Headcount threshold 11 employees

The headcount threshold of 11 employees in France: employer obligations & financial impacts

In France, employers have many obligations. The obligations vary depending on the size of the company: with increasing staff headcount, employers are subject to more obligations. In order to maintain compliance, an accurate headcount calculation is essential. In France, important thresholds are 11, 20, 50 employees.
Companies should be familiar with the obligations and impacts of the threshold. These can be organizational, but also financial. In this article we will highlight the obligations and consequences of the staff threshold of 11 employees.

Employing 11 or more employees: organizational impacts

Companies who employ 11 employees or more during 12 months consecutive must organize elections of the work council CSE (social and economic committee).
The mission of CSE is to present individual or collective complaints to the employer. The CSE has also a role to promote safety and working conditions. For instance, the employer must provide the list of prevention and protection actions stipulated in the single occupational risk assessment document (DUERP) to the CSE.

Exceeding the staff headcount: financial impacts

Exceeding the headcount threshold of 11 employees will also have an impact on certain social contributions and payroll taxes. A smoothing mechanism “spreads” the impact of the threshold exceed: to simplify, the threshold must be exceeded for five years to apply the full rate. The applicable rates must then be updated on the French payslip.

– Continuing vocational training: contribution rate increases from 0.55% to 1%.
– 8% on certain employer contributions, such as the life and disability insurance ‘prévoyance’
– Transport contribution:
This contribution aims to finance public transport. It is collected by Urssaf which transfers the contribution to the authorities organizing mobility. The rate varies depending on the region. For instance, in Ile-de-France the rate is 2.95% on the total salary. The mobility rates have been raised as of July 2023 in several municipalities.

As such, exceeding the staff headcount of 11 employees can have an important impact on the total employer contributions.