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Working in France - What You Need to Know

Looking at working in France? Whether you’re moving for family, friends, or just looking for a new start, this blog covers the foundations of what you need to know to get the ball rolling for your career across the water. 

France has many employee benefits to offer including a legal minimum of 25 paid days annual leave a year, a legal maximum of a 35 hour working week, and cheaper costs for commuting to and from work. But what else do you need to know about working in France? Is working weekends illegal? Find out in our blog. 

The Basics of Working in France

Before you can consider working in France, if you’re not natively French you’ll need to get proof of your French language proficiency to a high enough standard, usually a minimum of C1 or C2 level on the proficiency scale, so that potential employers know you’ll be able to communicate with them. You may also need to submit your CV and cover letter in both the English and French language if some employers request you to do so, regardless of whether the role is primarily French or English speaking. 

Secondly, if you’re planning on working in France for longer than 12 months you’ll need to submit a residence permit application at a local town hall in France. This is your permission for living and working in France.

Finally, it’s important to note that workplaces in France are traditional in the sense that punctuality is important and offices tend to be formal with defined senses of who does what according to job roles. Although work lunches are popular, socialising with colleagues outside of work hours isn’t really a done thing. 

Required Qualifications for Working in France

Similarly to the UK, the qualifications required for different jobs in France varies with the job. If you’re going into a skilled profession such as engineering, psychology, veterinary work or similar domains you’ll need a minimum of a postgraduate qualification such as a Master’s or PGdip/cert. However, other jobs such as marketing, sales, recruitment or similar tend to favour experience. This being said, it is worth noting that someone with relevant qualifications and experience may outweigh someone with only experience depending on the employer. 

French language qualifications (such as an A-Level) will also stand you in good stead to potential employers as it’s proof that you have made the effort to learn the language skills required to communicate. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is working weekends illegal in France?

The short answer is no it isn’t, but the longer answer is a little more complicated. French law does state that employers aren’t allowed to contact employees who work Monday-Friday at the weekends or outside of working hours about anything work related. However, for those that work in retail jobs or similar, if their contract includes a weekend work day then that is not against French law. 

2. Can I be working in France after Brexit?

Yes, absolutely! You just need to make sure that you have all of the relevant documentation (such as a residency permit) and ensure it’s up to date since British Nationals no longer have the freedom to work in EU states without such documentation. Working in France after Brexit may be slightly more difficult now that we have left the EU, but it’s definitely not impossible.

3. How to get a work visa in France?

You can apply for a work visa in France after you have been employed there for three months or longer. Alongside your visa application you’ll need to submit a copy of the work permit that you provided to the company you work for, and your contract of employment to prove that you work for who you say you do. 

Find out more about how to apply for a work visa in France

Looking at Moving to and Working in France?

It’s important to consider how you’ll get all of your belongings over with you when moving to France. At Anglo French we can make the process of moving all of your things across the channel simple and stress-free. Get a free no-obligation quote from us today, or use our contact form to enquire about how we can help you. Alternatively, give us a call on 01237 431393.

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Good Evening

I would just like to let you know how delighted I have been with Jay and his not so little helper on Wednesday 25/26th Feb and again this Morning.

I was impressed with their work ethic and attitude.  They were polite and helpful and, boy can they pack a van!!

They are a credit to your company and good ambassadors too.

I would recommend Anglo French to any of my friends still out in France/Spain as you completed the task very professionally and efficiently.

Thank you, once again,


Anne Saville, Cornwall

Just a quick message to say thanks for the safe delivery of my furniture from Charente, France to London - the coordination was great as was the care, I really appreciated it,  especially the safe delivery of the grandfather clock and rocking horse, which were my grandmother's, and I was worried about! So - a big thank you - I will happily recommend you.

Vicky Edwards, Charente

Dear Mark

I am writing to say thank you so much for the smooth moving process.  From beginning to end you could not have done better.  I'd like to put in a complimentary word for the three guys who you sent to load and unload.  Service without servility is always the perfect combination.  They were all extremely convivial whilst getting on at the same time, meticulously careful with the items being transported and cheery without being "goonish".

Your original quote was handled most efficiently by Jasmine from initlal enquiry through to date setting, payment etc and the quote itself was highly competitive.  Your own communication skills were faultless and I felt like I knew exactly what was going on at any one time.  

I, quite frankly, cannot fault the service provided, you could not have done better and I am very happy with the price too.

Well done to all the team!

Best wishes for all your future projects.

Di Miller, Kent