Solidarity day – how it affects your payroll services in France

Internago French payroll team often gets the question about the “Solidarity day”. Below we have summarised a practical factsheet, and how it affects your payroll services in France.
What is the Solidarity day?
The Solidarity day consists of an additional working day (which can be divided into hours) and is intended to finance actions in favor of the elderly or disabled. This day does not in principle give rise to additional remuneration, however, provisions are made so that employees changing employers during the year do not have to work several days of solidarity during the year.

What is the current agreement of the Solidarity day?
The methods for carrying out the Solidarity day are fixed by a collective agreement, a company agreement or a branch agreement. The agreement of the Solidarity day may include:

Work on a previously non-working day (other than May 1st).
Work on a rest day, granted under the collective agreement concluded according to Article L. 3121-44 of the French Labour Code (agreement aimed at defining the terms and conditions for the organization of working time)
Any other arrangement allowing seven hours of work previously not worked in the application of conventional provisions or the organizational arrangements of undertakings.
Can the Solidarity day be divided into hours?
No matter if it is a collective agreement or an employment agreement, the Solidarity day may be divided into hours. However, the following conditions must be met:

The splitting must correspond to additional work of seven hours per year
Specific arrangements must be made for employees placed in a particular situation due, for example, if an employee works only part-time.
What are the consequences in terms of remuneration?
The work during the Solidarity day does not give rise to additional remuneration. Regarding the employees who are paid monthly (the case for most employees), the limit of work is seven hours.

What is the situation in the event of a change of employer?
If an employee changes employer and has to work an extra Solidarity day, this day will give rise to additional remuneration, will be deducted from the annual quota of overtime hours (or the number of additional hours) and will give rise to compulsory compensation during rest. The employee can also refuse to work this additional day of work without this refusal constituting a fault or reason for dismissal.

Special cases of the Solidarity day
Part-time employment
For part-time, temporary or non-monthly employees, the solidarity day is calculated in proportion to the employee’s normal working hours. For example, for an employee working part-time for 25 hours a week, the working day considered as a solidarity day is 7 x 25/35 = 5 hours.

Part-time employees also have the option of refusing to work the solidarity day if it is incompatible with compelling family obligations, school or higher education or a period of employment with another employer. In these situations, the refusal is considered justified and cannot constitute grounds for dismissal or dismissal for misconduct.

Fixed-term contracts, CDD (Contrat à durée déterminée)
The solidarity day concerns all employees in the private sector, including employees on fixed-term contracts. However, employees on fixed-term contracts who have already completed the solidarity day in another company are no longer concerned.

This day is a public holiday for interns because they “are not subject to the ordinary law of the Labour Code and in particular to the legislation on solidarity day”. So if the internship agreement does not expressly provide for the trainee’s presence in the company on that day, he or she does not have to go there.

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