French Payslip explained
We break it down for you, translate and give you all the explanations that you need in order to read and understand the French payslip.
Payroll in France is very complex and so is the payslip. Over the decades, the French payslip went from a document with very few lines to a document that in 2017 sometimes contained around 50 or more lines. Positioning itself far ahead of other countries such as France’s neighbor Germany whose payslip contains less than 10 lines.
In 2018 the French government aimed to simplify and harmonize the French payslip to make it more comprehensible for employees. Some information was condensed, other eliminated and some added. Where there were sometimes more than 50 lines on the previous version of it, there are now about 30 lines. In July 2023 the layout of the French payslip will evolve further. However, it has to be noted that the calculation behind it stays as complex as ever.
It is the employer’s legal obligation to provide it on a monthly basis, either as paper or electronic document. The electronic payslips were authorized in 2017 and are very common in many workplaces. The employee can request a paper version if he is opposed to the electronic version. In either case, the employee should keep the payslip for his records as it is an important document that might be requested by social institutions such as the pension insurance.
The payslip can be broken down into three sections.
First Section of the French Payslip: Employee's And Employer's Data
Employee’s data: such as the first and last name and the social security number. All French social insurances will link the data of the payslip to the French Social Security Number which explains its importance.
Employer’s data: such as the company name and address as well as the company ID number.
Work contract: such as the employment classification and seniority of the employee.
company’s post code / city
SIRET: 999999999 00099
Code NAF: 9999Z
3 ans 01/10/2018
Syntec Bureaux d’étude technique
BULLETIN DE SALAIRE
Période: Month Year
Employee’s first and last name
post code and city
2nd section of the French Payslip: Gross to Net
In the main body of the payslip you will find the gross elements which can be separated into fixed and variable elements, as well as the deductions such as contributions.
Variable gross elements can include one time payments such as a bonus or a commission
However the gross elements make up for only few lines. The majority of lines are deductions like social contributions.
To better understand the calculation behind each line, it is essential to understand the structure of the main body of the French payslip. It is organized by columns:
1st column: type of contribution
2nd column: the amont on which it is calculated, e.g. gross salary or social security ceiling
3rd column: the employee’s contribution rate
4th column: the employee’s deductions
5th column: the employee’s additions
last column: the employer’s contribution
Hover over each line to see the translation and explanation of each deduction.
Elements de paie
Salaire de base
Heures supplémentaires mensuelles
Sous total Salaire de base
Sécurité Sociale Mal. Mat. Inval. Décès
Complémentaire Incap. Inval. Décès
Accidents du travail & mal. professionnelles
Sécurité Sociale plafonnée
Sécurité Sociale déplafonnée
Complémentaire Tranche 1
Cot. statutaires ou prévues par la conv. coll.
Autres contributions dues par l’employeur
Autres contributions dues par l’employeur
CSG déduct. de l’impôt sur le revenu
CSG déductible de l’impôt sur le revenu
CSG/CRDS non déduct. de l’impôt sur le revenu
CSG/CRDS non déductible de l’impôt sur le revenu
Exonérations de cotisations employeur
Exonération sociale sur HC/HS
Total des cotisations et contributions
Exonération fiscale sur HC/HS
Net à payer avant impôt sur le revenu
dont évolution de la rémunération liée à la suppression des cotisation chômage et maladie
Impôt sur le revenu prélevé à la source – PAS
Taux non personnalisé
********* Sample *********
Bottom of the French Payslip: Annual totals & vacation account
1st line: monthly totals, 2nd line annuel totals
Heures – hours
Brut – Gross
Plafond – social security ceiling
Net imposable – taxable net
Ch. patronale: Employer’s contributions
Coût global – total cost
Total versé – total paid
Allègements – social contributions relief
This is a compulsory information on the French payslip.
Frequently Asked Questions
The basic salary is split up in several lines if the contractual working time includes overtime. For instance, an employee with a contractual working time of 39 hours per week will have two lines on the payslip: one for the legal working time of 35 hours per week, and an extra line for the exceeding hours that in France are considered overtime.
Explanation: Overtime has to be mentioned separately on the French payslip as the payment rate is different. For all overtime, including contractual overtime, a surcharge applies, e. g. 125% of the basic salary rate. The exact rate depends on your branch agreement and the number of overtime hours.
The vacation entitlement is an important employee benefit in France. The acquired as well as taken vacation days have to be recorded on the French payslip.
In France, employees acquire vacation days on a monthly basis: 2.08 days per month for a 5-day working week. This adds up to five weeks of annual leave, the legal minimum in France. Vacation days are recorded separately for each vacation year:
N-1 – previous year’s vacation entitlement
N – current year’s vacation entitlement
After deduction of the vacation days taken (‘pris’ in French), you will get the remaining vacation days (‘solde’ in French).
The calculation is not at all the same.
The net salary before tax is the gross salary minus all employee’s contributions.
The taxable net is the gross minus deductible employee’s contributions plus the employer’s contribution to the additional health care mutuelle.
The net to be paid is the gross minus all contributions, minus the employee’s withholding tax and including any net elements (meal voucher deduction or travel expenses refund).
To calculate the taxable net, take the gross salary and deduct all deductable social contributions and add the amount of the employer’s contribution to the additional health care ‘mutuelle’ (line ‘complémentaire santé).
minus 1,75% for professional expenses (calculated on the gross within the limit of 4 times the social security ceiling)
plus employer’s contribution to the mutuelle
plus employer’s contribution to the prévoyance
= basis on which the CSG CRDS is calculated
The PAS ‘Prélèvement à la source’ is the Withholding Tax in France, in other countries it is referred to as PAYE ‘PAY-AS-YOU-EARN’. The rate is transmitted by the tax authority. It is either a personal tax rate or a neutral tax rate if the employee opted for it. The employer strictly has to apply the rate transmitted.
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