“I knew that the only reason my circumstances would ever change was if I decided to leave. But otherwise, I effectively felt like I had a job for life.”
In this video, New Zealander Rosie of Not Even French talks about the benefits she started receiving after relocating to France and landing a corporate job in Paris. And for people from the United States or other countries, some of these perks might surprise or even shock you. All French employees receive a mandatory five weeks of paid time off (five weeks of weekdays plus Saturdays, so 30 days), get 50% of their transportation reimbursed, and are provided with a mutuelle, or cheap, private health insurance. Professional development is also key, and every employee is given a CPF, where employers can contribute points workers can use to take classes or participate in all kinds of job training. And let’s not get into the other kinds of time off: maternity leave, paternity leave, bereavement leave, and even an extra four days off when you get married!
That said, keep in mind that the smaller a company gets, the more the benefits can thin out. Some of them, of course, are legally required at any size, but the cafeteria you’d find at a large corporation’s campus in Paris probably also won’t be present at a small start-up in Lyon.
So for those flirting with the idea of working in France, here’s a primer on what you need to know about being a working French with benefits.