SSC).

Administration has a response time of 15 calendar days upon receipt of the request for authorisation. An acknowledgement of receipt of the SDD or SDD-PP shall specify the period after which the absence of a reply shall be considered an authorisation.

Where the application is refused, the decision shall state the reasons for the refusal.

The status of the folder statement can be tracked online.

Once the administrative authorisation has been obtained, the employer can reduce or suspend its activity and put its employees on a technical unemployment. It is this authorisation that allows him to obtain reimbursement of the allowances paid to employees.

  Please note : an employer who has at least 50 establishments in more than one department may apply for a single application for all its establishments.

Maximum authorisation time

For requests addressed to the administration from 1to July 2021, the partial activity authorisation may be granted for a period of 3 months. It may be renewed within 6 months, whether or not consecutive, over a period of 12 months consecutive.

Partial activity authorisation periods prior to 1to July 2021 to calculate the overall duration of 6 months.

  Please note : for applications filed between 1to January and March 31, 2022, the periods of partial activity in 2021.

The periods of partial activity between 1to July and 31 December 2021 shall not be taken into account in calculating the maximum period of authorisation.

Employee Commitments

The employer must propose employment and vocational training commitments in its application for authorisation.

Employer requests partial activity for first time

The employer undertakes to keep employees in employment for the duration of the partial activity.

It must also comply with the conditions for authorising partial activity.

New application less than 3 years after previous partial period of operation

The employer must make commitments to the employees if it makes a new prior request for a partial activity authorisation.

This obligation applies if he has already placed his employees in partial employment during the 36 months preceding the date of filing of his new application.

Such commitments, as set out in its application for authorisation, may include:

  • Retention of employees for up to double the period of authorisation
  • Specific training measures for employees in partial employment
  • Actions on Forecasting Jobs and Skills Management (ECPM)
  • Actions to restore the company's economic situation

The Dreets shall establish these commitments, which shall be notified in the authorisation decision and shall ensure that the commitments entered into by the employer are respected.

In the event of non-compliance, the employer may be required to repay the amounts collected under the partial activity allowance.

New application more than 3 years after previous partial period of operation

The employer undertakes to keep employees in employment for the duration of the partial activity.

It must also comply with the conditions for authorising partial activity.

General case

The employer shall pay the employee compensation equivalent to 60%of his gross salary per hour unemployed, or 72% net hourly wage.

This allowance may not be less than €8.59, or more than a ceiling of €29.29 per nonworking hour.

The allowance is paid by the employer at the usual date of payment of salary.

The employer must include on the employee's pay slip (or in an attached document) the number of hours compensated, the rates applied and the amounts paid.

A collective agreement or agreement and a unilateral decision of the employer may provide for additional compensation.

In the event of a safeguard, reorganisation or judicial winding-up, the Service and Payment Agency (ASP) pays the sum directly to the employee by decision of the Prefect.

Vulnerable persons, child care or persons with disabilities

The employer shall pay the employee compensation equivalent to 70%of his gross salary per hour unemployed, or 84% net hourly wage.

This allowance may not be less than €8.59 , or more than a ceiling of €34.18 per nonworking hour.

The allowance is paid by the employer at the usual date of payment of salary.

The employer must include on the employee's pay slip (or in an attached document) the number of hours compensated, the rates applied and the amounts paid.

A collective agreement or agreement and a unilateral decision of the employer may provide for additional compensation.

The partial activity allowance paid by the State varies according to the sector of activity on which the company depends.

General case

If the employer obtained administrative authorisation, it may file a claim for compensation which enables it to obtain the monthly reimbursement of the remuneration paid to the employees concerned.

The employer may collect the partial activity allowance up to a maximum of 1000 hours per year per employee.

The allowance shall be fixed at 36% gross hourly earnings.

She is €7.73 and €17.58 maximum

Payment is made by the Service and Payment Agency (ASP), which acts on behalf of the State.

To estimate the amount of compensation for partial activity, the employer may use an online simulator for calculating partial activity compensation:

Estimate partial activity allowance or allowance

Ministry of Labour

  Warning : in the event of fraud or misrepresentation, the employer shall be liable to imprisonment for up to 2 years and €30,000 fine.

Transformation, restructuring or modernisation of installations

The employer may collect the partial activity allowance up to 100 hours per year per employee.

The allowance shall be fixed at 36% gross hourly earnings.

It is equal to:

  • €7.73 minimum
  • €17.58 maximum

Payment is made by the Service and Payment Agency (ASP), which acts on behalf of the State.

To estimate the amount of compensation for partial activity, the employer may use an online simulator for calculating partial activity compensation:

Estimate partial activity allowance or allowance

Ministry of Labour

  Warning : in the event of fraud or misrepresentation, the employer shall be liable to imprisonment for up to 2 years and €30,000 fine.

Vulnerable persons, child care or persons with disabilities

The allowance shall be fixed at 70% gross hourly earnings.

It is equal to:

  • €8.59 minimum
  • €34.18 maximum

Payment is made by the Service and Payment Agency (ASP), which acts on behalf of the State.

Each month, to obtain reimbursement of the allowances, the employer must submit an online application for compensation for the partial activity allowance.

Application for prior authorisation and partial activity compensation

Service and Payment Agency (ASP)

The employer must make the application within 6 months after the end of the period covered by the partial activity authorisation.

Payment is made by the Service and Payment Agency (ASP) acting on behalf of the State.

In case of fraud or false declaration, the employer may be imprisoned for up to 2 years and €30,000 fine.

Implementation of thelong-term partial activity (APLD) is possible on 

  • of collective agreement of establishment, company, group or branch
  • or a unilateral document based on an extended branch agreement.

This arrangement allows companies facing a sustained reduction in activity to reduce their hours of work in return for commitments to remain in employment.