Revealed: The ‘top companies’ to work for in France

A new standings table has revealed what it considers to be the best companies to work for in France.

Revealed: The 'top companies' to work for in France
Workers at the offices of Blablacar, the third best company with fewer than 500 employees. Photo: AFP
While many expats may be happy to get any job anywhere in France, a country famed for its generous work benefits, a new ranking has revealed the crème de la crème when it comes to employers in France.
The annual ranking, carried out by the Great Place to Work Institute, saw 66 companies put head to head in a survey that measured subjects as diverse as employee pride and their trust in management.  
Of companies with fewer than 500 staff, the best places to work were consulting firm Accuracy, computer firm Cadence Design Systems, and ride-sharing app Blablacar. 
For companies with more than 500 employees, the best was French company Davidson Consulting (for the third consecutive year), followed by confectionery company Mars France, and consultancy firm Solucom. 
Below are the top ten, beginning with 500+ companies on the left.
Companies must pay for the privilege of being ranked, with employee surveys making up two thirds of the final score. The remaining third is comprised of an investigation into the company. 
French workers are generally well protected by the country’s labour laws and are entitled to benefits like five weeks of paid holidays, restaurant vouchers and a 35-hour work week. But this study took into account somewhat less tangible strengths like trust in management, pride in work and atmosphere.
As an example, Great Place to Work pointed to Mars' offices which are in an open space format for workers of all levels, including the head of the group. The idea is to open up communication by knocking down barriers between levels of the hierarchy.
The survey found some impressive figures for the top companies, with 91 percent of Mars employees saying that would happily continue working for the company long term. Meanwhile, a whopping 97 percent of workers at Accuracy said they were proud to be an employee there. 
Patrick Dumoulin, the head of Great Place to Work, told Le Figaro newspaper that many of the top companies were quick to ensure employee satisfaction as a priority. 
“The founders of these companies know that employee well-being is a key component of both their strategy and performance,” he said. 
He also noted that 32 of the top 66 companies were founded after the year 2000. 

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How to get a summer job in France

As the summer holidays approach in France, many employers are looking for seasonal workers - so if you're looking for a summer job, here's how to go about it.

How to get a summer job in France

There are thousands of employment offers in France – a simple internet search for jobs d’été came up with numerous jobs boards offering work in France, while the government-backed Centre d’Information et de Documentation pour la Jeunesse (CIDJ) offers advice and information on all aspects of life for young people in France, including finding seasonal work and summer placements.

Sectors including agriculture, hospitality and tourism are always recruiting in the summer, seeking fruit-pickers, holiday camp workers and serving/hotel staff.

But what are the rules for people seeking summer jobs?

READ ALSO Vendange: What you really sign up for when you agree to help with the French wine harvest


Children from the age of 16 (under certain circumstances, the age limit drops to 14) who are legally resident in France can work as long as they have written authorisation from their parents or legal guardians. A model authorisation letter is available here

Those under the age of 18 cannot undertake certain jobs for health and safety reasons.

In the following circumstances, children as young as 14 or 15 can work during school holidays.

  • The holidays must last at least 14 days;
  • The child must work no more than half the days of the holiday – so, if a vacation period is two weeks, they can work for no more than one of those weeks;
  • The child is given ‘light duties’ that offer no risk to their safety, health, or development;
  • From the age of 15 and if the child has completed their troisieme education, a minor can register for an apprenticeship. 


Salary is usually paid monthly and will have a payslip. For those aged 18 and over, pay will be at least equal to the minimum wage.

 For those aged 14 to 17, who have less than six months’ professional experience, the minimum allowed rate is 80 percent of the minimum wage. For those aged 17 to 18, the rate rises to a minimum of 90 percent of France’s minimum wage.

  • The minimum wage in France is currently €10.85 gross per hour (€1,645.58 gross per month based on a 35-hour week);
  • the employment contract is fixed-term and can take different forms (fixed-term contract, seasonal employment contract, temporary employment contract, etc);
  • Seasonal employees are subject to the same obligations as the other employees of the company and have access to the same benefits (canteens, breaks, etc.).

Under 18s have certain additional protections:

  • between the ages of 14 and 16, during school holidays, employees on any contract cannot work more than 35 hours per week nor more than 7 hours per day;
  • They cannot work at night;
  • Those aged 14 to under 16 working during their school holidays can only be assigned to work which is not likely to harm their safety, their health or development.

Right to work in France

If you’re a French citizen or hold permanent residency in France then you have the right to work, but for foreigners there are extra restrictions.

Anyone who holds the passport of a EU/EEA country or Switzerland, is free to work in France or to travel to France seeking work without needing a visa or work permit.

Most other people will need permission to work in France – even if it’s only for a short period or for casual work such as grape-picking. Depending on your country of origin you may need a visa – everything you need to know about that is here.

In addition to the visa, you may also need a work permit, which is the responsibility of the employer.  To employ anyone in France for less than 90 days, an employer must get a temporary work permit – before the prospective employee applies for a short stay visa. This permit is then sent to the embassy at which the employee is applying for a visa.

If you come from countries including the UK, USA and Canada you can spend up to 90 days in France without a visa – but you may still need a work (convention d’accueil) if you want to work while you are here.

READ ALSO Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in France

Certain countries have specific ‘seasonal worker’ visas on offer, for certain sectors which allows – for example – Canadians to come to France and work the ski season. 

Cash-in-hand jobs

Certain sectors which have a lot of casual workers – for example seasonal fruit-picking – do have cash-in-hand jobs, known in France as marché noir (black market) or simply travail au black (working on the black, or working illegally). 

This is of course illegal and working this way carries risks – as well as the possibility of losing your job if labour inspectors turn up you are also in a vulnerable position. If your employer suddenly decides not to pay you, or make unexpected deductions from your wages, there is very little you can do about it since you won’t have any kind of work contract.