Collective Bargaining Agreement SYNTEC

An insight into the French collective bargaining agreement SYNTEC.

What is the CBA SYNTEC ‘Bureaux d’études techniques’?

It is a French collective bargaining agreement applicable to companies whose main activities is engineering, consulting, IT services, organization of exhibitions and language related services. It is often referred to as CBA SYNTEC but the official french name of the CBA is

‘Bureaux d’études techniques, cabinets d’ingénieurs conseils, sociétés de conseils’

The IDCC code of the CBA SYNTEC is 1486.

How to find out whether the collective bargaining agreement SYNTEC applies to my company ?

You can check with your company’s main activity code APE which can be found on the French Payslip.
A complete list is available on

Here are some examples :

Computer science :

This includes computer programming and the development of software, electronic games, system and network software. Furthermore, consulting in computer systems and software, managing of IT installations and maintenance, data processing and hosting.


Engineering including a large range of specialized, scientific and technical activities such as studies, technical analyzes and tests.


This includes market studies and polls as well as consulting in business management, public relations, communication and HR.

Trade fairs, congresses and exhibitions

This includes for instance the organization, the set up of stands, the manufacturing of elements.

Language related services

Lastly, all translation and interpretation services fall under the CBA SYNTEC.

What are the main characteristics of the collective bargaining agreement SYNTEC ?

The CBA SYNTEC fixes minimum salaries based on job classifications. It also provides for employee benefits such as additional leave, increased payments in case of health related absences, a vacation bonus payment and a more substantial retirement bonus.

What is the CBA SYNTEC’s legal minimum salary ?

The CBA SYNTEC fixes a salary scale that provides for a minimum salary based on job classifications.
Some examples:
According to the collective wage agreement, the minimum salary for newly graduate engineers (job classification code 100) is set to 2088.00 Euro per month for a 35 hours week.
For engineers and executives with responsiblity for several departments (highest job classification code 270) the minimum salary is fixed to 5543.10 € per month.
In March 2022, a re-evaluation of the minimum salaries based on the inflation has been announced; increasing the minimum salaries by 2,5 % to 4,9 %.
For executive level staff with a very large autonomy, it is possible to fix a working time of a number of annual working days instead of a 35 hours week in the employment contract.
These are only minimum levels. For a job offer to be competitive on the French market a higher salary offer is often necessary.

Additional vacation days according to CBA SYNTEC

On top of the 25 leave days bases on Labor Law in France, the CBA Syntec provides for additional days based on the seniority of the employee :

Seniority Additional days per year
5 years or more 1 day
10 years or more 2 days
15 years or more 3 days
20 years or more 4 days (maximum)

Exceptional vacation days for family events

Employees, technician, supervisors (ETAM) and executives can claim the following days

Type of event Number of days
Marriage of the employee 4 days
Marriage of employee’s child 1 day
Birth or adaption 3 days
Death of a relative between 1 and 2 days

Life insurance for non executive staff according SYNTEC

Based on labor law a life insurance is only obligatory for executive level staff. Based on the CBA SYNTEC a life insurance is also obligatory for non executive staff.

Maternity leave

The CBA SYNTEC provides for a complementary payment in case of a maternity leave for employees with one year of seniority. This complementary payment is paid on top of the social security payments. In total, these employees will receive 100 % of their salary.

Sickness leave payment based on the collective bargaining agreement SYNTEC

The national agreement SYNTEC increases the maintained salary in case of sickness. Together with the payments from the social security and the life insurance employees will receive :

Category Seniority Total payment
ETAM between 1 and 5 years 100 % for one month, 80 % for two months
5 years or more 100 % for two months, 80 % for one month
Executive from one year 100 % for three months

The one year seniority requirement doesn’t apply in case of a work accident or occupational illness.

Retirement bonus

The collective labor agreement SYNTEC significantly increases the bonus payment in case of a retirement. For instance ETAM and Executives with a seniority of more than 5 years will receive one month’s salary plus 1/5 month’s salary for every additional year.

What is the severance payment based on the collective bargaining agreement SYNTEC ?

The CBA Syntec provides for more favorable severance payments in case of dismissal or a contractual termination. These apply for employees with 2 years of seniority. For employees with less seniority the severance payment of the labor code applies.
For executive level employees the CBA SYNTEC stipulates a severance payment of 1/3 monthly salary per year, within a maximum of 12 months’ salaries.

Notice period according to the CBA SYNTEC

The notice period in case of dismissal or resignation is between one and two months for ETAM. It is three months for executives.

Vacation bonus based on the collective bargaining agreement SYNTEC

The union contract Syntec provides for a vacation bonus payment.
The total amount (for all employees) must be at least 10 % of the total amount of paid vacation allowances value.

What is the vacation allowance value?

In general, this is 10 % of the gross salary with some exceptions.
Some elements that are included in the vacation allowance : Basic salary, commissions, employee’ performance based bonus payments, overtime
Some elements that are excluded from the vacation allowance : Exceptional, non contractual, bonus payments or bonus payments that depend on the company performance rather than the individual employees performance.
The vacation allowance value is calculated for the period from 01/06 until 31/05 the following year.

When has the SYNTEC vacation bonus to be paid ?

The vacation bonus has to be paid between 1 st of May and 31st of October .

How is the vacation bonus distributed between the employees ?

The employer can choose to some extend how to distribute this total amount among his employees :
– Equal distribution : same amount for all employees
– Increase the bonus for employee with children
– based on each employees paid vacation allowance value

Good to know : Any bonus paid during the year can be considered as a vacation bonus provided that it is equal to at least 10 % of the paid vacation allowance and that a part be paid during the period between 1st of May and 31 of October.

Vacation bonus example

Employee A Employee B
gross salary from 01/06 until 31/05 following year 40 000 Euro 50 000 Euro
Children 4 none

All salary elements are included in the vacation allowance value. So the total salary to be taken into account is 90 000 €. The vacation allowance value is 10 % of this amount : 9000 Euro.
The vacation bonus is 10 % of the vacation allowance value : 900 €.

Distribution of the bonus Employee A Employee B
Equal distribution 450 Euro 450 Euro
+ 50 Euro per child 4 x 50 + 350 = 550 Euro 350 Euro
Based on each employee’s vacation allowance value 400 € 500 €