Coronavirus: work and payroll impacts

Day 1 / Article 1:

This is the first article of my 30 articles – 30-day challenge! I hope this will help you understand the current difficult situation and the last paycheck you have received during this Coronavirus outbreak!

Working or not during the Coronavirus outbreak?


Many people have been forced to stay at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Many companies are closing their doors, but what will be the impacts for the employees? Under which conditions will your work contract be maintained and what will be the impacts on your payroll?

French Labor Law has beentemporarily Рmodified on 22nd March to face the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impacts on the companies and also the employees. 

I have tried to summarize for you the main measures that are already impacting you:

Home office

home office
Photo by Thought Catalog

Home-office is required as the first rule. It has to be implemented by the employer for all the positions possible.

The salary is paid at 100% and the tickets restaurant should be provided when working from home (no communication has been done otherwise).

The Labor Ministry asks the employer to be sympathetic toward its employees regarding their productivity, especially for the ones having children at home.


Work schedule modifications

When home office cannot be implemented, social distancing should be respected and the below-required actions are to be taken by the employer:

  • Avoid meetings, unless inevitable (respect 1m distance)
  • Cancel or postpone every business trip (if the employer requires it anyway, he should provide a form justifying the reason (Justificatif pour d√©placement professionnel)
  • Adapt the work organization to avoid crowds and meetings (adapting lunch break by rotation and schedules for example)
People who read this post also liked:  Faire la bise in France


Options to leave work when remote work is not possible

¬†Leave¬†of¬†absence¬†for¬†childcare (Arr√™t de travail pour garde d’enfant):

Childcare during quarantine
Photo by Kelly Sikkema


This leave of absence is available for parents with children under the age of 16 years old, and parents of a disabled child (with no age limitation) and only if remote work is not possible due to your position type. This applies only to children whose daycare/school has been shut down. 

You can apply for a leave of absence for childcare with no waiting period (délai de carence) from social security. The leave of absence can be taken up to 21 days until 15 April at the latest (as announced until now).
Only one parent can take this leave of absence at a time, with the possibility to alternate.
The employee will be paid at 90% minimum for the first 30 days and the following 30 days, it will be 66,66% (it can be more depending on the collective agreement).
50% of the salary is paid from the French social security and minimum 40% by the employer, as stated by the Ministry of Labor on 18 March on Radio Classique.

The parent should provide to his employer a letter informing the leave of absence (template attached) for childcare indicating the dates. If the leave of absence is being extended, the employee should provide another letter with the corresponding dates.

No days off are accumulated during this type of leave of absence.

People who read this post also liked:  Crepe day in France: another French delight

¬†Temporary layoff¬†(Chom√Ęge¬†partiel):

As a general rule, the temporary layoff allows the employer to put the work contract on hold (and avoid permanent layoffs.) The employee will receive compensation from the employer of about 84% of the net salary (70% of the gross amount) paid on payroll day. The amount can be higher depending on the collective agreement. If the employee was receiving any other type of allowances, these will not be paid during the temporary layoff.

The below companies can implement the temporary layoffs :

    • Companies where the prevention measures cannot¬†be¬†implemented,
    • Companies under an¬†obligation¬†of¬†closure,
    • Companies¬†experiencing¬†an¬†important decrease of activity.

Check with your employer if your company is eligible for this measure.

Payroll impacts during the temporary layoff: 

    • Annual leave¬†is¬†still being accumulated¬†during the layoff¬†period
    • RTT is¬†not provided¬†during¬†this¬†period
    • No ticket restaurant¬†is¬†provided
    • Income¬†received¬†calculated on 70% of the gross¬†amount¬†(usual allowances & bonus will not be paid)

 Leave of absence for high risks individuals (Arrêt pour les personnes à risque élevé)

Individuals with a high risk of being infected by the coronavirus such as pregnant women in their 3rd trimester and a person with a long-term disease (ALD), can request a sick leave online, without having to go to their doctor. This sick leave can be taken retroactively from 13 March for up to 21 days (as announced until now).

 Right to opt-out (Droit de retrait)

If your life or health is in imminent danger, as an employee, you have the right to opt-out and leave your work premises. 
This can apply, for example, when no prevention measures are taken or no protections are provided by your employer when required.
If you are thinking to use this right, first contact your company’s health & safety department (called CSE), or your RH/manager to find a solution.
No wage reduction can be implemented when employees use their right to use the opt-out clause unless abuse is proven.

People who read this post also liked:  Teach English in France

 Compulsory days off: 

    • Paid annual leave:¬†The¬†employer¬†can¬†require¬†(depending on the collective agreement)¬†its¬†employees¬†to take up to 6¬†days¬†off¬†with one¬†day¬†notice.¬†This¬†flexibility¬†is¬†granted¬†to the¬†employers¬†until 31 December of¬†2020
    • RTT*:¬†The¬†employer¬†can¬†require¬†its¬†employees¬†to take up to 10¬†days¬†out of his/her¬†RTT¬†annual allowance with one¬†day¬†notice.¬†This¬†flexibility¬†is¬†granted¬†to the¬†employers¬†until 31 December of¬†2020

* Extra time-off following the work time duration law voted in 2000 (from 39h/week to 35h/week). RTT stands for Réduction du Temps de Travail (Work time reduction)

 Days off rescheduled: 

If the employee had vacation taken, the employer can reschedule the vacation dates with one-month prior notice (or less depending on the collective agreement).


I have also summarized the time-off accumulation per situation as well as the ticket restaurant reception as this will impact your payroll. I hope this makes it clearer.

The general rule, unless the collective agreement is more favourable.


Time off accumulation
Employee situation Annual leave RTT (when applicable)  Days off* Ticket restaurant
Working from home Yes Yes Yes Yes
Leave of absence No No Yes No
Temporary layoff Yes No  (no information) No

*Applicable for employees under flat-rate pay agreement (usually executive employees)



[su_button url=”″ target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#2d3def” icon=”icon: pencil-square-o” title=”Complete Survey” id=”Complete Survey”]Complete Survey[/su_button]


Take care and Stay at home!




Sources : 

French Social Security:
Ministry of Labour РQ&A :
Attestation templates:

Right to opt-out law : art. L. 4131-1 du code du Travail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.