The French Solidarity Day

The French solidarity day, even though quite controversial since its introduction in 2004, still exists until today.

What is the French solidarity day?

The French solidarity day is an additional working day for employees, without additional pay. As compensation, employers pay a contribution of 0.30 % on the gross salary (‘solidarity contribution autonomy’) to a special fund devoted to actions in favor of the autonomy of elderly or disabled persons.

How is the French solidarity day fixed?

Traditionally, the solidarity day is fixed to Whit Monday. However, in absence of a provision in the applicable collective bargaining agreement, the company can fix any other public holiday as solidarity day, except for the 1st of May.
This should be done in the beginning of the year, after consulting the employee’s representation.

How many hours have to be worked?

Employees with a weekly working time of 35 or more hours have to work 7 hours. For part-time employees the duration is reduced proportionally to their actual working hours.

It is obligatory to work the French solidarity day?

The employer can leave the choice to its employees to request a vacation day, a day of RTT or to work the additional hours split up over several days.
For instance, employees of the French railway company SNCF negotiated to work 1 minute and 52 seconds more each day over the year so they could still have the public holiday.

Can the employee refuse to work the solidarity day?

If the employee refuses to work the solidarity day, the employer is authorized to deduct an absence of 7 hours.

Can the employer offer the French solidarity day to the employees?

Yes, the employer can offer the solidarity day to his employees. Many employers do so, especially international groups. It is a great way of showing appreciation and together with other employee benefits it can increase employee motivation.
However, the contribution of 0.30 % remains due even if the solidarity day is not implemented in the company.

Does the solidarity day have to be mentioned on the payslip?

It is not mandatory to mention the solidarity day on the French payslip. However, it is nonetheless recommended as it serves as proof.