Employee Appraisals in France

Also referred to as annual performance review or evaluation, the employee performance appraisal is a regular meeting between the employee and the employer.

Employee review meetings – why they are so important

Review meetings are crucial to evaluate the skills and strengths of an employee but also to determine shortcomings and areas for improvement. During a review meeting both parties can give feedback. If done properly, regular review meetings can create a culture of open communication which then can enhance employee performance and motivation.
In France, since 2019, regular review meetings are mandatory. These professional evaluation meetings are to some extend similar to annual appraisals which commonly evaluate the past year and set the objectives for the coming year.

Mandatory employee appraisals in France – every two years

Review meetings have to be organized for all employees with at least 2 years of seniority, regardless of the type of contract (temporary or permanent, part-time or full-time).
They must be repeated every 2 years. For employee with long-term absences (e.g. maternity but also sick leave of more than 6 months) they must be organized upon return.

What should be covered during the mandatory employee appraisal in France?

The main topics of the appraisal are the evaluation of the employee’s career since joining the company, the employee’s professional development prospects and the potential need for training.
During the appraisal meeting the employer should also inform about the services of the professional development council (CEP) as well as the potential financing with the personal training account (CPF). This training account is an employee benefit to which employers contribute 500 € per year for a full-time employee.

Mandatory professional assessment – every 6 years

On top of the employee evaluation meeting every two years, employers are obliged to conduct a professional assessment every six years. During this meeting a summary of the employee’s professional career is made. The last six years are assessed with a focus on three key questions:
Has the employee taken at least one training course?
Has the employee acquired a professional certification?
Did the benefit from a salary raise or professional progression?
A written report should be handed to the employee.

Sanctions for non-compliance with the employee appraisal obligation

Bigger companies with 50 or more employees are under certain conditions subject to a penalty for non-compliance.
This penalty consists of paying an additional contribution of up to €3000 into the employee’s training account CPF.