Previous system

New regime

Immediate steps for employers

As of January 1 2015 new provisions give employees the right to accumulate training credits which can be transferred with them when they change jobs and retained during periods of unemployment.(1)

Previous system

Under the previous system, 'right to training' (DIF), employees had the right to accrue 20 hours of training credits per year, up to a maximum of 120 hours, to be used during their employment. When their employment ended, they could request to use the accrued training credits up to the limit of the sum accrued, provided that this request was made no later than the end of the notice period. Otherwise, there was no right to transfer the accrued credits.

New regime

Under the new regime, the 'personal training account' (CPF), each individual has a personal training account held independently of his or her employment.(2) The account is open throughout the individual's lifetime. Each employee accrues training credits per year (up to 150 hours in total, over nine years). These hours can be used to take qualifying training courses at any time during the employee's career, and the accrued unused hours can be retained by the employee if he or she changes jobs or is unemployed for certain periods (without any conditions).

DIF training credits previously accrued and outstanding have been transferred into this account and may be used up to January 1 2021.

As of January 1 2015, employees accrue 24 hours per year, up to 120 hours, and thereafter 12 hours per year up to a maximum of 150 hours (ie, after at least 7.5 years' full-time work).(3) Part-time employees accrue the credits on a pro rata basis. Employees on maternity leave or sick leave continue to accrue CPF entitlement.

Further, an employee may request an additional 100 hours if his or her employer is in breach of its obligations to hold career development meetings and has not provided at least two of the three required measures for career development.

If an employee wishes to use any training hours during working time, he or she must make a request (on notice) to the employer, which has 30 days to reply; silence is deemed to be acceptance.

During the training, the employee's remuneration may be paid if:

  • the board of the Joint Commission for Collective Training expressly agrees to pay such sum; or
  • a collective agreement in place within the employer provides for it, where the CPF funds are managed by the employer.

In either case, the remuneration paid to the employee during the training period is capped at 50% of the total cost of the training (eg, for a training cost of €4,000, the employee would receive a maximum remuneration during the training of €2,000).

The CPF training hours are financed in the same way as the previous DIF regime – that is, by the employer, which must pay a sum equivalent to a maximum of 0.55% to 1% of the total gross payroll costs each year. The exact sum depends on the size of the employer.

The employee can also use the training hours outside of working hours, which does not require authorisation from the employer. However, no remuneration is payable by the employer to the employee in such case.

The employee can access the record of his or her training hours on a government website.

Immediate steps for employers

As the DIF system ceased to operate on December 31 2014, employers must send a simple letter to employees informing them of their accrued DIF entitlements before January 31 2015.

Employees can then register their accrued DIF training entitlement at www.moncompteformation.gouv.fr/.

As of January 1 2015, there is no longer a requirement to refer to an employee's DIF entitlement in a dismissal letter.

For further information on this topic please contact Emma Röhsler at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP by telephone (+33 1 53 57 70 70), fax (+33 1 53 57 70 80) or email (emma.rohsler@hsf.com). The Herbert Smith Freehills LLP website can be accessed at www.herbertsmithfreehills.com.

Endnotes

(1) Article 6111-1 of the Labour Code.

(2) Created by the Law on Employment Security (2013-504) and detailed in the Law on Vocational Training, Employment and Social Democracy (2014-288) and Decrees 2014-1119 and 2014-1120.

(3) Accrued in addition to any existing DIF entitlement of the employee.