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Hiring your first employee: our tips for doing things right! (Part 2)

Hiring your first employee is a big step. It’s exciting, stressful, and in all reality, will directly impact your company’s success. In part 1 of this article, we gave you the key elements for framing your upcoming recruitment and listed off the key steps to the process. In this second and final part, we would like to walk you through the legal and administrative formalities involved in hiring your first employee:

Tip 3 Do not leave out any administrative formalities


You’ve at last stumbled upon the golden applicant, congratulations! But the hiring process does not end there. As you likely expect, there are a certain number of administrative procedures to deal with before, during and after recruiting, some of with are mandatory and must not be forgotten:

  • Draw up a fixed-term or permanent contract that must be evidenced in writing for each individual employee before they start work. The contract must detail the nature and conditions of the working relationship. Mandatory information is listed in the Code du Travail1 (Labour Code), art. L 121-4. More information here2.
  • Get registered as an employer3 with the Joint Social Security Center (CCSS). This must be done prior to hiring staff.
  • Register your employee for social security via a declaration of entry into the CCSS4 within eight days following the hire (link in FR).
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  • Register with an occupational health service5 whose main mission is to advise and assist employers in procedures relating to health, ergonomics, hygiene and safety in the workplace. The three main occupational health services are: the Multi-sector Occupational Health Service6 (Service de Santé au Travail Multisectoriel), Occupational Health Association for the Tertiary and the Financial Sector7 (Association pour la Santé au travail des secteurs Tertiaire et Financier) and Industrial Occupational Health Service8 (Service de Santé au Travail de l'Industrie).
  • A pre-employment medical examination9 for your new recruit with an occupational health practitioner of the occupational health service to which the employer is affiliated. The practitioner will determine whether the employee's health allows him to fill the position in question. This medical check is compulsory, regardless of the nature of the work and must be done within 2 months of the hire. The employer is responsible for scheduling the check-up.
  • Requesting a grant financial aid from the ADEM for hiring or maintaining employment. Three main grants can be considered: creation of new integration jobs for long-term unemployed jobseekers10, recruitment of older jobseekers11, and hiring a young jobseeker12.
  • Setting up a legal leave record that includes ordinary leave and special leave13. Your record must be up-to-date at all times as it can be subjected to audit by the Labour and Mines Inspectorate (ITM) and could be used as proof by an employee in case of dispute. It is recommended to record all employee absences in these records (leave, illness, telework, training, etc.)
  • Compliance with requirements relating to telework. Telework requires prior agreement between the employer and the employee. Thus, telework arrangements can be determined in the initial description of the employee’s job, or in other words, negotiated during conclusion of the work contract or by a written amendment to the contract that must be jointly concluded by the employer and the employee.
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  • Selecting a service provider for establishing salaries and monthly social security declarations: formalities linked to hiring your first employee and following-up on payments can be a heavy and complex administrative burden. Starting out, it is best (but not mandatory) to delegate payroll management to an accountant or fiduciary. Doing so protects your business and the job is handled by a professional with all the necessary tools.
  • Setting up the payroll: besides the net salary calculated and payed out monthly to the employee, your business must declare salaries and pay social contributions and taxes on a regular basis. Specialized software is often necessary to complete these tasks in due form and on time.
  • Delivering non-wage benefits: if the work contract provides for benefits such as meal vouchers, a company car, special insurance, etc., do not forget to take the necessary measures for those promises by getting in touch with the service providers of your choice. Hiring staff could also affect the insurance (liability, tenant, etc.) you already have, so be sure to mention your new employee to your broker/insurer.

If you’ve made it to the end of this article, you are now aware that recruiting your first employee is no small issue. But the relationship between you, the employer, and your employee does not end here. Once your employee is integrated into your company, it is essential to assess your working relationship and their performance on a regular basis. Keeping talented workers in your company is a challenge in itself: never underestimate the training phase, and remember to keep helping those talents grow!

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