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Living & working in France – Graduate Comment

Gillian Orr
Diploma – August 2008

Basically there are three types of contracts : CDI (contrat à durée indeterminée ie permanent) rare nowadays for language schools; CDD (contrat à durée determinée) limited n° hours contract; CDII (contrat à durée indeterminée intermittant)- often used by language schools as they are able to renew them often – the contract runs for the length of the course – this type of contract only exists in certain jobs like training; we also have a rather vague status called ‘vacataire’ which is used by the universities but you have to have a main employer to qualify. If you decide to go freelance then there are two forms of status available – Travailleur Indépendant/Profession Libérale or a new one called ‘Auto Entrepreneur’ which started in Jan 2009 – bit difficult to know how this one will evolve as people only pay the base rate for health and retirement but it does have the merit of being PAYE which simplifies admin compared with the TI/PL status. Because people only pay the basic rates they can charge less – it was started to absorb some of the unemployed people!!

Rates of pay vary – big schools like Berlitz or Wall Street pay badly – 15 to 18 euros an hour but you get guaranteed n° of hours a month. Smaller schools tend to pay 18/20 to 23 euros but the contracts are shorter. Independents can bill schools anything from 30 euros + (The Language Network often advertises at 40 to 45 euros for independents). Schools are having a tough time at the moment as recent legislation has made it difficult for them. They find that big schools and elearning are forcing prices down.

The Language Network advertises jobs but the main site for job ads is www.fusac.fr – they also have a free magazine that comes out twice a month that you can pick up in W H Smith and other places round Paris. There used to be a noticeboard at Attica (the main language bookshop) http://www.attica.fr but since they’ve moved I don’t know if they still have it.

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